Top 10 Universities in South Africa

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Are you looking for somewhere to study in South Africa? Luckily for you, South Africa has a variety of great universities you can choose from. So here are the top 10 Universities in the country.


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There are 26 Universities in South Africa that span across its 9 provinces. South Africa has an excellent offering when it comes to higher education studies with a variety of programmes to choose from. 

Here are the top 10 Universities in South Africa, according to Times Higher Education's World University Rankings for 2023.

#1 - University of Cape Town

The University of Cape Town (UCT) is the top-ranked University in the country and is situated in Cape Town, Western Cape. UCT has a proud tradition of academic excellence and is currently the top-rated university in Africa and one of the top-rated universities in the world. 

From a bachelor's to a doctorate, UCT offers courses within various faculties: Education, Engineering & the Built Environment Faculty, Health Sciences, Science, Commerce, Law and Humanities.

#2 - Stellenbosch University

Stellenbosch University (SU) ranked second for the best Universities in South Africa with a campus life that is both vibrant and exciting. SU is located in the Western Cape. Stellenbosch is a historic university town located next to the Boland Mountains.

SU's faculties include the Faculty of Agrisciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Military Science and the Faculty of Theology.

#3 - University of the Witwatersrand

The University of Witwatersrand, also known as Wits, took third place for the best Universities in South Africa and is located in Gauteng with campuses in Braamfontein and Parktown.

Wits offer undergraduate, postgraduate and short courses in the following faculties: Health Sciences, Commerce, Law and Management, Engineering and the Built Environment, Humanities and Science.

#4 - University of Kwazulu-Natal

University of Kwazulu-Natal (UKZN), which is located across five campuses in Kwazulu-Natal offers certificates, diplomas and degrees. 

Their faculties available are Education, Engineering & the Built Environment, Health Sciences, Science, Commerce, Law, Humanities and Theology and Religion Faculties.

#5 - Durban University of Technology

At number 5, the Durban University of Technology (DUT) is the first of South Africa's Universities of Technology to rank. Situated in Kwazulu-Natal, offers many different departments as well as short courses.

DUT's faculties include: Faculty of Accounting and Informatics, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Design, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, Faculty of Health Sciences and the Faculty of Management Sciences.

#6 - University of Johannesburg

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) took 6th place in the rankings and is made up of three campuses. 

Their faculties include Education Faculty, Engineering & the Built Environment Faculty, Health Sciences Faculty, Science Faculty, Business and Economics Faculty, Law Faculty, Humanities Faculty and their Art, Design and Architecture Faculty.

#7 - North-West University

North-West University (NWU), situated in North West, sees students benefit from great choice and flexibility, enabling them to fulfill their potential and start preparing for their careers. 

They provide courses in the faculties of Economic and Management Sciences, Education, Engineering, Health Sciences, Humanities, Law, Natural and Agricultural Sciences and Theology.

#8 - University of Pretoria

At the University of Pretoria (UP), you will find a high-quality of teaching and learning in the classroom, online, or in communities.

You can find a variety of courses within the following faculties: Economic and Management Sciences, Education, Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology, Health Sciences, Humanities, Law, Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Theology and Religion and Veterinary Science.

#9 - University of the Western Cape

The University of the Western Cape (UWC) is located in Bellville, Cape Town and is a national university committed to excellence in teaching and learning. 

UWC offers Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees, as well as Honours, Masters, Doctorates, Higher Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Advanced Diplomas within their faculties: Arts, Community and Health, Dentistry, Economic and Management Sciences, Education, Law and Natural Science.

#10 - University of the Free State

The University of the Free State is more than 115 years old and is housed at three campuses in the province. The University of the Free State (UFS) creates opportunities and growth through leading learning and teaching, focused research, and impactful engagement with society.

They offer courses in a variety of faculties: Economic and Management Sciences, Education, Health Sciences, Humanities, Law, Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Theology and Religion, Business School.

These rankings are based on teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.

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