13 Top-Ranked Universities in South Africa - World University Rankings - Mastersportal.com
South Africa

Top Universities and Colleges in South Africa

Where do you find the best universities in the world? Well, pretty much anywhere - including South Africa! Cool, huh? In South Africa you can find plenty of top-ranked universities that take their rightful place next to some of the biggest international university names out there.

South Africa's universities, colleges, medical schools, engineering schools, and law schools are highly respected and well-known in the education and academic communities, and they continue to offer prestigious Bachelor's, Master's, and Ph.D programmes for smart, driven adventurers like you. Feel free to choose from some of the most competitive degrees in the best universities in South Africa.

Best Universities in South Africa according to International Rankings

Universities Times Higher Education Ranking (2023) Shanghai Jiao Tong University Ranking (2022) TopUniversities Ranking (2023) U.S. News & World Report Ranking (2023)
University of Cape Town 160 201 237 125
Stellenbosch University 251 401 454 304
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg 251 301 428 244
University of Kwazulu Natal 401 501 801 370
Durban University of Technology 501 - - -
North-West University (NWU) 601 601 - 487
University of Johannesburg 601 401 412 421
University of the Western Cape 601 - - 625
Rhodes University 801 - 801 935
University of Pretoria 801 401 591 452
University of the Free State 801 901 - 875
University of South Africa (UNISA) - 901 - 821
Tshwane University of Technology - - - 1002
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University Rankings Explained

World University Rankings created by Times Higher Education takes into account the reputation of research done by universities and how often papers produced by universities were quoted around the world.

Academic Ranking of World Universities created by Shanghai Jiao Tong University focuses on the number of award-winning scientists, most cited researchers from the listed universities, and their contribution to the scientific community.

QS World University Rankings created by TopUniversities surveys a large number of academic experts about the reputation of universities and also measures the quality of teaching.

Best Global Universities Rankings created by U.S. News & World Report analyses university graduation rates and how many students remain enrolled in their second year of studies. It also surveys university representatives on the performance of universities.

Study in South Africa

South Africa offers very affordable Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. The ‘Rainbow Nation’ excels in disciplines like Development Studies, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences. Tuition fees are among the lowest in the world, and many study programmes are taught in English. International students also enjoy low costs of living and have the opportunity to explore South Africa’s beautiful cities and landscape, which includes Table Mountain, the Garden Route, and gorgeous beaches.


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