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The University of Fort Hare (UFH) today announced that it continues to excel and in terms of research outperforms the other Eastern Cape Universities, based on the Scimago Institutions (SI) Rankings that were released for 2022.  The SI Rankings rank various international academic and research-related institutions in terms of research, innovation and societal impact to finally produce a composite score.

In the research category, when comparing the South African universities included in the index, UFH was ranked in the top position for Eastern Cape universities, and in the 11th position overall, followed by Walter Sisulu University (14th position), Nelson Mandela University (15th position) and Rhodes University (16th position). University Research Rankings - South Africa 2022 (scimagoir.com)

In the overall ranking for South African higher education institutions – which considers research, societal impact and innovation – UFH was clustered in the second quartile and appeared in the 12th position, followed by Nelson Mandela University in the 15th position and Walter Sisulu University in the 19 th position out of the 23 South African higher education institutions ranked.  Rhodes University, UFH’s neighbour, was ranked in the 11th position and secured the first place out of all the Eastern Cape universities. However, it was a very close call, with UFH trailing Rhodes University by only three positions.  University Rankings - South Africa 2022 (scimagoir.com)

Between 2021 and 2022, UFH increased its overall ranking by an outstanding 78 positions, climbing from the 767th position in 2021 to the 687th position in 2022 – a sign that in terms of research, innovation and societal impact, the University is on track.

Other South African Universities that also appeared in the first quartile for research excellence include Stellenbosch University, the University of Pretoria, and the University of Johannesburg (UJ), among others.  (University Research Rankings - Africa 2022 (scimagoir.com) .

On the composite rankings, out of 244 ranked institutions in Africa, UFH appeared in the second quartile in the 47 th position, outperforming the University of Lagos (57th position), Nelson Mandela University (59th position), The American University in Cairo (67th position) and Aswan University (73th position). University Rankings - Africa 2022 (scimagoir.com).

 “The University’s Management Executive Committee (MEC) and Council are very proud of the hard work that saw the University moving up rapidly in terms of our overall ranking and performing excellently in the research ranking of the Scimago Institutions Rankings (SI),” commented Professor Sakhela Buhlungu, UFH Vice-Chancellor.

Dr Nthabi Taole-Mjimba, UFH Deputy Vice-Chancellor:  Research, Partnerships and Innovation said the University will introduce strategic projects to further improve the University’s capacity to produce cutting-edge research and innovation.

“In our Decade of Renewal institutional master plan, we are recommitting ourselves to further build research capacity amongst staff to maintain and improve our research output trajectory. In fact, the University intends to spend R340 million on special projects over the next five years to bolster our research skills and capacity,” said Dr Taole-Mjimba.

“Some of the projects include mentorship and support programmes for early career and emerging researchers; empowering staff to complete PhD studies; and providing seed funding for research projects that is annually renewable.  While we have established partnerships with academic institutions in the global North, we are also busy setting up partnerships with more African and South African institutions. 

 Dr Nthabi Taole-Mjimba said skills development programmes for researchers and students also focus on writing, and the use of the latest research software programmes. 

“We are confident these interventions will propel the University to even greater heights so as to move up in various university rankings,” she said.