Study in South Africa

Situated at the southern tip of Africa, South Africa is bordered on three sides by nearly 3,000 km of coastline washed by both the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic.

Hosting the World Cup in 2010 pushed South Africa into the global eye, and did much to promote the country’s attractions, culture and food.

South Africa boasts an incredible 11 languages and more than a dozen tribes call it their home. South Africa is nicknamed the “rainbow nation” in recognition of its unique multicultural character.

A popular choice for students, South Africa is perfect for people with a thirst for the outdoors. From safaris to intrepid mountain explorations, students can enjoy picturesque scenery. Meanwhile South Africa’s major cities offer lively nightlife and entertainment scenes.

One of the best universities in South Africa is the University of Cape Town, based in one of the three bustling capitals. South Africa’s oldest city, Cape Town, is home to a cosmopolitan population enjoying its vibrant culture and nightlife. It is also home to other top-ranking universities including the University of the Western Cape, and Stellenbosch University.

South Africans are also known for their passion for sports, especially football, cricket and rugby union, and they are all a prominent part of university life.

Famous sons and daughters of South Africa include former President of South Africa and philanthropist Nelson Mandela, and movie actress Charlize Theron.

Globe showing map of Africa, Best universities in Africa

Times Higher Education World University Rankings data reveal the top 15 universities in Africa

Browse the top-ranked universities in this location

Click a university to view more information and to browse its full World University Rankings profile

Top universities in South Africa

UniversityRank*
University of Cape Town148th
University of the Witwatersrand =182nd
Stellenbosch University401-500th
University of KwaZulu-Natal501-600th
University of Johannesburg601-800th
*University's current rank in the overall World University Rankings

View the World University Rankings 2016-2017

Statistics about South Africa

  • Expenditure on education out of total expenditure 19.11%
  • Of which, on higher education 12.19%
  • Enrollment rate in higher education 19.66%
  • Population 54,956,920
  • Unemployment 25.1%
  • Annual GDP 1.26%
Data source: The World Bank