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The rise and rise of Unisa: University Impact Rankings 2024 rate Unisa top 6 in SA

Unisa has long been a cornerstone of higher education in Africa, but recent accolades and achievements under the leadership of Professor Puleng LenkaBula, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Unisa,  have firmly established it as a competitive force on the global academic stage. Through LenkaBula's vision of reclaiming Unisa's place at the top tier of higher education institutions, the university is rapidly evolving and acknowledged globally as a leading university that not only meets but exceeds international standards of excellence in education, research, innovation and sustainability.

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In its University Impact Rankings for 2024, Times Higher Education (THE) listed universities that excel across multiple United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). According to THE, the listed institutions stand out in individual areas but also demonstrate comprehensive excellence in contributing to global sustainable development.

Affirming the university's global impact, THE's University Impact Rankings for 2024 have placed Unisa at number six, making it a tie with the Nelson Mandela University in South Africa and in the 601- 800 bands globally. In its World University Rankings 2024 by subject announced on 26 October 2023, THE ranked Unisa between 1001-1200 globally, noting that the university moved up from 12th to 11th position nationally. The University Impact Rankings, therefore, attest to Unisa's notable growth in the higher education landscape.

THE says: "By excelling in various SDGs, Unisa showcased its commitment to addressing the world's most pressing challenges, including environmental sustainability, social inclusion, economic growth and partnerships." In this regard, Unisa's sixth position in South Africa underscores the importance of holistic approaches to global challenges and highlights the critical role of academia in driving sustainable change.

THE evaluated 2,152 universities from 125 countries/regions to produce the overall Impact Ranking 2024. THE's methodology for the overall Impact Rankings integrates scores across multiple SDGs to reflect overall performance and impact. Unisa has demonstrated the strongest impact and contribution on SDGs 5 (gender equality), 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions), 4 (quality education) and 17 (partnerships for the goals). In this regard, THE says: "The ranking celebrates Unisa as a leader in specific SDGs and that it maintains a high level of excellence across a broad spectrum of goals."

With a steadfast commitment to academic excellence, social responsibility, and global engagement driven by the visionary leadership of LenkaBula, Unisa remains devoted to reclaiming its place at the top tier of higher education institutions in Africa and globally.


*By Tshimangadzo Mphaphuli, Editor: Internal Communication, Department of Institutional Advancement

Publish date: 2024/07/08

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