The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) has secured the number one spot in Africa on the prestigious Times Higher Education (THE) Young University Rankings which lists the world’s best universities that are 50 years old or younger.

The 2019 ranking- which includes 351 universities, up from 250 in 2018- sees UKZN as the only African university to feature on the top 100 list. Sitting pretty at number 85, UKZN ties with the University of Rome III, Italy.

THE Young University Rankings also includes a subset for Millennial universities (created after 2000) in which UKZN ranked number 25.

Times Higher Education is the leading provider of Higher Education data for the world’s research-led institutions. A company behind the world’s most influential university rankings with almost five decades of experience as a source of analysis and insight on Higher Education, THE boasts unparalleled expertise on the trends underpinning university performance globally.

The Times Higher Education Young University Rankings table is based on the same 13 performance indicators as the flagship THE World University Rankings, however, the weightings have been adjusted to give less weight to reputation.

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology leads the pack, holding the number one spot for the second year in a row, while École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne; Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; and Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University Paris remain in second, third and fourth place respectively.

In Africa, UKZN is followed by two other South African universities which both feature on the 151-200 list. No other African universities made the cut.

The UK is once again the most-represented country overall on the list with 34 universities- three more than last year- led by Brighton and Sussex Medical School in joint 36th place. France is now second with 24 universities, while Australia and Spain are joint third with 22. Overall, 60 countries across Europe, Australasia, Asia, North America, Latin America and Africa feature in the eighth annual edition of the table, up from 55 last year.

Sorbonne University is the only newcomer in the top 20, joining at ninth place.

Author: Sinegugu Ndlovu and Sejal Desai