UJ earns recognition again as one of the world’s best youngest universities

​The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has been recognised yet again as one of the leading and rising young universities in the world, according to two authoritative global ranking systems of young universities aged 50 years or younger, the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Under 50 Rankings 2021 and the Times Higher Education (THE) Young University Rankings 2020. These latest rankings results place UJ in the global top 70 and top 200 of young universities, respectively. Both rankings results were released on Wednesday, 24 June 2020.

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These rankings celebrate and shine a spotlight on those young emergent universities, founded after 1970, that exhibit extraordinary potential and are moving forward in leaps and bounds, rapidly growing in size and stature in the global higher education landscape. They are also steadily gaining ground on the world’s top-ranked, well-established and well-resourced institutions with centuries of history and entrenched global academic reputation. These rankings thus illuminate the outstanding achievements made by universities that have not enjoyed the same historical advantages as these counterparts.

In its fifth appearance this year, UJ jumped two bands climbing its way into the top 70 by 20 places from the 81-90 band into the 61-70 band in this year’s 2021 edition of the QS Under 50 Rankings, further cementing its place among the top young universities worldwide. Notably, UJ is the only African university to feature on this top 150 list. From a global standpoint, UJ remarkably rubs shoulders with the likes of Western Sydney University, University of Canberra and Auckland University of Technology, which all sit in close proximity to each other in the table.

The methodology is the same as that used for the QS World University Rankings, but in this case only those universities that are 50 years old or under are considered.

Earlier this month, UJ rose 62 places, breaking into the world’s top 500 for the first time ranked impressively at position 439 globally in this year’s recently released QS World University Rankings 2021. Significantly, UJ climbed into the country’s top three, clinching the #3 spot in South Africa – a record high national standing for UJ in any global ranking system.

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UJ retained its position among the top 200 leading youngsters, remaining inside the 151-200 band in this year’s 2020 edition of the prestigious Times Higher Education (THE) Young University Rankings. The 2020 ranking lists the 414 best performing young universities in the world, up from 351 in last year’s 2019 edition. Nationally, UJ features alongside three other South African universities this year, joined again by the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and, for the first time, by North-West University (NWU), which made its entry this year.

The methodology is similar to that used for the flagship Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings in that it adopts the same set of 13 criteria grouped into the five areas of Teaching, Research, Citations, International Outlook, and Industry Income. The distinction being how the weightings are assigned to these criteria, which have been slightly adjusted to better exemplify the unique traits and national imperatives of newer universities, placing greater significance on the teaching and learning environment and on research productivity, and lesser emphasis on those subjective and entrenched criteria relating to academic opinion on teaching and research reputation.

As a young university, celebrating its 15th year in 2020, these latest accolades are testament to the hard work and superlative accomplishments of our staff and students in their fervent pursuit of global excellence and stature in teaching and learning, research, innovation and impact. These rankings demonstrate that UJ has been making its mark and has emerged as a strong challenger to the global established hierarchies.

See the full QS Under 50 Rankings 2021 list here.

See the full THE Young University Rankings 2020 list here

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