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Which is South Africa’s top university? Is it UCT or Wits? It depends who you ask, when you ask and which ranking system you use. Universities slide up and down the rankings from one year to the next and, with more than 30 such systems in place, take your pick. And yet the question is real for we live in a competitive society and a competitive world.Parents want to know which university is the best for their child or which law school offers the best legal education. Alumni take great pride in the institutions where they studied and want to know if their university is still among the best. Students like to brag among their peers that their university is top-ranked in the country, on the continent and in the world. So as much as university managers might say “we don’t really care about rankings”, all the top South African universities work very hard behind the scenes to position themselves favourably on the ShangaiRanking Academic Ranking of World Universities or the Times Higher Educ...

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