South Africa's school-leavers rate the University of Stellenbosch as their most desired study destination in South Africa, according to a survey of popular campuses.
Stellenbosch was picked by 22 per cent of those questioned, followed by the universities of Pretoria (17 per cent) and Wi****ersrand (15 per cent).
The University of Cape Town, which came third in the first study last year, slipped to fourth place, followed by the universities of Porchefstroom, Rand Afrikaans, Free State, Natal, Rhodes and the distance learning University of South Africa. The University of Zululand featured for the first time.
The ranking is compiled by the Johannesburg media analysis company Newsclip Media Monitoring. It aims to provide information to higher education institutions that want to raise their profile.
The Matriculant Profiles 2002 report looked at 1,700 top-scoring school-leavers who were interviewed between December 2002 and February 7 2003.
It notes where and what they had chosen to study, their province of origin and which school they attended. This year's report is based on a wider sample than the first.
Newsclip managing director Lynne Dabbs warned that with only two years covered by the study, it was still too early to discern definite trends.
KwaZulu-Natal, the most populous province in South Africa, produces students with a propensity to study elsewhere in the country - and just over half of them chose Cape Town.
There was an increase in the number of school-leavers who wanted to study abroad - from 0.2 per cent last year to 1.3 per cent.
An increased number of school-leavers said they wanted to study economics and management sciences, and health sciences, while interest in engineering and the built environment declined.