A hugely-anticipated African universities ranking is set to be unveiled this week, providing a timely and more accurate indicator of the continent’s vibrant tertiary education landscape.
Africa’s students and academics have been waiting for the new list compiled by the Times Higher Education (THE) and which will be released at the inaugural THE Africa Universities Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa. It runs from July 29 to July 31.
It is a big moment for African institutions as the continent has often gone missing in the usual global university rankings, given they have a unique range of needs and priorities that are sometimes at odds with those of traditional global research universities, their scope which is sometimes not recognised by the ranking bodies.
The ranking, formulated using the Elsevier’s Scopus database, will be based on a system that highlights some of the continent’s top performers in terms of how often research papers are referred to and cited by other academics globally. It will also provide indicators on markers like a university’s economic contribution, its civic engagement and teaching parameters.
The event forms part of the growing annual THE World Summit Series, and is dedicated to sharing best practice in the development of world-class teaching and research and shaping institutions’ strategic missions in an African and international context. The summit will also include forums on funding Africa’s renewal, partnerships and university collaboration, as well as science, technology and innovation.
Its host partner is the University of Johannesburg - an institution that has been ranked among the top four per cent of global universities. The university also ranks among the top 100 institutions in the BRICS economic bloc (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), while the URAP rankings, which focus solely on research output, impact and global collaboration, place it among Africa’s top eight universities.