SU is ranked number 23 out of 606 institutions from countries or regions classified as “advanced emerging”, “secondary emerging” or “frontier” – having improved steadily since 2017 when it came in at number 42. Six of the country’s institutions are ranked among the top 100. Described as the “most competitive THE Emerging Economies Universities Rankings so far” by THE’s Chief Knowledge Officer Phil Baty, the 2021 ranking includes a record number of institutions, representing a 14% increase from 2020 (533). In 2020, SU cemented its place among the top universities in the world when it appeared on three major global university rankings, namely the Academic Ranking of World Universities (also known as the Shanghai Rankings), the THE World University Rankings, and the US News & World Report Best Global Universities Ranking.
Stellenbosch University (SU) is home to an academic community of 29 000 students (including 4 000 foreign students from 100 countries) as well as 3 000 permanent staff members (including 1 000 academics) on five campuses. The historical oak-lined university town amongst the Boland Mountains in the winelands of the Western Cape creates a unique campus atmosphere, which attracts local and foreign students alike. On the main campus, paved walkways wind between campus buildings – some dating from previous centuries; others just a few years old. Architecture from various eras attests to the sound academic foundation and establishment of an institution of excellence. This, together with the scenic beauty of the area; state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly facilities and technology, as well as visionary thinking about the creation of a sustainable 21st-century institution, makes for the unique character of Stellenbosch University.
SU is known as a residential campus with an active residential life, which makes residence placement sought-after among students. As the residence demand far exceeds supply, and in line with new learning needs, SU is in the process of converting its Stellenbosch campus into an integrated learning and living space. Residences and private wards are grouped into clusters, each with its own cluster hub, where residence and day students are able to study, meet and socialise.
SU’s graduates are sought-after in the workplace. However, the University also aims to deliver engaged citizens and responsible leaders, who are willing to use their expertise and skills to serve society. Therefore, students are encouraged to engage with the community through MAD² (Making A Decision 2 Make A Difference) and Matie Community Service as well as service learning and community interaction within their respective disciplines.