University of Johannesburg Kingsway campus students scuffle with security guards during the #feesmustfall protests in 2016. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/BEELD/FELIX DLANGAMANDLA
University of Johannesburg Kingsway campus students scuffle with security guards during the #feesmustfall protests in 2016. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/BEELD/FELIX DLANGAMANDLA

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has retained its place among the world’s top universities.

UJ was included in the 2018-19 edition of the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR)‚ which was released on Monday — and it shot up nearly 150 positions from its debut ranking a year ago.

The university ranked 790‚ up from 951.

"The ranking confirms that our strategic focus on accessible global excellence and stature is bearing fruit‚ a continuing focus of UJ over the next decade‚" vice-chancellor and principal of UJ‚ Prof Tshilidzi Marwala‚ said.

While this was an improvement and a move in the right direction‚ UJ was still behind five other South African universities.

The University of Cape Town ranked first in SA and 223 on the CWUR rankings‚ followed by the University of the Witwatersrand (230)‚ University of KwaZulu-Natal (402)‚ University of Pretoria (438) and Stellenbosch University (448).

North West University was ranked seventh in SA and 964 of the 1‚000 global universities.

Three US universities took the top three rankings: Harvard University was ranked first‚ followed by Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Since 2012‚ the CWUR has independently measured a university’s quality of education and training of students‚ as well as the prestige of its academic staff members and the quality of their research without relying on reputational surveys and university data submissions.

For the 2018-19 edition of the CWUR‚ 18‚000 higher education institutions were evaluated‚ among which only the best 1,000 research-intensive universities received a ranking.

CWUR employs seven performance indicators in its assessment and ranking of the world’s top universities‚ including quality of education‚ alumni employment research output‚ quality of publications and citations.