For the fourth consecutive year, the University of Cape Town (UCT) has been named the country’s coolest university by the Sunday Times Gen Next Awards.

The Sunday Times Gen Next event is in its 16th year, and is the leading annual youth brand preference and consumer behaviour event.

Results are based on a survey conducted by HDI Youth Consultancy and are particularly relevant to brands and advertisers. Over 5,500 youths aged 8 to 23 and young professions aged 24 to 30 were included in the annual study, which has 71 wide-ranging categories. The digital awards took place on Friday, August 21.

The University of Johannesburg, The University of Southern Africa (UNISA), University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and University of KwaZulu-Natal made up the remaining top 5 coolest universities in South Africa.

Winners in other categories include 2019 Rugby World Cup-winning captain Siya Kolisi as this year’s Coolest Local Sportsperson, and Takelot as the Coolest Online Fashion store/app for 2020. Nando’s was named the coolest place to eat out for 2020, and Clicks the coolest Specialist Health, Beauty, & Accessory Stores 2020

This year’s results were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which changed youth preferences and attitudes towards brands.

“COVID-19 is undoubtedly going to have a dramatic effect on numerous areas of life in the short and long terms. Things are going to change and capturing a ‘before and after’ snapshot of youth brand preferences will provide huge benefit to the South African advertising and marketing industry about how priorities and perspectives may shift in the face of huge socio-economic upheaval,” said Eben Gewers, head of advertising sales and trade marketing at Arena Holdings.

Check out the other winners here.

Picture: Facebook / The University of Cape Town

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