2023 Ranking: List of Top 10 Best Universities in Sub-Saharan Africa
- The 2023 rankings of the Times Higher Education for the best sub-Saharan African universities are out
- This year’s ranking featured over a hundred universities across the sub-Saharan African nations
- South African universities dominated the 2023 rankings at the top ten, while two Tanzanian and one Nigerian universities were featured at the top
In the vibrant and diverse landscape of Sub-Saharan Africa, higher education plays a crucial role in shaping the continent’s future.
With a rich tapestry of academic institutions, determining which universities stand out as the best in the region can be a daunting task.
In this article, Legit.ng reveals the list of the top ten best universities in sub-Saharan Africa according to the Times Higher Education review for the year 2023.
The lists were determined based on academic excellence, research impact, and global recognition.
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From world-class facilities to groundbreaking research, these institutions have earned their place at the pinnacle of higher education in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Below is the top ten list…
1. University of the Witwatersrand – South Africa
The University of Witwatersrand also known as “Wits” is one of the oldest universities in Africa.
As the number one and best university in sub-Saharan Africa, it has a rich history of producing outstanding academic talents that have gone on to play a major role in the evolution of change in the world.
The university is renowned to have famous alumni like the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela
The novelist Nadine Gordimer (Nobel Prize for Literature, 1991) also attended for a year, while Aaron Klug (Nobel Prize for Chemistry, 1982) and Sydney Brenner (Nobel Prize for Medicine, 2002) both took their first degrees at Wits.
2. University of Johannesburg – South Africa
The University of Johannesburg is one of Africa’s most vibrant academic institutions.
The history of the University dates back to the early 1900s during the Johannesburg gold rush era.
On January 1, 2005, the University came into full existence due to the merger of the Rand Afrikaans University (RAU), the Technikon Witwatersrand (TWR), and the Soweto and East Rand campuses of Vista University.
It is a public institution with the motto: “Service Through Knowledge” with over 3,000 staff and over 50,000 students.
3. Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences – Tanzania
The Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Tanzania is the third-best in sub-Saharan Africa.
Academic courses like medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, public health, traditional medicine, laboratory, and allied sciences are offered at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
It was established in 1963 with the motto: “Education. Treatment. Research” and has thousands of students.
4. University of Pretoria – South Africa
The University of Pretoria was founded in 1908 as Transvaal University College with the motto: Ad Destinatum Persequor, a Latin sentence meaning “With zeal and perseverance, strive towards the goal.”
The highly revered institution has over 10,000 full-time staff and over 50,000 students.
The University has nine faculties and a business school, namely Economic and Management Sciences, Education, Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology, Health Sciences, Humanities, Law, Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Theology and Religion, Veterinary Science (presently the only faculty in this discipline in South Africa) and the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS).
The programmes are offered in 140 academic departments and 85 research centres, institutes and units.
5. Makerere University – Uganda
The Makerere University is 101 years old as it was first established as a technical school in the early 1920s.
Located in Kampala, Uganda, Makerere University is the oldest academic institution in the country.
In 2018, the University had over 35,000 students and over 3,000 administrative staff.
6. University of the Western Cape – South Africa
The University of the Western Cape is a renowned public, academic institution in South Africa.
Founded 64 years ago in Bellville, near Cape Town, the University was first established for the coloured people only during the apartheid era.
The University has seven faculties at the University including arts, community and health sciences, dentistry, economic and management sciences, education, law and natural science.
The Faculty of Dentistry is South Africa’s leading dental school.
7. Covenant University – Nigeria
Covenant University is arguably the best private University in Nigeria and has competed for the top across public and private tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
Founded in 2022 in Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria, the University is a Pentecostal Christian institution owned by Living Faith Church Worldwide.
Covenant University is one of the leading universities in Africa founded on Christian Mission Ethos.
8. UGHE – University of Global Health Equity – Rwanda
The University of Global Health Equity is another private institution that made the Time Higher Education list of the best sub-Saharan Universities.
The University launched in 2015 as a not-for-profit institution and has affiliations with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Harvard Medical School and the Cummings Foundation.
The University offers three main education pathways, including two bachelor’s degrees in medicine and surgery. There is one master’s degree on offer, the MSc in global health delivery.
9. Ashesi University – Ghana
The Ashesi University in Ghana is the third privately owned academic institution that made the list.
In 2018, the President of Ghana granted the University a Charter to operate as a fully autonomous institution, no longer to be supervised by a public university under Ghana’s accreditation system.
Only five out of Ghana’s 86 private universities have a charter, and Ashesi is the youngest in Ghana to have achieved such recognition.
10. Ardhi University – Tanzania
The Ardhi University in Tanzania is a public, academic institution established on 28 March 2007.
Students can study across schools of architecture, construction economics and management, earth sciences, real estate, business and information, environmental science and technology, and spatial planning and social science.
A new 378-hectare campus is being developed at Mwanza on the shores of Lake Victoria.
International partners include the Technical University of Dortmund, Germany, and South Africa’s University of Western Cape.
2023 ranking: Covenant University emerges best in Nigeria
Covenant University in Nigeria has made the list of top 10 universities in Africa in the inaugural ranking by the Times Higher Education.
Four Universities from South Africa made it to the top 10 while two Tanzanian universities were rated among the top 10.
The other four universities in Africa are from Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, and Uganda all completed the top ten spot.