The University of Pretoria has been ranked as one of the top universities in South Africa in terms of graduate employability, according to 2020 QS Graduate employability Survey, released on the 19th September 2019. The survey also revealed a significant improvement in UPs global ranking, which is now in the 251-300 band, compared to 301-500 in the previous period. The QS Graduate Employability Ranking compares the employability outcomes of higher education institutions across the world each year by assessing how reputed the institutions are among employers, their connection to companies and how attractive their recent graduates are to employers. 758 institutions were surveyed this year across the world, recording a 15% increase of participating institutions compared to last year.

The information was obtained from the responses of 45 000 employers and 40 800 degrees of over 29 000 high achievers and also considered the connections of 150 000 employers with graduates. The company also evaluated nearly 320 000 work placement partnerships for the 2020 edition of the survey. There were five categories used to rank the institutions, which are: employers’ reputation, alumni, outcome, party, employer-student connection and graduate-to-employer rate. Out of a score of 100, the University of Pretoria scored 62.3 out of 100 in the alumni category, which measures the impact of graduates from each institution.

According to the report “QS has surveyed alma maters from over 150 high-achievers lists, each measuring a desirable outcome in a particular walk of life.” QS has analyzed more than 40 000 of the world’s most innovative, creative, wealthy, entrepreneurial, and/or philanthropic individuals to establish which universities are producing world-changing graduates. Younger profiles and undergraduates’ degrees also had a higher weighting as opposed to post-graduate degrees. The early stage of higher education learning process leaves a deeper mark in terms of employability, according to QS.


“QS has surveyed alma maters from over 150 high-achievers lists, each measuring a desirable outcome in a particular walk of life.”


University of Pretoria’s internal research, agreeing with QS’s study, found that 85% of students who completed their first-year undergraduate degree at UP in 2017 were employed either full-time or part-time within six months after graduation. The survey also showed that 97% of students work for an organization, while 3% are self-employed. Interestingly, most graduates found that their degrees relevant to their jobs, which was supported by UP employer satisfaction survey, as well as employers’ expectations and perceptions of the workplace readiness and capabilities of UP graduates entering the labour market. QS Survey also showed that UP graduates were rated at 80% for their work readiness capabilities in the workplace.

Professor Tawana Kupe UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal said “with the country’s graduate youth unemployment rate being at just over 30%, it is important that universities prepare graduates adequately for the workplace. The country’s youth unemployment rate in the first quarter of 2019 set at 31%, which should be of concern to institutions of higher learning.” Due to this, UP offers free programs to prepare the unemployed youth for work, in which they learn additional skills to ready themselves. The university also offers entrepreneurial courses during student’s studies so that they can become employers and job creators. Prof. Kupe believed that the results of the QS Graduate Employability Survey show that UP is moving in the right direction.


“…it is important that universities prepare graduates adequately for the workplace.”


UP also boasts impressive standings in other rankings, such as being ranked among the top 100 universities worldwide in fields of study, including Theology, Veterinary Science, and Law. The institution is among the top 1% in Agricultural Science, Clinical Medicine, Engineering, Environment/ Ecology, Immunology, Plant and Animal Science and Social Sciences. The University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) was ranked as the top South African and African business school by UK Financial Times Education, therefore showing that the QS survey is correct and a true reflection of the University of Pretoria’s prestige, as well as character in the global state of research.

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