For the first time the North-West University (NWU) participated in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University rankings and made it to position 5 in South Africa. Globally we are ranked between 501 to 600 out of the 1396 universities which were evaluated for the 2020 rankings.
The THE World University Rankings are the only global performance tables that judge research-intensive universities across all their core missions: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. THE uses 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators to provide the most comprehensive and balanced comparisons, trusted by students, academics, university leaders, industry and governments.
The performance indicators are grouped into five areas: Teaching (the learning environment); Research (volume, income and reputation); Citations (research influence); International outlook (staff, students and research); and Industry Income (knowledge transfer).
The NWU did the best in the area of citations where we were placed at position 375. THE research influence indicator looks at universities’ role in spreading new knowledge and ideas. It examines research influence by capturing the average number of times a university’s published work is cited by scholars globally.
The citations show how much each university is contributing to the sum of human knowledge. It is thus an indicator that the value of our research is recognised in the global scholarly community.
This announcement comes a month after the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) indicated that the NWU is indeed climbing the ladder of world-ranked universities. The NWU improved its CWUR ranking by close to 100 positions, moving from position 964 to 869, which sees it among the top 4,8% of the more than 18 000 universities evaluated worldwide. The NWU was placed at number seven in terms of CWUR’s ranking of South African universities.
“Even though ranking is not a goal that we want to pursue, the fact that we improve in the ranking is just a confirmation that we are making progress towards achieving our dream to be an internationally recognised university in Africa, distinguished for engaged scholarship, social responsiveness and an ethic of care,” Prof Dan Kgwadi, vice-chancellor remarked.
The vice-chancellor thanked all staff for their contribution in ensuring that we live up to our purpose to excel in innovative teaching-learning and cutting-edge research that benefits society.