UKZN ranked the top THE Young University in SA

KZN has been listed number one in South Africa on the 2025 Times Higher Education (THE) Young University Rankings and 61 out of the 475 universities worldwide on the listings.

THE Young University Rankings lists the world’s best universities that are 50 years old and younger. A total of 68 countries/regions featured in the rankings this year.

UKZN, which ranked ahead of the Durban University of Technology, North-West University, the University of Johannesburg and Tshwane University of Technology, is the only South African university to feature in the Top 100 and has improved on its 2020 position of 71.

Key performance areas assessed are teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. UKZN received high scores in the areas of teaching and research and also performed well in the international outlook indicator.

Commenting on the excellent achievement, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation at UKZN Professor Mosa Moshabela, highlighted the importance of the merger between the former universities of Natal (1910-2004) and Durban-Westville (1972-2003), which produced the successful ‘young’ University of UKZN on 1 January 2004.

“It gives me great comfort that UKZN is doing well from a global perspective and that staff and students are persisting with ongoing collective efforts to grow the university both in stature and impact. On behalf of the university, I thank THE sincerely for their continued efforts.”

Top of the THE Young University rankings this year is Nanyang Technological University in Singapore – a first-time achievement for the institution, while Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University Paris ranked second, up from third last year. The United Kingdom has the highest number of universities in the rankings, with 37 institutions listed, followed by India with 34 and Spain 33.

THE Young University Rankings applies the same methodology as the flagship World University Rankings to assess research-intensive universities across all their core missions.

Times Higher Education is the leading provider of higher education data for the world’s research-led institutions.

For more information, visit https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/2025/young-university-rankings.

UKZN

An innovative curricula, dynamic teaching and learning, state-of-the-art laboratories and accredited professional degrees have earned UKZN the reputation as a leading higher education institution on the African continent. The University is a top-ranked state-funded university in South Africa for research productivity. Research activities span the natural, biomedical, humanities and social sciences.

The University’s international partnerships with institutions in 46 countries provide an opportunity for direct interface and global academic exchange that enhances scholarship and the student experience.

UKZN – a multi-campus residential university located in Durban and Pietermaritzburg – is structured on a College model with four Colleges, ie the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, College of Health Sciences, the College of Humanities and the College of Law and Management Studies. Each College comprises four to six cognate schools and offer a comprehensive range of about 2 000 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes across the five campuses of Edgewood, Howard College, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, Pietermaritzburg and Westville.

For further information contact: Sejal Desai, Media Liaison Officer on desaisej@ukzn.ac.za


Overview of Public Universities in South Africa

Here's an overview of some public universities in South Africa, including general admissions requirements and estimated application periods. Keep in mind, specific program requirements and dates can vary significantly, so it's important to check each university's official website for the most current information.

University of Pretoria

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with minimum scores in specific subjects related to the chosen program; for international students, equivalent qualifications.
  • Application Period: Usually opens in March and closes at the end of July for most programs.

University of Cape Town

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with pass levels required for degree study; subject-specific requirements depending on the program.
  • Application Period: Application opens in April and closes at the end of July.

Stellenbosch University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required marks; some programs have additional testing.
  • Application Period: Opens in March and typically closes at the end of June.

University of the Witwatersrand

  • Admissions Requirements: Matriculation certificate with university exemption; required scores vary by faculty.
  • Application Period: Begins in March and ends on the 30th of September.

University of Johannesburg

  • Admissions Requirements: Matric exemption with a minimum APS score; specific subject requirements based on the faculty.
  • Application Period: Opens in April and generally closes by the 30th of September.

University of the Free State

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific marks for the program applied to; additional requirements for certain courses.
  • Application Period: Typically opens in April and closes at the end of August.

University of Venda

  • Admissions Requirements: Completion of the National Senior Certificate with an endorsement for diploma or degree studies; specific APS scores needed.
  • Application Period: Usually from May to September.

University of Fort Hare

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with university exemption; certain programs may have specific requirements.
  • Application Period: Opens around May and closes at the end of September.

University of the Western Cape

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific performance levels; additional requirements for certain programs.
  • Application Period: Generally from May to September.

North-West University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with university exemption; program-specific requirements may apply.
  • Application Period: Opens in March and usually closes by the end of August.

Rhodes University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate or equivalent; minimum academic performance in certain subjects.
  • Application Period: Applications open in April and close at the end of September.

Nelson Mandela University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required scores for chosen programs; portfolio or additional tests for some faculties.
  • Application Period: Opens in April, with a deadline at the end of August for most programs.

Cape Peninsula University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific scores; additional requirements for certain courses.
  • Application Period: Opens in May and typically closes by the end of September.

University of Limpopo

  • Admissions Requirements: Senior Certificate with endorsement for diploma or degree courses; specific APS scores for different programs.
  • Application Period: From April to September.

University of Zululand

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with an endorsement for bachelor’s degree studies; specific score requirements for various programs.
  • Application Period: Usually between April and November.

Central University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific scores for the chosen field of study; additional criteria for certain programs.
  • Application Period: Application period generally starts in May and ends in October.

Vaal University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with a pass that qualifies for admission to bachelor’s degree, diploma, or higher certificate programs.
  • Application Period: Typically from May to September.

Walter Sisulu University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required scores for chosen programs; additional criteria for certain faculties.
  • Application Period: From April to September.

This list provides a starting point for understanding the admissions landscape across South Africa's diverse higher education institutions. Given the variability in programs and requirements, it's crucial to consult each university's website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.