It is not going to come as welcome news to universities in Nigeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and many other African countries, but none of them made the cut to be ranked anywhere on the list of the world’s top 1000 universities. The only exceptions in Africa are universities in South Africa and Egypt. Are such lists accurate or is this just another example of excellent African learning institutions being overlooked?
In what is a sad statement of the general state of higher education in Africa, only universities in South Africa and Egypt have racked up enough points to be listed among the world’s top 1000 universities. In a list just released by Centre for World University Rankings (CWUR), five universities in South Africa and four Egyptian ones have made the cut.
South African universities fared better on the list, all of them coming in above the ones from Egypt. According to the CWUR ranking, the best university in Africa is SA’s University of Witwatersrand (at 176), followed by the University of Cape Town (at 265), with the Stellenbosch University coming in at 329 on the list. Also contributing to South Africa’s good showing is the University of KwaZulu-Natal which was ranked at 468 in the world. Only the University of Pretoria (at 697) isn’t in the top 500. Not too shabby, as they say.
South African universities fared better on the list, all of them coming in above the ones from Egypt
With the exception of Cairo University (at 771), the other three Egyptian universities included in the ranking barely made it to the list. Ain Shams University is at 960th followed by Mansoura University at 985th and the Alexandria University at 995th. Still, there are worse things than coming in at the bottom of the ranking.
Just ask top universities in countries like Nigeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, all of which are conspicuously absent from the list. The universities generally do well in other world university ranking lists. The news is enough to cause a bit of a stir in Nigeria.
At the top of the CWUR ranking are the usual suspects. The top three is occupied by Harvard University, Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in that order, all from the US. Britain’s two equally famous institutions of higher learning, the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford, respectively, round up the top five.
The ranking, released on Monday, placed Harvard University, United States, on top as the best higher institution in the world, followed by Stanford University, also in the U.S.
Another school in the U.S, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the third best in the world.
Two universities in the United Kingdom, University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford, are ranked fourth and fifth respectively.
Five other American universities are also ranked within the top 10 – they are Columbia University, sixth position; University of California, Berkley, seventh; University of Chicago, eighth; Princeton University, ninth; and Yale University, 10th.
The U.S has a total number of 224 universities among the top 1,000, followed by China, with 90.
Japan has 74, while the United Kingdom has 65.
Others are: Germany, 56; France, 48; Italy, 48; Spain, 41; South Korea, 36; Canada, 32; Australia, 27.
In Africa, only universities in South Africa and Egypt made the list. South Africa has five, while Egypt has four.
For South Africa, the five universities and their rankings, according to the CWUR, are: University of Witwatersrand, 176th; University of Cape Town, 265th; Stellenbosch University, 329th; University of KwaZulu-Natal, 468th; and the University of Pretoria, 697th.
The four from Egypt are Cairo University, 771st; Ain Shams University, 960th; Mansoura University, 985th; and Alexandria University, 995th.
No Nigerian university also made the list in 2015.
CWUR said it used eight objectives and robust indicators to rank the world’s top 1,000 universities, and listed them as follows:
1) Quality of Education, measured by the number of a university’s alumni who have won major international awards, prizes, and medals relative to the university’s size [25%]
2) Alumni Employment, measured by the number of a university’s alumni who have held CEO positions at the world’s top companies relative to the university’s size [25%]
3) Quality of Faculty, measured by the number of academics who have won major international awards, prizes, and medals [25%]
4) Publications, measured by the number of research papers appearing in reputable journals [5%]
5) Influence, measured by the number of research papers appearing in highly-influential journals [5%]
6) Citations, measured by the number of highly-cited research papers [5%]
7) Broad Impact, measured by the university’s h-index [5%]
8) Patents, measured by the number of international patent filings [5%]