– by Nkosingiphile Ntshangase
University rankings play a significant role in the realm of higher education, internationally and locally. A highly acclaimed institution comes with great responsibility and reputation, and its importance has far-reaching effects. Institutions of Higher Education can commoditise their rankings when trying to outreach to companies, organisations, or individuals. In this competitive landscape, rankings play a crucial role in attracting students and shaping the conversation surrounding education in the future.
This year, the University of KwaZulu-Natal had the pleasure of being ranked the 4th best University in South Africa for 2021/22 according to the Centre for World University Rankings. These rankings hold value as they serve as a reference when comparing institutions for specific reasons. As much as rankings can be subjective, there is an assortment of indicators that contribute to the conclusion of what is considered a good quality institution of Higher Education. According to University World News, the quality of the University is often deciphered by the standard of research produced, which is influenced by the number of peer-reviewed publications. It is no secret that the University of KwaZulu-Natal is a top-ranked South African University for research productivity.
Rankings have a long-lasting effect on the reputation of institutions and shape the perceptions and opinions of the public. It is important for an educational institution to remain at the top of the list as it is responsible for cultivating the minds that will contribute to society. Universities take pride in the quality of graduates and research productivity it produces. As a subsidiary of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, UKZN Extended Learning ensures that the level of education facilitated is at the same standard.