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Uganda:Makerere ranked fourth best in Africa
Published on 12-10-2016 - at 02:15' by Daily Monitor

Globally, Makerere ranks below the 500th position, the United States’ universities dominate top slots while institutions in Singapore and China made a strong showing. The University of Oxford was the best overall.

Makerere University is Africa’s fourth best university, and top-most outside of South Africa, according to the latest world university rankings.

“Our performance was very good in research, but when it came to teaching and learning, we scored very low because 55 per cent of our staff establishment is vacant,” the university Vice Chancellor, Prof John Ssentamu-Ddumba, said of The Times Higher Education World University rankings.

The survey, now in its 12th year, evaluated 980 universities worldwide based on their teaching, research, citations and international outlook.

The methodology blended “reputation scores from the past two annual surveys and incorporating books among the research outputs assessed for their impact”.

Globally, Makerere ranks below the 500th position, the United States’ universities dominate top slots while institutions in Singapore and China made a strong showing. The University of Oxford was the best overall.

Researchers attribute the “sharp rise” of Asian universities in the latest ranking to “rapidly growing populations and demand for higher education; governments making ‘significant investments’ in universities; and improvements by individual institutions”.

In East Africa, University of Nairobi is the second best but takes 8th position in Africa.

Prof Ddumba told this newspaper last evening that Makerere would frogleap other institutions if the government recruited adequate staff and put more money to buy teaching materials and research.

“I congratulate my staff that despite the challenges, they can still pull this off,” he said. “If we can improve the teaching and learning, streamline ICT in all colleges, I am confident we can be [at the] top on the continent and [in the] world.”

South Africa produced Africa top three universities; University of Cape Town, University of Witwatersrand and Stellenbosch University.

Although the Makerere performance remains impressive, it dropped by one position, having ranked third best on the continent in last year’s The Times Higher Education World University Ranking.

Prof John Asibo-Opuda, the National Council for Higher Education’s executive director, said the high rating of the country’s oldest and largest public university was unsurprising.

Citing research as the university’s strength, he said: “we have many beautiful universities, but you have to invest in them.”

“You can’t suddenly appear in such a ranking. It requires time and money. If the country is not investing in higher education, we can never move forward,” Prof Opuda added.

Top in Africa

Universities Countries

1.University of Cape Town S.Africa

2.University of Witwatersrand S.Africa

3.Stellenbosch University S.Africa

4.Makerere University Uganda

5.University of KwaZulu-Natal S.Africa

6.University of Pretoria S.Africa

7.University of Ghana Ghana

8.University of Nairobi Kenya

9.Suez Canal University Egypt

10.Alexandria University Egypt

11.Cairo University Egypt

12.Uni of Marrakech Cadi Ayyad Morocco

13.University of South Africa S.Africa

14. University of Ibadan Nigeria

15. Mohammed V Univ of Rabat Morocco

Mak factfile

•Founded in 1922

•Has 37,340 students, 9 per cent of whom are international students.

•Has under half of required staff

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Makerere ranked fourth best in Africa

Kwamamaza
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