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Top 10 Sub-Saharan Africa universities for 2023

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzihttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

The University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, South Africa, has topped Times Higher Education’s (THE) inaugural Sub-Saharan Africa University Rankings.

The public institution, more commonly known as Wits University, celebrated its centenary last year and has Nelson Mandela amongst its alumni and now becomes the first university to top THE’s innovative new ranking.

The second highest ranked university is University of Johannesburg in South Africa and in third place is Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, in Tanzania.

Four of the top 10 universities are from South Africa and two are from Tanzania.

The pioneering new ranking highlights the strongest universities in Sub-Saharan Africa across a comprehensive range of performance indicators covering five pillars: ‘access and fairness’, ‘Africa impact’, ‘teaching skills’, ‘student engagement’ and ‘resources and finance’.

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Top 10 Sub-Saharan Africa universities

University of the Witwatersrand

South Africa

1

University of Johannesburg

South Africa

2

Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences

Tanzania

3

University of Pretoria

South Africa

4

Makerere University

Uganda

5

University of the Western Cape

South Africa

6

Covenant University

Nigeria

7

UGHE – University of Global Health Equity

Rwanda

8

Ashesi University

Ghana

9

Ardhi University

Tanzania

10

The Sub-Saharan Africa University Rankings, produced in partnership with Mastercard Foundation, ranks 88 universities from 17 countries in the region.

Nigeria has the most universities in the ranking with 37, followed by South Africa with nine, Ghana and Kenya have seven each and Somalia and Uganda have five each.

Rich data

The ranking provides a rich source of data on the differences between public and private universities. Of the 88 ranked universities, 59 (67%) are public, 21 (24%) are private not-for-profit and eight are private for-profit (9%) and seven of the top 10 universities are public.

Public universities received an average overall score in the rankings of 50 and charged students a median of £966 per year. By comparison, private institutions scored an average of 43, with not-for-profits charging £1,922 and for-profits charging £3,291 annually.

Public providers scored higher, on average, across four of the five pillars: access and fairness; Africa impact, resources and finance and student engagement. Private universities generally perform better on teaching and employability skills.

Public universities tend to have considerably more students than private ones averaging more than 18,000 students compared with an average of about 3,500 for private universities and public universities are, on average, almost twice as old (28 years) as private universities (18 years).

A key component of the ranking is a unique student survey accounting for their experiences, which shows students in private universities are generally more satisfied with their experience compared with their public counterparts when judging the facilities, their Interaction with peers and the faculty, employability, course quality and teaching engagement.

Phil Baty, Times Higher Education’s chief global affairs officer, said: “This unique pioneering ranking, which was developed specifically for, and led-by, African education organisations, marks a really significant moment for higher education in the continent.

“It clearly demonstrates the broad and diverse strengths of a wide range of universities and numerous previously unknown differences between public and private universities, which is further illuminated by the results from the student survey.

“We hope this ranking will help African universities celebrate and showcase good practice, benchmark themselves against peers, and identify key areas where they can improve. Collectively, we hope it helps universities to collaborate to address the challenges the continent faces.

“We also hope the ranking will be a valuable tool for the millions of parents and prospective students who are increasingly looking for authoritative information about what a university education will give them.”

THE’s Sub-Saharan Africa University Rankings 2023 were officially announced at the organisation’s first forum in the region, THE’s Sub-Saharan Africa Forum 2023, which took place in partnership with Ashesi University on Monday 26 June 2023.

Full Sub-Saharan Africa Rankings 2023 table

University

Country

Rank 

University of the Witwatersrand

South Africa

1

University of Johannesburg

South Africa

2

Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences

Tanzania

3

University of Pretoria

South Africa

4

Makerere University

Uganda

5

University of the Western Cape

South Africa

6

Covenant University

Nigeria

7

UGHE – University of Global Health Equity

Rwanda

8

Ashesi University

Ghana

9

Ardhi University

Tanzania

10

University of Venda

South Africa

11

University of South Africa

South Africa

12

Durban University of Technology

South Africa

13

University of Zambia

Zambia

14

Academic City University College

Ghana

15

University of Embu

Kenya

16

University of Ghana

Ghana

17

University of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe

18

University of Mauritius

Mauritius

19

Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST)

Botswana

20

University of Botswana

Botswana

=21

University of Dar es Salaam

Tanzania

=21

University of Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone

23

National University of Science and Technology (NUST)

Zimbabwe

24

Rongo University

Kenya

25

Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta

Nigeria

26

Universidade Eduardo Mondlane

Mozambique

27

Accra Technical University

Ghana

28

Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST)

Malawi

29

Benson Idahosa University

Nigeria

30

Akenten Appiah-Menka University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development

Ghana

=31

Nnamdi Azikiwe University

Nigeria

=31

Jimma University

Ethiopia

33

Metropolitan International University

Uganda

34

Redeemer’s University

Nigeria

35

University of Ibadan

Nigeria

36

Cross River University of Technology

Nigeria

37

Abrar University

Somalia

38

Kibabii University

Kenya

=39

Obafemi Awolowo University

Nigeria

=39

Central University of Technology, Free State

South Africa

41

Kabarak University

Kenya

42

Umaru Musa Yar’adua University

Nigeria

43

University for Development Studies

Ghana

44

Adeleke University

Nigeria

45

Ahmadu Bello University

Nigeria

46

University of Benin

Nigeria

47

Kabale University

Uganda

48

Landmark University

Nigeria

49

Babcock University

Nigeria

50

Ajayi Crowther University

Nigeria

51-60

Bells University of Technology

Nigeria

51-60

Chinhoyi University of Technology

Zimbabwe

51-60

Federal University of Kashere

Nigeria

51-60

Federal University Lokoja

Nigeria

51-60

Gombe State University

Nigeria

51-60

ISBAT University

Uganda

51-60

University of Kabianga

Kenya

51-60

Lagos State University

Nigeria

51-60

University of Port Harcourt

Nigeria

51-60

Baze University

Nigeria

61-70

Cavendish University

Uganda

61-70

City University of Mogadishu

Somalia

61-70

Delta State University, Abraka

Nigeria

61-70

Elizade University

Nigeria

61-70

Maasai Mara University

Kenya

61-70

Niger Delta University

Nigeria

61-70

SIMAD University

Somalia

61-70

Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University

South Africa

61-70

University of Technology, Mauritius

Mauritius

61-70

Abia State University

Nigeria

71+

Adventist University of Central Africa

Rwanda

71+

Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike

Nigeria

71+

Bamidele Olumilua University of Education, Science and Technology, Ikere-Ikiti

Nigeria

71+

Bauchi State University, Gadau

Nigeria

71+

Bayero University

Nigeria

71+

Edo State University Uzairue

Nigeria

71+

Jamhuriya University of Science and Technology (JUST)

Somalia

71+

Ladoke Akintola University of Technology

Nigeria

71+

Lead City University

Nigeria

71+

National Open University of Nigeria

Nigeria

71+

National University, Sudan

Sudan

71+

Presbyterian University, Ghana

Ghana

71+

Red Sea University

Somalia

71+

Riara University

Kenya

71+

Samuel Adegboyega University

Nigeria

71+

Veritas University, Abuja

Nigeria

71+

Yusuf Maitama Sule University, Kano

Nigeria

71+

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