For the first time a South African university has appeared in the THES-QS World University Rankings, which ranks all universities across the world.
The University of Cape Town shares 200th place in the world rankings with RMIT University of Australia. UCT is the first African university to feature in the rankings, which are four years old. There are only 3 other universities in the top 200 that are classified as from the developing world, two in Brazil and one from Mexico.
The top 10 is dominated by the US and UK with Harvard as the world's top university for the fourth time in succession, with Cambridge, Oxford and Yale universities all tied for second place.
Several significant Asian universities have risen markedly in the table including Hong Kong, up 15 places to 18th.
A total of 28 nations have at least one institution in the 200. Virtually every university in Australia is in the rankings, with 12 representatives, while the Netherlands, with 11, emerges as continental Europe's principal power in higher education.
According to Martin Ince, of the Times Higher Education Supplement "The 2007 THES-QS World University Rankings are the most rigorous and complete so far. They show that the US and UK model of independent universities supported with significant state funding produces great results, but they also prove that academic excellence is found on every continent.'
According to Michael Mooney, international adviser to Waseda University in Tokyo, one of 11 Japanese universities in the 200, this total may rise in future years as university managers in Asia note the success of US, UK and Australian institutions.
"Across Asia, universities, as well as entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and governments, are studying and emulating the Anglo-American model. About 50 countries in the world have universities of international significance, yet only about half have one in the top 200, and only six make a showing among the top 20. I would expect this to change in the next few years, with more Asian universities in prominent positions," said Mooney.
The full top 200 is available on the QS website www.topuniversities.com