U.S. News & World Report released their 2019 Best Global Universities Rankings (BGUR) on Tuesday 30 October 2018 with the University of Johannesburg (UJ) featuring strongly.
UJ has climbed an astounding 60 places from a global rank of 457 in last year’s 2018 edition to a global rank of 397 in this year’s 2019 edition, breaking into the Top 400 in the world.
This marks UJ’s fourth appearance in this ranking and the first time UJ has set foot in the Top 400 in any global ranking system, making this UJ’s best rankings outcome and highest rank attained ever and across all global ranking systems. UJ is now ranked fifth in South Africa, moving up one position from sixth last year, displacing the University of Pretoria (UP). UJ has also risen two places regionally, climbing from seventh to fifth place in Africa, overtaking Cairo University and the University of Pretoria (UP).
UJ improved across the board, bettering its global ranking positions in each of the 13 ranking indicators. Notable improvements were seen for: ‘percentage of total publications that are among the top 10% most cited’ – climbing 128 places to a global rank of 480; ‘percentage of total publications that are among the top 1% most cited highly cited papers’ – climbing 113 places to a global rank of 372; and ‘international collaboration’ – climbing 111 places to a global rank of 376.
In its fifth year, the 2019 Best Global Universities Rankings encompass and evaluate the top 1250 universities, unchanged from last year, spread across 75 countries; providing a comprehensive assessment of the top research-intensive universities worldwide. This ranking focuses purely on institutions’ academic research and reputation, and not on teaching and learning components. Each institution was evaluated, using 13 ranking indicators, based on its academic research performance and its ratings by members of the academic community around the world and in the region.
In addition to the global ranking, UJ was also ranked in the accompanying Subject Rankings for the following three subjects:
- Social Sciences and Public Health: ranked 310th globally, an impressive climb of 62 places from last year’s global rank of 372.
(Topics in both the social and health sciences are included, such as social policy, political science, education, demographics, law, and public health and administration, as well as research dealing with ethics and the social aspects of health and addiction.)
- Physics: ranked 319th globally, a climb of one place from last year’s global rank of 320.
(The physics category comprises journals dealing with both the classical and modern theories on the subject. From the classical studies on Galilean relativity, thermodynamics and Newton’s laws of motion to the modern studies of quantum mechanics and Einsteinian relativity, publications within this category deal with the properties and interactions of matter and energy.)
- Chemistry: ranked 339th globally, a phenomenal climb of 167 places from last year’s global rank of 506, and ranked first in the country and on the continent!
(Both theoretical and applied studies come together to create the chemistry category. These journals include topics from nuclear, organic and physical chemistry as well as analytical chemistry and the isolation and analysis of clinically significant molecules.)
This year, 12 South African universities are ranked, with the addition of Nelson Mandela University (NMU) making its debut. The University of Cape Town (UCT) was the only South African university that declined in global rank, albeit only by one place to a global rank of 114 and remains first in Africa and South Africa. The other South African universities all moved up in these rankings, with the exception of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) – which maintained its global standing at 336th place. Notably, the University of South Africa (UNISA) climbed 88 places from a global rank of 1034 to a global rank of 946; North-West University (NWU) climbed 73 places from a global rank of 781 to a global rank of 708; and the University of the Free State (UFS) advanced 58 places from a global rank of 1019 to a global rank of 961.