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Find the best universities in Africa using Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings data
Scroll down for the full list of best universities in Africa
The best universities in Africa span 16 countries, from Uganda in the east to Nigeria in the west, Morocco in the north to South Africa at the southernmost tip of the continent, according to the Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings 2023.
Three of South Africa’s universities feature in the top 300 of the worldwide rankings: the University of Cape Town is Africa’s top university, sitting at 160th position, while Stellenbosch University and the University of the Witwatersrand are in the 251-300 bracket.
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Overall, Egypt and South Africa are the two best represented African countries in the ranking, with 26 and 15 universities each.
Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania and South Africa all have universities in the top 500 of the global ranking.
The ranking rates university performance using 13 indicators measuring teaching, research, research impact, innovation and international outlook. The full methodology can be found here.
The University of Cape Coast is the only university located outside of South Africa to be featured in the top four universities in Africa.
Located in Ghana, the university campus sits just 500 metres away from the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.
Academic programmes in the university are organised into five colleges; the college of health and allied sciences, distance education, humanities and legal studies, agriculture and natural sciences and educational studies.
The University of the Witwatersrand – or Wits University, as it is commonly known – is a public research university based in Johannesburg.
It was founded as a school of mining; the region is the most abundant with gold of any location worldwide.
The university grew significantly in the late 20th century, and the campus has been expanding with many new buildings.
That time was also a period of protest against apartheid policies, and the university campus was divided. Nonetheless, many prominent black leaders graduated from the university.
There are five campuses, with two joined by a walkway. The campuses are home to student residences (including female-only dorms), academic departments, the Origins Centre, Planetarium, theatres, museums and galleries.
Academic research and teaching are spread across five faculties: Commerce, Law and Management; Engineering and the Built Environment; Health Sciences; Science; and Humanities.
Through the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre, the medical school trains more specialists than any other university in southern Africa.
The Disability Rights Unit is a flagship centre ensuring that higher education is accessible to disabled students, caregivers and others in need of special provisions.
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Stellenbosch University is located in South Africa’s Western Cape, 50km from Cape Town. The university town maintains Dutch colonial architecture, and its streets host an array of cafés, boutiques and galleries.
Teaching at the university is split over four campuses, with the main one in Stellenbosch and the others in the nearby area.
Students can complete 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 about 150 academic departments within 10 faculties, and many other research centres.
In addition to an extensive library system, the university has a conservatory with two concert halls, home of the Stellenbosch University Choir – the oldest South African choir.
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.
Some 18 per cent of the student body are international.
The university was founded in 1829, making it the oldest university in the country and the second oldest in Africa, behind the University of Sierra Leone, which was established two years earlier.
The main campus contains many teaching faculties, the main library and some halls of residence. 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: Commerce, Engineering and the Built Environment, Health Sciences, Humanities, Science and Law.
In addition, the university’s Graduate School of Business runs independently from the commerce faculty.
The university is committed to social change through its “transformation” projects, which tackle issues such as diversity, student opportunity and behaviour.
Click each institution to view its full World University Rankings 2023 results
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