The 2018 edition of the Times Higher Education World Rankings, which lists the best universities in the world, was unveiled on Thursday, February 22. In its ranking of the 200 best African universities, Togo, like French-speaking universities, remains largely underrepresented among the lucky women elected.
With only fifty universities, only two (2) of which are for Togo, the French-speaking countries of the continent are considered as a poor relative of the ranking. Far behind the English-speaking countries, which occupy each year the first places with the universities of South Africa (University of Pretoria, University of Cape Town, University of the Witwatersrand …), Nigeria, or Egypt which goes up in power from year to year.
According to World University Rankings, South African universities are the best performers in Africa, with eight universities in the top 10, just ahead of the University of Nairobi (9th) and the American University of Cairo (10th). The continental champion in higher education is the University of Pretoria, while Benue State University in Nigeria ranks last in the rankings.
The paper reveals that Nigeria is the country with the most universities in the rankings with 39 of the 200 institutions selected. Egypt follows with 24 universities, South Africa and Algeria with 22 universities each, Morocco with 11 institutions and Kenya with 10 universities.
The gap between Anglophone and Francophone universities could have been greater, had it not been for the Maghreb countries such as Algeria and Morocco. Between them, these countries account for 70% of the universities ranked in their fifties in French-language schools. Nearly 50 institutions out of 200, that is to say the raid of English schools.
Togo is represented on this list by two universities. Those of Lome and the UCAO (Catholic University of West Africa). They rank respectively 82nd and 165th. Just in front of the Universidade Metodista de Angola (83rd) for the first and behind the University of Malawi (164th) for the UCAO.
To establish its annual list, Times Higher Education World University Rankings focus on a series of criteria, such as accreditation, the duration of the training provided and the predominance of lectures. World University Rankings, which publishes these rankings since 2005, is also based on web data on the audience rate of selected universities.
Behind these seemingly simple rankings, sophisticated calculations are often used to objectively take into account a complex and diversified reality.
The three international rankings that capture the most media attention are the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the World Ranking of QS Universities and the Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China).
Generally, the rankings weight these criteria, tending sometimes rather on the side of the reputation, sometimes rather on the side of the performance. These differences in criteria can produce quite heterogeneous rankings and thus give rise to various criticisms.
As a reminder, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings is an annual academic award published by Times Higher Education (THE) magazine. THE collaborates with the Thomson Reuters and Elsevier news agencies to establish this ranking. The current publication includes a world ranking, by subject and reputation as well as regional rankings.