Only One Nigerian University Ranked in Newest World Top 1000



Times Higher Education, the leading data provider on the rankings of tertiary institutions around the world, has released its 2018 list of the world’s best institutions of higher education, and Nigeria is at an unenviable position, yet again.

Listed between the 801 – 1000 rank, the second to last group before the 1001+ group on THE’s system of ranking, University of Ibadan is Nigeria’s best and only ranked University. The list contains 1102 Universities.

University of Oxford maintained its position as the best ranked for the second year running. Another UK institution, University of Cambridge, leapfrogged the California Institute of Technology and Stanford to claim second spot, and this was attributed to improvements in Cambridge’s “research income and research quality” while the CalTech and Stanford experienced declines in their “PhD-to-bachelor’s ratios” It is the first time in the 14 year history of THE’s rankings that two UK Universities will ranked first and second.

Usual suspects MIT, Havard, Princeton and Imperial College London made up the top ten. The ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich is the only non-American and non-UK University in the top twenty (joint number 10 with University of Pennsylvania), while the National University of Singapore is the highest ranked non-European and non-American University, sharing the 22nd spot with University of Toronto. Carnegie Mellon and the London School of Economics round up the top 25. At numbers 27 and 30, Peking University and Tsinghua University are the highest ranked Chinese Universities.

Africa’s leading University, per the rankings, remains the University of Cape Town ranked at number 171. It ranks higher than some European Universities like the University of Liverpool (177), University of Aberdeen (185) and George Washington University (201-250 group). Seven other SA Universities in the rankings (all, except one, rank above UI) including Witwatersrand, Stellenbosch and KwaZulu-Natal.

Other African Universities featured on the 2018 rankings includes Makerere University Uganda (401 – 600 group), American University in Cairo, ranked in the 601 – 800 group and one of 9 Egyptian Universities, University of Nairobi and University of Ghana, both in the 801 – 1000 group, above the University of Ibadan.

The rankings are based on scores calculated for Teaching, Research, Citations, Industry Outcome and International Outlook. University of Oxford scored 86.7, 99.5, 99.1, 63.7 and 95.0 on each, giving it an aggregate of 94.3. By comparison, University of Cape Town scored 30.5, 36.2, 87.0, 88.5 and 81.1 on the criteria, aggregating to a 54.4 score.

Nigeria’s lone representative was deemed to score 25.9, 11.4, 7.4, 40.3 and 32.0 on each of the five criteria, putting in the 15.6 – 21.4 range of aggregates.

Oxford is the best ranked University by Research, while CalTech and Stanford are first and second by Teaching. By International Outlook, University of Luxembourg (179), Qatar University (401 – 500) and University of Hong Kong (40) are the best ranked.

Ten Universities scored a perfect 100.0 on Industry Income, including Duke University, Eindhoven University of Technology, Peking University and Technical University of Munich. South Africa’s Witwatersrand ranked well in this category with a 99.9 score.

And by citations, Massachusetts Institute of Technology was first, followed by St Georges, University of London (201 – 250 group).

Other selected stats from the rankings include:

Highest ranked for teaching Biological sciences, Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy, Mathematics, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, General Engineering (excluding Civil) and Economics/Econometrics – CalTech

Highest ranked for research in Politics and International studies – Harvard

Highest ranked for research in Communication and Media studies – Stanford

Highest ranked in research in Accounting and Finance – Tsinghua

Highest ranked in research in Mathematics and Statistics, Civil Engineering, Computer Science – Oxford

According to the information on rankings’ methodology, “The data shown under key statistics is that provided by the university itself in its submission to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. It represents data from the 2015 academic year, and may vary from subsequent or earlier years”. There are about 20,000 higher education institutions in the world.


By Alexander O. Onukwue | Feature image:

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