Top universities in Africa 2019

The best universities in the African continent span 10 countries in the region.

Overall, Egypt and South Africa are the two best represented African countries in the ranking, with 19 and nine universities each.

But South Africa is the only country with a university in the top 500.

The ranking rates university performance using 13 different indicators measuring teaching, research, research impact, innovation and international outlook.

Top Five Universities in Africa 2019

1. University of Cape Town

The University of Cape Town’s campus is located at the foot of Table Mountain, offering spectacular views of Devil’s Peak and across the city.

The university was founded in 1829, making it the oldest university in the country and the second oldest in Africa, after the University of Sierra Leone which was founded two years earlier.

The main campus contains many teaching faculties, the main library and some halls of residence, and the middle and lower campuses are home to most of the student residences, sports facilities and some academic departments.

Academic departments are grouped into six faculties: the built environment, health sciences, commerce, engineering, humanities, science and law.

In addition, the university’s graduate business school runs independently from the commerce faculty.

2. University of the Witwatersrand

The University of the Witwatersrand, commonly called Wits University, is a public research university in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The university was founded as a school of mining. It grew significantly in the late 20th century and the campus expanding with many new buildings.

There are five campuses, with two joined by a walkway. The campuses are home to student residences, including female-only dorms, and academic departments.

Academic research and teaching is spread across five faculties: commerce, engineering and the built environment, health sciences, law and management, science and humanities.

Through the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre, the medical school trains more specialists than any other university in southern Africa.

3. Stellenbosch University

Stellenbosch University is located in South Africa’s western cape, not very far from the country’s capital.

Among the university’s many achievements, it designed Africa’s first microsatellite in 1999.

Teaching at the university is split between four campuses, with the main one in Stellenbosch and the others nearby.

Students can write assignments and exams in both English and Afrikaans, even though the main language of instruction is Afrikaans. For postgraduate students, the language in classes is determined by the demographic of the class, and is usually English.

There are around 150 academic departments within 10 faculties, and many other research centres.

4. University of KwaZulu-Natal

The University of Kwazulu-Natal is the youngest among the top five. It was formed from a merger between the University of Natal and the University of Durban-Westville in 2004.

The university consists of four colleges spread across five campuses in the KwaZulu-Natal region.

The college of agriculture, engineering and science teaches all science subjects except for clinical and health studies, and the college of humanities teaches across arts, social sciences and humanities. The college of health sciences contains the medical school, and the college of law and management studies provides courses in law, business and management.

4. Makerere University

Mekerere University Kampala (MUK) is the largest university in Uganda. It was established as a technical school in 1922 and has since become one of the most prestigious universities in Africa.

The university is made up of nine colleges and one school, serving around 36,000 undergraduates and 4,000 postgraduates.

Many East African politicians have attended the MUK, including the presidents of Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania and Kenya.

The university was also a centre for literary activity and culture that formed a nationalistic identity in independent Uganda.

Academic colleges function as faculties, spanning natural sciences, business and management, health sciences, education and engineering.

List of the Best Universities in Africa 2019

Africa Rank
2019
WUR Rank
2019
UniversityCountryCity 
1156University of Cape TownSouth AfricaCape Town
2 201–250 University of the WitwatersrandSouth AfricaJohannesburg
3 301–350 Stellenbosch UniversitySouth AfricaStellenbosch
4 401–500 University of KwaZulu-NatalSouth AfricaDurban
5 501–600 Makerere UniversityUgandaKampala
6 601–800 American University in CairoEgyptCairo
6 601–800 Benha UniversityEgyptBanha
6 601–800 Beni-Suef UniversityEgyptBeni Suef
6 601–800 Covenant UniversityNigeriaOta
6 601–800 University of IbadanNigeriaIbadan
6 601–800 University of JohannesburgSouth AfricaJohannesburg
6 601–800 Kafrelsheikh UniversityEgyptKafr el-Sheikh
6 601–800 Mansoura UniversityEgyptDakahlia
6 601–800 University of PretoriaSouth AfricaPretoria
6 601–800 Suez Canal UniversityEgyptIsmailia
6 601–800 University of the Western CapeSouth AfricaCape Town
17 801–1000 Alexandria UniversityEgyptAlexandria
17 801–1000 University of BéjaïaAlgeriaBéjaïa
17 801–1000 Cairo UniversityEgyptCairo
17 801–1000 Fayoum UniversityEgyptFauyoum
17 801–1000 Ferhat Abbas Sétif University 1AlgeriaSetif
17 801–1000 University of GhanaGhanaAccra
17 801–1000 University of Marrakech Cadi AyyadMoroccoMarrakech
17 801–1000 Mohammed V University of RabatMoroccoRabat
17 801–1000 University of SfaxTunisiaSfax
17 801–1000 Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah UniversityMoroccoFez
17 801–1000 Sohag UniversityEgyptSohag
17 801–1000 Tanta UniversityEgyptTanta
17 801–1000 Tshwane University of TechnologySouth AfricaPretoria
30 1001+ Ain Shams UniversityEgyptCairo
30 1001+ Al-Azhar UniversityEgyptCairo
30 1001+ Assiut UniversityEgyptAssiut
30 1001+ Badji Mokhtar University – AnnabaAlgeriaAnnaba
30 1001+ University of Constantine 1AlgeriaConstantine
30 1001+ Helwan UniversityEgyptAin Helwan
30 1001+ Menoufia UniversityEgyptMenoufia
30 1001+ Minia UniversityEgyptMinya
30 1001+ University of MonastirTunisiaMonastir
30 1001+ University of NairobiKenyaNairobi
30 1001+ University of Nigeria NsukkaNigeriaNsukka
30 1001+ University of Sciences and Technology
Houari Boumediene
AlgeriaBab-Ezzouar
30 1001+ University of South AfricaSouth AfricaPretoria
30 1001+ South Valley UniversityEgyptQena
30 1001+ University of TlemcenAlgeriaTlemcen
30 1001+ University of Tunis El ManarTunisiaTunis
30 1001+ Université Hassan II de CasablancaMoroccoCasablanca
30 1001+ Zagazig UniversityEgyptZagazig

Data Source: timeshighereducation.com

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