CARLA VISAGIE

If a walk underneath the scenic trees in Victoria doesn’t give Maties enough reason to study here,

Stellenbosch University (SU) has once again been ranked under the top universities in the world.

SU was ranked between the top 301 and 350 universities by the Times Higher Education (THE) rankings.

SU placed third best in South Africa, with only the University of Cape Town (156) and the University of the Witwaterstrand (201-250) placing higher.

A total of 1258 universities across the world participated in the rankings. Prof Hester Klopper, Deputy

Vice-Chancellor of Strategy and Internationalisation, said that only 20% of universities worldwide participated in the rankings.

SU’s ranking therefore distinguishes it as part of the top 1% of universities worldwide.

The five criteria used for therankings include teaching (learning environment), research (volume, income and reputation), citations(research influence), international outlook (staff, students and research)and industry income (knowledge transfer).According to Phil Baty, editor of THE, there is a gap for universal standards against which tomeasure the different universities ofthe world.

“The goal of the results is to give vital resources to students and their families as well as academics and university administrators and governments across the world. The rankings want to bring great insights into the strengths and shifting fortunes of individual-led universities,” Baty said. According to Dr Elmien Lesch, a psychology lecturer at SU, the academic success of SU can be ascribed to the internal relations on campus.

“Those rankings have more to do with academic performance like research and areas we do research on, but personally I think the university’s success can be ascribed to the fact that SU attends to students and teaching too,” Lesch said.

Infograph: Janique Oliver