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How do African universities rate?

World's most trusted rankings provider reveals first glimpse of future Africa University Rankings

Respected global higher education experts, Times Higher Education (THE), have exclusively revealed a snapshot of what the first ever ranking devoted to African universities might look like.

The university rankings provider has revealed the top 15 universities in the region, based solely on their scores for research influence - in other words, how much African universities research papers are referred to and cited by other academics across the globe.

To be included in this future-gazing table, an institution must have published a minimum of 500 research papers in the five year period assessed with at least 50 papers per year.

The full table, which contains the top 30 universities in the region, will be revealed at the inaugural Times Higher Education Africa Universities Summit, which will take place on 30th and 31st July at the University of Johannesburg.

As the first major public consultation on the future THE Africa University Rankings, academic leaders and opinion formers will discuss plans for a full and comprehensive ranking for the region.

This new ranking will be based on Times Higher Education's respected World University Rankings, but shaped following this initial meeting by bespoke metrics designed to meet the region's specific challenges.

Times Higher Education is therefore calling for opinion formers from across the region to attend the Summit, founded with University of Johannesburg, to take part in the debate and help shape the future of university rankings in Africa.

To attend the Summit, delegates should register at:

The "snapshot" table, based on just one of THE's five respected World University Rankings criteria - research influence, gives a good indication of what a full university ranking might look like for Africa and sees two South African institutions - the University of Cape Town and the University of Witwatersrand - take first and second place respectively.

A lone Ugandan university - Makerere University - bridges South Africa's domination of the top five, taking third place. This is followed by the University of Stellenbosch in fourth and the University of KwaZulu-Natal in fifth.

Times Higher Education Africa Universities Summit Snapshot: Top Fifteen African Universities for Research Excellence

Copyright Times Higher Education. Data source: Elsevier's Scopus

Rank Institution Country All Publications 2009-2013 Overall Score
1 University of Cape Town South Africa 5540.21 99.90
2 University of the Witwatersrand South Africa 4387.17 99.76
3 Makerere University Uganda 1112.69 99.72
4 University of Stellenbosch South Africa 4357.33 95.48
5 University of KwaZulu-Natal South Africa 4235.09 89.41
6 University of Port Harcourt Nigeria 573.55 88.92
7 University of the Western Cape South Africa 1154.77 84.61
8 University of Nairobi Kenya 671.72 84.60
9 University of Johannesburg South Africa 2192.74 83.64
10 Universite Cadi Ayyad Morocco 910.82 78.61
11 University of Pretoria South Africa 4544.33 75.89
12 University of Ghana Ghana 804.53 73.31
13 University of South Africa South Africa 981.67 72.51
14 Suez Canal University Egypt 998.98 69.69
15 Universite Hassan 2

Additionally, the Summit, which is being held in partnership with the University of Johannesburg, will include sessions on key topics, such as Resourcing Africa's Renewal, preventing Brain Drain from the region and moving the 2063 initiative forward.

Speakers at the Summit include:

Phil Baty, Editor, Times Higher Education Rankings and Editor at large, Times Higher Education

civic engagement and of course its teaching. So the Africa Universities Summit presents the perfect opportunity to help shape this future ranking and to ensure that Times Higher Education develops the most appropriate and relevant ranking for Africa, in full consultation with African universities.?

To see a full list of speakers and to register to attend, visit:  


    Research publication and citation data is derived from Elsevier?s Scopus database:
    An institution must have published a minimum of 500 papers to be considered
    Period 2009-2013
    Articles, Reviews and Conference papers are considered
    Fractionalized counting is used
    Threshold set at 50 (fractionalized) papers per annum is considered
    Based on the FWCI* only.

*The Field Weighted Citation Impact (FWCI) is the ratio of the total citations actually received by an entity?s publication output (e.g. university), and the total citations that would be expected based on the average of the subject field.

About Times Higher Education

Times Higher Education is the world?s most authoritative source of information about higher education. Designed specifically for professional people working in higher education and research, the weekly magazine was founded in 1971 and has been online since 1995. Times Higher Education is published by TES Global.

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals, empowering them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make ground-breaking discoveries that advance the boundaries of knowledge and human progress. Elsevier provides web-based, digital solutions ? among them ScienceDirect, Scopus, Elsevier Research Intelligence, and ClinicalKey ? and publishes over 2,200 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and over 25,000 book titles, including a number of iconic reference works.

The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group PLC, a world leading provider of professional information solutions in the Science, Medical, Legal and Risk and Business sectors, which is jointly owned by Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. The ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).

Article courtesy SA Good News