First, as with any similar list that determines which universities are “best,”collected both quantitative and qualitative data to determine which universities in Africa would make our Top 10 List.
Second, we made a determination to create two distinct lists: a) Africa, excluding South Africa, and b) South Africa. If we were not to have made this distinction, our Top 10 List would be dominated by South African universities, and would not be useful to those seeking a pan-African perspective. At the same time, we wish to acknowledge the strength of South Africa’s many world-class universities, so we decided to dedicate a list that features just South African institutions.
Third, our criteria include the following: a) undergraduate and graduate school reputation among higher education peers; b) student selectivity for entering undergraduate class; c) quality and quantity of faculty research, including depth of research facilities and engagement beyond immediate community, and d) international student ratio—the degree to which institution draws students from outside of its national boundaries.
Fourth, in addition to collecting quantitative data on the criteria above, we used our extensive network on the continent for qualitative input as a “reality check” to the results that our data yielded.
These “reality checks” resulted in some small, but important adjustments to the list. We are very proud of our list of the best universities in Africa, and hope that it is a useful tool for those who seek a relative comparison of institutions of higher education on the continent. As always, we welcome your feedback.