Prestigious ranking places Unisa in the top eight in SA

The QS World University Rankings are published annually by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), a British education consultancy business, and is widely regarded as one of the world's most prominent university rankings.


The QS World University Rankings are widely recognised as one of the most influential university ranking systems, evaluating institutions based on factors such as academic reputation, employment outcomes, international research network and citation per faculty, among other ranking criteria.

In the latest ranking results, the QS World University Rankings have placed Unisa within the 851- 900 band, a testament to the hard work and commitment demonstrated by the university’s academics in the pursuit of academic excellence, and in maintaining the university’s stature of being the leading distance learning institution in the world. Compared to other universities in the country rated in the ranking, Unisa places eighth, ahead of Rhodes University (901-950), the University of the Western Cape (951-1000) and the University of the Free State (1001-1200), respectively.

In comparison to African universities, Unisa and the Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, share the 851-900 band in 11th position.

The university has made significant upward trajectories in the following criteria: 

  • International research network: 81.8
  • Employment outcomes: 66.6

The university achieved significant rankings in the following subject fields:

  • Education and Training: 301-350
  • Materials Science: 351-400
  • Physics and Astronomy: 501-550
  • Chemistry: 601-630

 In the sustainability rankings, Unisa was recognised in the following criteria, among other fields: 

  • Knowledge exchange: 70.6
  • Impact of education: 62.9
  • Health and wellbeing: 51.9

Prof Thenjiwe Meyiwa, Vice-Principal: Research, Postgraduate Studies, Innovation and Commercialisation, stated that the QS World University Rankings, like other recent positive international rankings the university has received, demonstrated Unisa’s commitment to research excellence.

In addition, Meyiwa said that Unisa’s academics continue to produce research that is relevant and of an international standard, which is an important drawcard in attracting quality academics and students to the university.

Meyiwa said that she salutes all academics at the university for this remarkable achievement and hopes that 2024 will continue to see the university’s rise in global rankings.

* By Godfrey Madibane, Acting Journalist, Department of Institutional Advancement, analysis by the Directorate: Research Support

Publish date: 2023/12/19

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