best universities in africa ranking
More than 25 top universities in Africa feature in the Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings 2016-2017.
The best universities in Africa span nine countries, from Uganda in the east to Nigeria in the west, Morocco in the north to South Africa in the south of the continent.
Two of South Africa’s universities appear in the top 200 of the worldwide rankings; the University of Cape Town is Africa’s top university at position 148, and Wits University is ranked at position 182, beating many prestigious universities in Germany, the UK, Canada, the US and Hong Kong.
- Best universities in the world 2016-2017
Overall, Egypt and South Africa are the two best represented African countries in the ranking, with eight universities each.
But South Africa and Uganda are the only two countries with universities in the top 500.
The ranking rates university performance using 13 different indicators measuring teaching, research, research impact, innovation and international outlook.
Resources: English-speaking regions
- Best universities in the United States
- Best universities in the UK
- Best universities in Canada
- Best universities in Australia
Top five universities in Africa
UCT’s campus is located at the foot of Table Mountain, offering spectacular views of Devil’s Peak and across the city.
The university was founded in 1829, earning its status as the oldest university in the country and the second oldest in Africa, behind the University of Sierra Leone founded two years earlier.
The main campus contains many teaching faculties, the main library and some halls of residence, and the middle and lower campuses are home to most of the student residences, sports facilities and some academic departments.
Academic departments are grouped into six faculties: the built environment, health sciences, commerce, engineering, humanities, science and law.
In addition, the university’s graduate business school runs independently from the commerce faculty.
UCT commits to social change through its ‘transformation’ projects, which tackle issues like diversity, student opportunity, and behaviour.
Around 18 per cent of the student body are international.
Wits University – as it is commonly known – is a public research university based in Johannesburg.
It was founded as a school of mining – the region is the most abundant with gold of any location worldwide.
The university grew significantly in the late 20th century and the campus expanding with many new buildings.
That time was also a period of protest against apartheid policies, and the university campus was fairly divided. Nonetheless, many prominent black leaders graduated from the university.
There are five campuses, with two joined by a walkway. The campuses are home to student residences, including female-only dorms, and academic departments.
Academic research and teaching is spread across five faculties: commerce, engineering and the built environment, health sciences, law and management, science and humanities.
Through the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre, the medical school trains more specialists than any other university in southern Africa.
Wits Disability Unit is a flagship centre ensuring higher education is accessible to disabled students, caregivers and others in need of special provisions.
Mekerere University Kampala (MUK) is the largest university in Uganda. It was established as a technical school in 1922 and has become one of the most prestigious universities in Africa.
The university is made up of nine colleges and one school, serving around 36, 000 undergraduates and 4, 000 postgraduates.
Many East African political figures have attended MUK, including presidents of Uganda, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Kenya.
The university was also a centre for literary activity and culture that formed a nationalistic identity in independent Uganda.