Rankings of higher education institutions are important for students, research administrations, industry and academics. A number of rankings are published internationally, most of which aim to identify the top universities in the world.
Developing countries are also interested for relevant rankings that could assist them to develop appropriate higher education policies.
In this article we develop a ranking approach based on citations received for articles produced by universities in a variety of scientific disciplines. The approach is relatively simple and has the potential to guide policy.
In this context this article identifies the international standing of the South African universities in the various scientific
disciplines, compares them with their standing over time and elaborates on the consequences relevant to higher education and science and technology policy.