Top 13 South African Universities Rankings

Top 13 South African Universities Rankings

There are over top 20 universities in South Africa but we will narrow it down to only top 13 South African Universities Rankings. South Africa is one of the most developed countries in Africa, which also gives us a clue that it would have the best universities in the continent. Some of these universities also offer scholarships for local and international students who intend to study in these schools but that’s not the topic of discussion. There are many universities in the country but our focus will be on the top and best ones in the country. They’re not just the best in the country but have a great rank on the world level. Let’s get started with the list in descending order.

Top 13 South African Universities Rankings

1. Tshwane University of Technology 

Tshwane University of Technology

Coming at the number one spot is this great university that started on 1 January 2004 after three higher institutions were merged. It boasts over 90,000 students with notable alumni like Fulu Mugovhani, Bongi Mbonambi, and many others.

South African Rank: 13
World Rank: 1950

2. Nelson Mandela University 

Nelson Mandela University

Coined from the name of the notable icon Nelson Mandela, this university made it to the list of top 13 South African Universities rankings. Located at University Way, Summerstrand, Gqeberha, 6019, it was established in 1882 and its former name was the University of Port Elizabeth. 

South African Rank: 12
World Rank: 1631

3. University of South Africa 

University of South Africa

A very popular university in the country and the largest when it comes to the number of students enrolled. With over 400,000 students including international students from over 100 countries, it has made a mark in the mind of people in the educational sector. It was established in 1873 and has since become a household name.

South African Rank: 11
World Rank: 1416

4. Rhodes University 

Rhodes University

Established on 31 May 1904, Rhodes University doesn’t have many students like the ones we listed earlier but it remains the sixth oldest university still in operation.

South African Rank: 10
World Rank: 1313

5. University of Western Cape

University of Western Cape

Established in 1959, this public university has made a name for itself by accomodating about 22000 students. It started during the apartheid era and was established by the government for colored people only. It is affiliated with the Association of Commonwealth Universities, Cape Higher Education Consortium, and International Association of Universities.

South African Rank: 9
World Rank: 1239

6. University of the Free State 

university-of-free-state Top 13 South African Universities Rankings

Located in Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa, this school was established in 1904. It was established as a school for the whites but was later de-segregated in 1996. It has 37,000 students enrolled and is nicknamed Kovsies.

South African Rank: 8
World Rank: 1163

7. North-West University 

North-West University

With NWU as an abbreviation, the public research university was established in 2004. It has 73,000 students enrolled and is affiliated with the Association of African Universities and Association of Commonwealth Universities.

South African Rank: 7
World Rank: 924

8. University of Johannesburg

University of Johannesburg

A popular public university that was established on 1 January 2005. Within a space of 15 years, it has enrolled over 51,000 students. Although it came to existence after the merge of Rand Afrikaans University (RAU), the Technikon Witwatersrand (TWR), and the Soweto and East Rand campuses of Vista University.

South African Rank: 6
World Rank: 674

9. University of Pretoria 

University of Pretoria Top 13 South African Universities Rankings

More than a hundred years ago, the University of Pretoria was established on 4 March 1908. Since then it has grown to over 13,000 administrative staff, 53,000 students, and 7 campuses.

South African Rank: 5
World Rank: 580

Read: List of universities with free tuition fees

10. University of KwaZulu-Natal 

University of KwaZulu-Natal

Coming up on our list of Top 13 South African Universities rankings is the University of KwaZulu-Natal. It came into existence officially on 1 January 2004 after the University of Natal and the University of Durban-Westville were merged. It has 5 campuses and over 46,000 students. Like other universities we mentioned earlier, it is affiliated with the Association of African Universities and Association of Commonwealth Universities.

South African Rank: 4
World Rank: 483

11. Stellenbosch University 

Top 13 South African Universities Rankings
Stellenbosch University. (Photo: Flickr)

Another public research university has made our list. Stellenbosch was established in 1918 but today has about 30,000 students enrolled and more than 2000 administrative staff.

South African Rank: 3
World Rank: 435

12. University of the Witwatersrand 

University of the Witwatersrand 

Many schools has been listed but it won’t be complete without adding the university of the Witwatersrand to the list. Established in 1922, it has its foundation in the mining industry. More than 40,000 students and over 1000 administrative staff make it among the best university in South Africa.

South African Rank: 2
World Rank: 292

13.  University of Cape Town 

University of Cape Town 

Coming at the last in the list doesn’t mean it’s the least but the best ranked in the list. The names might sound similar but this is quite a different institution from the university of western cape we mentioned earlier. It is the oldest university in South Africa as it was established on 1 October 1829 nearly 200 years ago. It has about 29,000 students and 3100 administrative staff.

South African Rank: 1
World Rank: 269


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