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Unisa maintains strong position in Webometrics world ranking

Focusing on three main benchmarks – visibility, transparency or openness, and excellence – the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, in its first edition for 2024, places Unisa in the 7th position in both South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, and at 801st among more than 31 000 universities worldwide.

Unisa maintained its position in the top 1 000 internationally among the 124 South African institutions of higher learning (including also colleges and academies, both private and public) ranked by Webometrics.

Webometrics is the largest academic ranking of higher education institutions, offering every six months an independent, objective, free, open scientific exercise for providing reliable, multidimensional, updated and useful information about the performance of universities from all over the world

The ranking is an initiative of the Cybermetrics Lab, which is part of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), the largest public research body in Spain. CSIC is attached to the Spanish Ministry of Education, and its main objective is to promote scientific research to improve the welfare of citizens.

Since 2004, the ranking has been published twice a year, covering more than 31 000 higher education institutions worldwide.

The research group says that the ranking is exclusively based on “link analysis for quality evaluation, as it is a far more powerful tool than citation analysis or global surveys. In the first case, bibliometrics only counts formal recognition between peers, while links not only includes bibliographic citations but also third parties’ involvement with university activities.”

The group focused on three main benchmarks for the first edition of its 2024 ranking:

  • Visibility or impact of web content: The number of external networks (subnets) linking to the institution’s web pages (weighted at 50%). Unisa achieved a visibility rank of 1 256.
  • Transparency or openness: The number of citations from the top 310 authors, excluding the top 30 outliers based on Google Scholar profiles (10%). Unisa achieved a transparency rank of 972.
  • Excellence: The number of papers amongst the top 10% most cited in each one of the 27 disciplines of the full database over the last five years (40%). Unisa achieved an excellence rank of 848.

The University of Cape Town (UCT) was the top-ranked university in the country, followed by the University of the Witwatersrand, Stellenbosch University and the University of Pretoria. These were the only South African universities ranked within the top 500 globally.

Within the top 1 000, the University of KwaZulu-Natal, the University of Johannesburg, Unisa and the University of the Western Cape follow.

Click here to view all the South African rankings


* Compiled by Philip van der Merwe, Editor, Department of Institutional Advancement

Publish date: 2024/02/01