UJ’s Development Studies ranked amongst the world’s elite

As affirmation of the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) academic prowess, the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings by Subject for 2016, placed four of UJ’s subject offerings in the Top 300 subjects globally.

In the latest QS Subject Rankings, published on 22 March 2016, UJ was ranked among the world’s top 100 universities for its programme in Development Studies, a study field dealing with development efforts through reform, capacity building and empowerment.

“As a young institution, only 11 years old, this achievement is confirmation of the academic and research excellence that UJ strives for. We appreciate recognition from a respected international institution that reaffirms that the University is indeed a world-class institution that can compete with the best,” says Prof Ihron Rensburg, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, University of Johannesburg.

UJ ranks in the top 100 universities worldwide for its programme in Development Studies, and in the
top 300 for English Language and Literature programme, says Prof Alex Broadbent,
Executive Dean: Faculty of Humanities at the University of Johannesburg.

From a global point of view, it is remarkable that in Development Studies, UJ competes with elite universities such as Imperial College London (ranked 8th globally) and the University of Pennsylvania (ranked 18th globally).

Furthermore, UJ achieved a top 300 subject ranking globally for English Language and Literature, top 300 for Education and top 200 globally for Geography.

Given the fact that this is the third time UJ has been evaluated at the level of subject areas, this achievement is exceptional and affirms the international stature of UJ’s offerings in these and other subject areas.

Rankings in South Africa

Viewed from a national perspective, UJ is one of fewer than 10 South African universities with subject areas featured among the world’s top 300 institutions of higher learning.

UJ’s subjects Development Studies and Geography have done exceptionally well, ranked in third place nationally.

Development Studies ranked in top 100 programmes worldwide, English in top 300

“Development Studies is our top-ranked subject at UJ and in the top 100 in the QS rankings. This is appropriate because the subject of Development Studies is central to what the University of Johannesburg is about: how to improve societies. With this ranking we are taking another big step in achieving global excellence and stature,” says Prof Alex Broadbent Executive Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, UJ.

“We are ranked in the top 300 for English Literature,” he continues.

“English literature is about seeing the world through the eyes of others, getting into the character of another person and having experiences which you would not otherwise have. This is one of the central contributions a university can make to a society: the ability to understand others. We now have global recognition for this subject area and I congratulate the academics working within Development Studies and English Literature.”

Geography ranked in top 200 programmes worldwide

The top-200 subject ranking for the programme in Geography was contributed to by research in both
Geography and Environmental Management, which make important contributions to the field of
Development and Sustainability in the context of national issues of poverty, inequality and injustice,”
​says Dr Clare Kelso, Deputy Head of Department, Department of Geography, Environmental
​Management & Energy Studies, UJ.​

“The QS Subject ranking is an indication of the international recognition of research within the Department of Geography, Environmental Management & Energy Studies, which our post-graduate students contribute to,” says Dr Clare Kelso, Deputy Head of Department at UJ.

“The Department is known for its research in Environmental Management, Conservation, Environmental History, Sustainability and Tourism Geography.

“As a Department researching Geography and Environmental Management, we make important contributions to the field of Development and Sustainability in the context of global environmental problems such as climate change, bio-diversity depletion and national issues of poverty, inequality and injustice.”

Education ranked in top 300 programmes worldwide​​​​​

Research and the employability of graduates at rank in the top 300 programmes worldwide,
​says Prof Sarah Gravett, Executive Dean of the Faculty at the University of Johannesburg.​
“We see it as our role to transform education in South Africa, and the best way to do that is to deliver excellent teachers for the profession. I think we do that well: 93% of our students are employed within three months of graduation,” says Professor Sarah Gravett, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Education, UJ.“With our research we focus on transforming education and producing knowledge that is usable in this country. We were recently awarded a SARChI Chair in Childhood Education, focusing on Language, Mathematics and Science teaching at primary school level. Prof Henning is the chair-holder. We have another SARChI Chair in Childhood Education, focusing on education and care, held by Prof Jace Pillay.

“Other strong areas in our Faculty are Science Education and research on support to vulnerable children and children struggling at school. An emerging strong area for us is Higher Education as a field of study.”

About the QS Subject Rankings

The QS World University Rankings by Subject evaluates universities at a more granular level, looking at excellence in teaching and learning in subject areas. For this sixth edition of the QS World University Rankings by Subject, 4 226 universities were evaluated across 42 subject areas, with only 945 institutions achieving publication for their subject fields by QS.​​



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