Graduate jobs South Africa
University of Cape Town (Getty Images)
  • University of Cape Town graduates are more likely to be employed than alumni from other institutions in Africa, according to the latest Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) rankings.
  • The university held onto its top spot on the continent for a second consecutive year, despite dropping four places in the global standings.
  • The University of Witwatersrand came in second place, far ahead of Stellenbosch University, the University of Johannesburg, and the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
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The University of Cape Town (UCT) produces the most employable graduates in Africa, according to the latest Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Graduate Employability Rankings.

UCT has placed within the top 100 global Graduate Employability Rankings for the second consecutive time. Ranked at 95 – four places lower than the last study in 2020 – UCT remains the institution which produces the most employable graduates in South Africa and on the continent.

The QS ranking system, which analyses higher education institutions and is regarded as one of the most influential university rankings in the world, uses five indicators to determine graduate employability.

Employer reputation, which asks companies to identify institutions from which they source the most competent, innovative, effective graduates, is a primary indicator, accounting for 30% of the overall score. This metric is based on more than 75,000 responses to the QS Employer Survey.

Alumni outcomes are based on an analysis of the world's most innovative, creative, wealthy, entrepreneurial, and philanthropic individuals and which universities they graduated from. This indicator, which tracks 40,000 individuals, counts for 25% of the overall score.

Equally weighted is the "Partnerships with Employers per Faculty" metric which analyses successful collaboration between universities and global companies. Employer-student connections and the graduate employment rate each account for 10% of the total score.

UCT scores highest in alumni outcomes (90.3) and graduate employment rate (90.2), while lower points for employer-student connections (64.8) and employer reputation (39) gives the institution an overall score of 59.1.

In the global standings, this puts UCT between South Korea's Hanyang University (ranked 96) and Spain's Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (ranked 94).

"I am delighted to see that UCT has again ranked among the best institutions in the world for the quality of its graduates," said Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng in reaction to the latest rankings, which skipped 2021 due to theCovid-19 pandemic.

"This result reflects the calibre of education students receive at UCT and how sought-after they are by employers."

Gradaute jobs
Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Graduate Employability Rankings 2022 (Africa)

Within the African context, UCT stands supreme although data used to determine indicator scores for most other universities on the continent is scarce. When data is missing, QS uses conservative estimates based on calculations from records available from institutions.

The University of Witwatersrand (Wits) comes second to UCT in Africa, with a graduate employability ranking in the 191 to 200 band. Wits does, however, score higher than UCT in the alumni outcomes indicator, with 93.9 points. Wits' employer reputation score is lower than UCT's at 27.6.

The American University in Cairo (201 to 250) and University of Nairobi in Kenya (251 to 300) place third and fourth, respectively.

The University of Pretoria is ranked fifth on the continent in the 251 to 300 band, with an alumni outcomes score of 61.7 and an employer reputation score of 35.3.

Another Egyptian institution, Ain Shams University, is ranked sixth in the 301 to 500 band. Stellenbosch University, the University of Johannesburg, and the University of KwaZulu-Natal are ranked 7 to 9 respectively in the same band as Ain Shams University.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) takes the top spot globally, with full marks for its alumni outcomes and employability.

(Compiled by Luke Daniel)

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