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As UI, UNN slide on world varsity ranking, ASUU says it vindicates current strike


The University of Ibadan and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, are the only two Nigerian citadels of learning that made the world’s best 2,000 Universities in the 2020/2021 ranking released by the Centre for World University Ranking.

Both universities, which presently hold national rankings of first and second in Nigeria, could not make top 1,000 as the UI, the premier university, is ranked 1,163 while the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, returned as 1,882 in the world.

Unlike Nigerian universities, the first 13 universities in South Africa made the best 2,000 universities while seven of them made the best 1000 varsities in the world.

These are University of Cape Town (268), University of Witwatersrand (275), Stellenbosch University (429), University of Kwazulu-natal (477), University of Pretoria (578), University of Johannesburg (706), North-west University (922)

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By this ranking, the University of Ibadan is 8th in Africa followed by the University of Western Cape, South Africa (1,158) that is ranked 9th on the continent.

The Centre for World University ranking utilised quality of education, which is measured by the number of a university’s alumni who have won major academic distinctions relative to the university’s size, alumni employment (number of alumni who have held a top executive position at world’s largest economy), quality of faculty (number of a university faculty who have won major academic distinctions), and research performance (measured by the total number of research paper, high-quality publications in top-tier journals, influence, and citations) to arrive at the latest ranking.

Reacting to the ranking, chairman, University of Ibadan chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ayo Akinwole, stated that the ranking vindicated the struggle by ASUU to make government commit not less than 26 percent of her national budget to education, lamenting that the best the Muhammadu Buhari government had done was to reduce the budget yearly to about 6 percent at present.

According to Akinwole, ASUU has been drawing government and Nigerians’ attention to the rot in the tertiary education system and was proven right by the 2012 Needs Assessment conducted by the Federal Government.

As revealed in the ranking, it has taken personal dogged efforts of research output of academics in the University of Ibadan and the University of Nigeria to position Nigeria on the global map.

He noted that the only variable that made two Nigerian universities to be ranked among the best 2000 universities is in relation to the research performance where the University of Ibadan had 1,101 with a total score of 69.4, while Nsukka had 1805 and a total score of 66.2.

According to Akinwole, Nigerian academics are among the best in the world but are faced with poor working conditions including poor salaries and lack of the appropriate tools and clement environment to make them compete globally.

ASUU has been on strike to make government address issues of revitalisation fund, Earned academic allowances, visitation panel to universities, the proliferation of state varsities and issues of governance in them, and speedy conclusion of the renegotiation of 2009 agreement.

He admonished Nigerians to join ASUU in ensuring that Federal Government injects more funds for the revitalisation of public varsities so that Nigerian universities will be able to compete effectively globally and their graduates will be respected across the world with their certificates.

“Although one may have one or two things to say about the indices used in the ranking the truth of the matter is that Nigeria academics are using their own blood to still make Nigerian varsities run because the government has become irresponsible and wicked.”