Since a rehabilitation, which began in 2004, South African higher education institutions have been improving. Their universities have been consistently keeping up with the increasingly high standards for higher education systems. More than 45,000 international students choose to study in South Africa each academic year. There are 26 public universities, and 42 private universities. Public universities are split into three distinct types. Traditional universities offer theoretically focused degrees, universities of technology (also known as technikons) offer vocationally focused degrees, and comprehensive universities offer both types of degrees.
There are 4 South African universities in the 2022 QS World University Rankings top 500. The most ranked of these is the University of Cape Town, which is placed at 226th. The next highest ranked are the University of Witwatersrand, which is placed at 424th, and Stellenbosch University, which is placed at 434th.