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10 Best Universities in Africa

1University of Cape Town – Cape Town, South Africa

The University of Cape Town (UCT), located on the slopes of Devil’s Peak in Cape Town, UCT is South Africa’s oldest university, and is one of Africa’s leading teaching and research institutions. Established in 1829, initially as a high school for boys, it is now home to more than 25,000 students and close to 1,000 academic staff members. UCT attracts a large number of international students who currently make up close to 20 percent of the student body.

UCT aspires to become a premier academic meeting point between South Africa, the rest of Africa and the world. Taking advantage of expanding global networks and a distinct vantage point in Africa, UCT is committed, through innovative research and scholarship, to grapple with the key issues of natural and social worlds. UCT aims to produce graduates whose qualifications are internationally recognised and locally applicable, underpinned by values of engaged citizenship and social justice.


>> Click HERE to see the Top 10 Universities in South Africa

2American University in Cairo – Cairo, Egypt

Founded in 1919, The American University in Cairo (AUC) has become an essential contributor to the intellectual, cultural and social life of Egypt.

AUC has nearly 35,000 active alumni. Currently, some 6,500 students are enrolled in 36 undergraduate, 44 master’s, and two doctoral programs. More than 16,000 students enroll each year in non-credit courses offered through AUC’s School of Continuing Education.

AUC maintains two campuses: its environmentally-conscious main campus in the suburbs of Cairo and its historical campus in downtown Cairo.AUC emphasizes research and innovation grounded in the liberal arts, and all undergraduate students study a common set of courses in the humanities and the natural and social sciences as part of the university’s Core Curriculum. AUC is strongly committed to excellence, diversity, lifelong learning, social responsibility, and integrity in its programs and services.AUC degrees are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education in the US and by the National Authority for Quality Assurance and Assessment of Education (NAQAAE) in Egypt, and many of its programs have specialized accreditation. The university is ranked among the top 450 universities worldwide, according to the London-based Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).

Notable alumni include former Japanese Minister of Defense Yuriko Koike, Romanian diplomat and journalist Dan Stoenescu, and Saudi Arabia’s first female filmmaker, Haifa Al-Mansour.

3Al Akhawayn University – Ifrane, Morocco

Al Akhawayn University is an independent, public, not-for-profit, coeducational university located in Ifrane, Morocco, near the imperial city of Fez. The university is committed to educating future citizen-leaders of Morocco and the world through a globally oriented, English-language, liberal arts curriculum based on the American system. Many graduate students go on to successful careers in international business, diplomacy, and non-profit organizations.

Founded in 1995, Al Akhawayn University redefines the classic American liberal arts educational experience on an architecturally stunning modern campus amidst the beauty of Morocco’s Middle Atlas Mountains. It offers leading-edge educational and research programs, including continuing and executive education, and upholds the highest academic and ethical standards, while promoting equity and social responsibility.

4University of Nairobi – Nairobi, Kenya

Tracing its roots back to 1956 as a technical college, the University of Nairobi (UoN) became an independent university in 1970, and is the pioneer institution of University education in Kenya and the region. The university is a center of Academic and Research excellence recognized in the African continent and beyond. The university is known for its competitiveness in research and diverse academic programmes.

Spread across seven campuses UoN is home to over 1,600 academic staff members who oversee more than 70,000 students, and hosts an average of 120 foreign students each year. UoN has official bilateral collaborations with at least 20 global universities and organizations in joint research and publications.

The research intensive university has over 1,000 research projects currently being undertaken by staff and students, and boasts a range of research facilities, including the expansive Science and Technology Park which also houses the small-scale digital fabrication workshop that serves as a rapid prototyping centre, the “FabLab.” It is also a space where students can incubate and develop business ideas, with entrepreneurship strongly encouraged and supported throughout the university.

5Makerere University – Kampala, Uganda

Founded in 1922, and later becoming an independent national university in 1970, Makerere University is Uganda’s largest and oldest public university. The university developed a focused research agenda in line with the national government’s policy objectives, and seeks to support those programs with a multidisciplinary approach ranging from natural sciences to economics and education.

Spread across three campuses, Makerere University has a population of over 40,000, with more than five percent of the student body made up of international students.

Makerere offers 145 undergraduate programs, over 140 postgraduate programs, and 135 masters programs. Home to a top medical school, the University of Makerere also partners with the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine to host a medical exchange program in which students complete rotations in the fields of cardiology, family planning, pediatrics, infectious disease, and trauma (emergency medicine), among many others.

6University of Ghana at Legon – Accra, Ghana

Originally founded as an affiliate college of the University of London, the University of Ghana became an independent institution in 1961 and is the oldest and largest of  thirteen Ghanaian public universities.

The university has several research institutions and centres including Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIR), Centre for Tropical, Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Regional Institute for Population Studies, Institute for Environmental and Sanitation Studies, and the Institute for Statistical, Social and Economic Research.

The student population is over 38,000 made up of students enrolled in regular programmes, sandwich programmes, and distance education as well as students from affiliate institutions.

As the leading university in Ghana, it aims to produce the next generation of thought leaders to drive national development.

7University of Ibadan – Ibadan, Nigeria

Established in 1948, the University of Ibadan (UI), is the first university founded in Nigeria. It is a comprehensive citadel of learning with academic programmes in sixteen Faculties.  UI is well acknowledged within and outside the country as one of the largest in Africa and the flagship of Postgraduate Education in Nigeria. The Postgraduate School enrollment takes about 50% of the entire student enrollment. University of Ibadan produces an average of 3,000 Masters & 250 Ph.Ds every year.

Through its alumni and alumnae, the University of Ibadan has, in the past six decades contributed significantly to the political, industrial, economic and cultural development of Nigeria.

UI graduates, staff and students are making great impact on the world through new discoveries, innovations and inventions in science, medicine, agriculture, business and technology.

Popularly known as Unibadan or UI, it is located five miles (8 kilometres) from the centre of the major city of Ibadan in Western Nigeria.

8University of Botswana – Gaborone, Botswana

Established in 1982, the University of Botswana is the country’s first institution of higher education. The university has three campuses: one in the capital city Gaborone, one in Francistown, and the other in Maun.

The university is divided into six faculties: Business, Education, Engineering, Humanities, Science and Social Sciences. Closely involved in the national development process of Botswana, the special functions of the University are to engage in improving the quality and expanding the quantity of the human resources.

UoB is home to nearly 19,000 students. Females make up more than 55 percent, with an undergraduate population of over 15,000, and more than 3,000 postgraduate students, all taught by a total of 890 academic staff members.

The campus has a total of 9 research facilities, including the Okavango Research Institute that is focused on the study and conservation of the Okavango Delta along with other southern African wetlands, and the Centre for Study of HIV & AIDS that takes an interdisciplinary approach to understand and address the impact of the virus.

The university’s main library is one of the largest on the continent standing five stories tall. It is home to roughly 460,000 books, 123,000 full text journals, and 187 internet-dedicated workstations.

9University of Dar Es Salaam – Dar Es, Salaam, Tanzania

The University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) is a public university in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. It was established in 1961 as an affiliate college of the University of London. The university became an affiliate of the University of East Africa (UEA) in 1963, shortly after Tanzania gained its independence from the United Kingdom. In 1970, UEA split into three independent universities: Makerere University in Uganda, the University of Nairobi in Kenya, and the University of Dar es Salaam.

The University has five campuses and 10 faculties, including faculties in mechanical and chemical engineering and aquatic science and technology, and offers bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees, along with certification programs. Its expansive library maintains a collection of around 600,000 volumes and 2,800 periodical titles, of which more than 140 are current printed journals.

10Addis Ababa University – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Addis Ababa University (AAU), which was established in 1950 as the University College of Addis Ababa (UCAA), is the oldest and the largest higher learning and research institution in Ethiopia. Since its inception, the University has been the leading center in teaching-learning, research and community services.

Beginning with enrollment capacity of 33 students in 1950, AAU now has 48,673 students (33,940 undergraduate, 13,000 Master’s and 1733 PhD students) and 6043 staff (2,408 academics and 3,635 support staff). In its 14 campuses, the University runs 70 undergraduate and 293 graduate programs (72 PhD and 221 Masters), and various specializations in Health Sciences.

In recent years, the University has been undertaking various reform schemes in order to cope with and respond to the fast-changing national and international educational dynamics. At present the University has 10 colleges, 4 institutes that run both teaching and research, and 6 research institutes that predominantly conduct research. Within these academic units, there are 55 departments, 12 centers, 12 schools, and 2 teaching hospitals.

Over 222,000 students have graduated from AAU since its establishment.

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