THE TIMES Higher Education World University Rankings 2015-16 have been released and this year 14 African universities made it onto the expanded list.
This year, the rankings were more comprehensive than ever. They covered 800 institutions from 70 different countries, compared with 41 countries that made last year’s top 400.
That’s double the 400 institutions included each year in the rankings since 2011, and four times bigger than the top 200 list they published between 2004 and 2010.
In total six universities from South Africa featured in the top 800, three of them making it into the top 400. Coming in tops for Africa as a whole was the University of Cape Town (120) followed by the University of the Witwatersrand (201 - 250), Stellenbosch University (301 - 350), University of KwaZulu Natal (401 - 500), University of Pretoria (501 - 600) and the University of South Africa.
Other sub-Saharan institutions include; The University of Ghana (601 - 800), University of Nairobi (601 - 800), University of Ibadan in Nigeria (601 - 800) and Uganda’s Makerere University (401 - 500)
North Africa had some representation too. There were three Egyptian institutions; Alexandria University (601 - 800), Cairo University (601 - 800) and the Suez Canal University (601 - 800). From Morocco there was the University of Marrakech Cadi Ayyad (601 - 800).
Phil Batty, the Editor of the Times Higher Education University rankings explained to Mail & Guardian Africa that the reason why some universities received a more generalised “grouped” rank is because “lower down the list the overall scores are more tightly packed, making differentiating between institutions less appropriate”.
The ranking’s methodology uses performance indicators that are grouped into five areas; teaching (the learning environment), research (volume, income and reputation), citations (research influence), international outlook (staff, students and research) and industry income (knowledge transfer)..