7 Most Impressive Universities in Africa

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Numerous universities are located throughout the continent of Africa, and several of them have been ranked among the greatest in the world by several trustworthy organizations. These colleges are dispersed across the continent and stand out for their superior education.

Despite some of the drawbacks of attending schools in Africa, certain universities have made great efforts to stand out and provide the highest possible standard of education to their students. Here is a list of the top 7 most impressive universities in Africa.

The African Leadership Organisation has evaluated these universities based on academic standards such as stability, infrastructure development, provision of academic facilities, research and expert reviews.

7. Makerere University — Uganda

Makerere, known as “Mak”, is the premier and oldest public university in eastern and central Africa.

Established in January 1922 as a humble technical school with 14-day students who began studying Carpentry, Building and Mechanics, Makerere University has grown to become one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Africa.

The university currently offers study programmes to a student body of about 31 000 undergraduates and 4000 postgraduates (both Ugandan and international). The university runs 136 undergraduate programmes and 179 graduate programmes, including postgraduate diplomas.

Makerere plays a central role in research at national, regional, and international levels, and has several dedicated research institutions, centres and initiatives. Makerere University has contributed about 3% of research in Africa and over 70% of research output in Uganda.

Many innovations have sprung out of the research interventions to spur industrial development. These include electric vehicles, improved seed varieties, irrigation innovations, medical equipment, vaccines, medical interventions (like the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDs, epidemiological tents, ventilators, nonintrusive malaria tests), mathematical models for epidemiological predictions, theories and models for economic interventions. Currently, the university is pretesting over 100 innovations that have the potential for commercialization, to spur economic transformation.

6. University of Ibadan — Nigeria

Founded in 1932, the University of Ibadan (UI) was the first university to be established in Nigeria. Originally an affiliated College of the University of London, it was granted full independent status in 1962.

What began life as a small institution with just three departments in Science, Medicine and the Arts, quickly expanded to become one of the country’s most prestigious higher education institutions. Today UI comprises thirteen faculties, including Social Sciences, Agriculture and Forestry, Education, Veterinary Medicine, Technology, Law, Public Health and Dentistry.

UI’s Postgraduate School is the largest in Africa, with its undergraduate and postgraduate student population split 50/50. Around a third of all students live in university-provided halls of residence – modern facilities that come equipped with gyms, cafes and common rooms.

The university’s ethos is founded on making education available to all, with a well-established Distance Learning Centre where the same courses undertaken by full-time students are open to those whose access to education is restricted by finances or family obligations.

Among the university’s alumni are many notable individuals who have contributed significantly to the political, industrial, economic and cultural development of Nigeria, including the writer Wole Soyinka, awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986, and Chinua Achebe whose novel ‘Things Fall Apart’ is the most widely read book in contemporary African literature.

5. Cape Coast University — Ghana

Cape Coast University is the second oldest university in Ghana, and one of the most prestigious. It has produced many great minds and scholars across different disciplines. The university offers undergraduate, graduate, and research degrees with an emphasis on teaching and research in various fields of study. The university was established in 1885 by British missionaries from Massachusetts who were very interested in education reform. Today, Cape Coast University is home to men and women from all over Africa as well as other continents.

Cape Coast University boasts a very rich history and is home to over 30 degree programmes, which includes; architecture, engineering, art, chemistry, computer science, economics, education, English language and literature, geography and environment studies, health sciences (including nursing), history and international studies (including political science), mathematics and statistics.

In addition to degrees offered through distance learning, the university offers degrees through its four campuses: Accra City Campus (ACC), Kumasi Campus (KUM), Tamale Campus (TAM), and Tema Campus (TEM).

Cape Coast University is a university that focuses on teaching. It’s one of the most student-friendly universities, as it offers flexible hours for students who have jobs and or children. It’s also relatively easy to get into, especially considering that Cape Coast University has an open admissions policy.

4. University of Cairo — Egypt

Despite its name, the University of Cairo is actually located in the city of Giza and overlooks the Nile.

One of the country’s oldest institutions, the public university was founded in 1908 and has about 230,000 students of whom about 3 per cent are from overseas.

The University of Cairo has more than 25 faculties, including; engineering, medicine, agriculture and archaeology, with undergraduate programmes in subjects stretching from pomology to physical therapy.

Notable alumni include the former United Nations secretary general Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Omar Sharif, the Oscar-nominated actor, Mohamed Morsi, a former president of Egypt, and Amr Moussa, secretary general of the Arab League from 2001 to 2011.

3. Stellenbosch University — South Africa

Located in Stellenbosch, in the heart of Western Cape, South Africa, is Stellenbosch University. It is a public university for research and the oldest university in Africa which has remained famous for its academic excellence.

Having four campuses, its motto reads: “Good education strengthens the spirit.”

The University of Stellenbosch awards both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in a wide range of studies, including Law, Medicine, Surgery, etc. It houses about 150 departments, shared between 10 faculties.

It is open to anyone, irrespective of race. There are hostels for students who would prefer to live on campus.

2. University of Witwatersrand — South Africa

The University of Witwatersrand, commonly referred to as the University of Wits, is located in Johannesburg, South Africa, and comprises many campuses. It is a University for Research and awards both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

The University of Witwatersrand offers up to 3,600 courses. Postgraduate and undergraduate courses included.

True to its name, since its founding in 1896, the University of Wits has produced great personalities who influenced the world in outstanding capacities. The great leader, Nelson Mandela, for example, is an alumnus of the University of Witwatersrand.

1. The University of Cape Town — South Africa

The University of Cape Town (UCT) is a public research university in Cape Town, South Africa. Established in 1829 as the South African College, it was granted full university status in 1918, making it the oldest university in South Africa and the oldest university in Sub-Saharan Africa in continuous operation.

UCT has a multicultural, multinational community of around 5 000 academic and professional, administrative support and service staff, and some 29 000 students who come from over 100 countries across the globe. Offering degrees in six faculties – Commerce, Engineering & the Built Environment, Health Sciences, Humanities, Law and Science – UCT sees around 7 200 students graduate year on year.

UCT has a proud tradition of academic excellence and is consistently the highest-ranked African university in the QS World University Rankings, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and the Academic Ranking of World Universities. Its Commerce, Law, and Medicine Faculties are consistently placed among the hundred best internationally. It is the only African member of the Global University Leaders Forum (GULF) within the World Economic Forum, which is made up of 26 of the world’s top universities.

In addition to providing excellent teaching, UCT encourages students to build their leadership and service skills. The university’s constant dedication to the academic project is the cornerstone of its work. UCT comprises a diverse community contributing to the institution, the people that belong to it and its future.

From the above discussion, it can be seen that many good universities are in Africa and there are many more waiting to gain major relevance in the continent and indeed on the global stage. Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria; The University of Lagos, Akoka amongst several others are also very good. The Onus is on the education experts to do what is needed consistently in order to improve their global ranking.

7 Most Impressive Universities in Africa

7 Most Impressive Universities in Africa

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