Top 10 Best Universities in South Africa (Latest Ranking) – Webometrics



South African education system is one of the best in Africa with most of South African universities ranking high in the latest release of the top ranking universities in Africa. Some of the best universities in South Africa are well within the first 1000 universities in the world with the first being among the top 500. In as much as it may not sound so encouraging that the first ranking African University struggled to come within the first 500 in a US dominated list, it is still a something to be encouraged about as most universities in South Africa attract foreign students because of higher standards of learning. This ranking is purely based on Web metrics (Not Academic) which uses certain parameters including online presence and authority, availability of research online to rank the best universities in Africa and across the world. It is normal for some academically sound universities to lag behind using this parameter however, the aim is to facilitate the web presence, research and publishing of universities overall. Answers Africa brings you the latest ranking of the top 10 universities in South Africa based on their web metrics.

10. North-West University (NWU)


The North West University is a multi-campus university that covers two major South African provinces. The North West University was established on the 1st of January 2004 after the merger of Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education and the University of the North-West which are two universities with very different historical background and cultures. NWU is among the most diverse, best-managed and most innovative universities in South Africa.

The North West University offers students an exceptionally rich range of study choices at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels which span the spectrum of academic disciplines, from agriculture and the arts through to commerce, engineering, education, health, law, the natural sciences and theology.

 9. University of Johannesburg


The University of Johannesburg is surely one of the best universities in Africa. The University of Johannesburg (UJ), one of the largest, multi-campus, residential universities in South Africa and seeks to achieve the highest distinction in scholarship and research within the higher education context. The university provides the ideal ground for interdisciplinary research and the university has more than 90 rated researchers. The University fosters ideas that are rooted in African epistemology, but also addresses the needs of South African society and the African continent as it is committed to contribute to sustainable growth and development.

8. University of the Western Cape

University of the Western Cape

Located in the Bellville suburb of Cape Town, South Africa. The University of the Western Cape was established in 1960 by the South African government as a university for Coloured people only. Among academic higher institutions it has been in the vanguard of South Africa’s historic change, playing a distinctive academic role in helping to build an equitable and dynamic nation. University of the Western Cape’s key concerns with access, equity and quality in higher education arise from extensive practical engagement in helping the historically marginalised participate fully in the life of the nation.

7. Rhodes University

University Rhodes

Rhodes University is a 104-year old South African institution with a well-established reputation for academic excellence. Located in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, Rhodes is a small university which enjoys the distinction of having among the best undergraduate pass and graduation rates in South Africa, outstanding postgraduate success rates, and the best research output per academic staff member. This is testimony to the quality of students that Rhodes attracts and of academic provision, and to the commitment of Rhodes staff to student development and success.

 6. University of South Africa

University of South Africa

The University of South Africa (UNISA) is the largest university in Africa attracting one third of all higher education students in the entire South Africa with a student headcount of over 300,000 students, including African and international students in 130 countries worldwide, making it one of the world’s mega universities. Africa’s leading distance learning institution nurturing inspiring leaders of tomorrow. UNISA is a reputable, comprehensive, flexible and accessible open distance learning institution that is motivating a future generation and offers internationally accredited qualifications with world-class resources.

page 1
  • Kyle Farmer

    I don’t think CAPUT is a “real” uni, hence not taken into account.

  • Ricardo Van Hoepen

    Judging by a lot of people’s reading abilities I’d say those that rant down here are definitely not in the best university in the country. Instead of crying about it what you could have done is read the article top to bottom, then you would come across the word “Webometrics”. This unknown word would have caused concern and you would immediately type it into Google and see that it’s a university ranking website (yep, there are more than one and yes all of them have different ratings). You would also see on Wikipedia that webometrics tries to measure the WWW for usage patterns and structures, etc. University rankings are for overall impression of the university, not the quality of education. I’m an engineering student at Tuks, and I know for a fact that we have the best engineering facilities in this country, you don’t see me crying. So next time before you post on an article about something intellectual: Read, research, think and only then write.

  • Niels Nilsson

    you should know that for research purposes, wikipedia is not a realiable source of factual information.

  • Ermiyas Liranso

    tomorrow is another day we should not speak the same thing forever!what if a student who stands 2nd if he will perform can achieve best result that of who ranked 1 therefore 2013 the best Unvercity is stellenbosch !

  • Tshepiso Ofentse Mahika

    In the next few years,NWU will be in the top 5.

  • Dumisani Kunene

    How can Unisa beat mainstream universities. Hahaha
    Big up to UWC

  • Dumisani Kunene

    We all know. But its way better than a random webpage. These rankins are false

  • Ashley Dorrington

    The University of Cape Town (UCT) secured the 113th spot on the reputable global Times Higher Education World University Rankings list for 2012/2013. UCT is the academic home to more than 25 000 students. Of those, close to 20 percent are international students who come from over 100 different countries, both on the continent (over 40) and from abroad. They’re taught by close to 1,000 permanent academics employed by the university.
    Apart from offering the best sports management diploma in the world—an honor recently bestowed by the Eduniversal International Scientific Committee—UCT’s notable alumni include heart surgeon Christiaan Barnard and at least three Nobel Laureates, including biophysicist Sir Aaron Klug (also a WITS alum), the late Professor Alan MacLeod Cormack, and author JM Coetzee.

    On this list Stellenbosch is thrid, after Wits University at around 251-275 on the Times Higher Education world university rankings list.

  • Dumisani Kunene

    Im from UWC but I know what Webometrics is. But you must also read the title instead of chanting here

  • Megan Parker

    Firstly, nobody is disputing that UCT is a great University. Secondly, this is a web-presence and marketing ranking – not a publications ranking. Lastly, I must agree with Christiaan – Stellenbosch has been hampered by the bulk of its publications being in Afrikaans (due to its demographic focus). If you take those publications into account the picture changes radically. Case in point, last year the DHET (Department of Higher Education and Training) ranked Stellenbosch first – “Earlier this year, the DHET recognised Stellenbosch as the university with the highest weighted research output per full-time academic in South Africa.”. Just saying – apples with apples…

  • Wes

    As someone who went to Stellenbosch, I find the list wholly inaccurate. No way they are #1

  • Dominic Obojkovits

    Still no mate, UCT is 300 places above stellies, check any metrics

  • David Blyth

    If WIts claims to be in Johannesburg, “a world class city”, then it has lost credibility

  • Diane

    Total rubbish Stellenbosh lies behind UCT in first place and the Wits.

  • James

    The MIT of Africa TUKS

  • Bongani

    Stellenbosh should not be undermined like this, from the 17th century to this day and year of 2015 the institution still exists, UCT and Wits are performing.institutions no doubt but in this case Stellenbosh takes it, ranking number 400 in the world university ranking, thats not bad, its hope giving that one day we will be within the top 100.