Cape Town, South Africa – Six South African universities have cracked the newly-expanded Times Higher Education World University Rankings Top 800 list, the organisation said.

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University of Cape Town

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The 12th edition of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings list, which ranks universities across the world, has been expanded to include a total of 800 universities from 70 countries. Previously, the list only included 400 universities from 41 countries.

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“This year’s ranking is “four times bigger than the top 200 list we published between 2004 and 2010,” the World University Ranking editor Phil Baty said. “The research behind the rankings is the most comprehensive and international ever, revealing a host of new entrants among universities, countries and whole regions,” he said.

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South African universities are leading the African continent. Among the ranked universities are six South African universities, the University of Cape Town, University of the Witwatersrand, Stellenbosch University, University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of Pretoria and the University of South Africa (Unisa).

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The University of Cape Town was once again ranked in the top 200 universities at 120th out of 800 universities, tying with the University of Bern and the University of Florida.

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The University of the Witwatersrand was ranked in the 201 – 250 band, University of Stellenbosch in the 400 – 450 band, University of KwaZulu-Natal in the 501 – 600 band, and Unisa in the 601 – 800 band.

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Baty said: “It is good news for South Africa to have once again made this prestigious list of the world’s top universities. It is now among one of 70 countries in the elite four per cent of universities in the world – something it can be very proud of achieving again this year”.

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Some of the countries whose universities made an appearance on the ranked list for the first time include Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, Indonesia, Malaysia, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.

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Baty said the rankings apply “rigorous standards, using tough global benchmarks across all of a global research university’s key missions – teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook”. He said as a result, universities would be able to use the ranking as a benchmark measure.

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The expanded list, said Bay, is a “testament to just how competitive global higher education has become – our top 800 universities come from 70 different countries, and the traditional dominance of the US is eroding”. – African Independent

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