BusinessDay

World university ranking: UI, UNILAG are Nigeria’s best varsities

The University of Ibadan (UI) and the University of Lagos (UNILAG) are ranked Nigeria’s best in the latest World University Rankings.

According to the Times Higher Education (THE) ranking for 2023 both UI and UNILAG share the top spot with 401-500 ranking globally and first spot in Nigeria.

Covenant University, the only private university that made the top 10 list comes behind both federal universities, and ranked between 601 and 800 globally.

The Times Higher Education (THE) is a British magazine that specialises in higher education worldwide. In its latest World University Rankings 2023, no university in Nigeria made the first 300 on the list.

The 2023 ranking analysed over 121 million citations across more than 15.5 million research publications. Over 1,799 universities across 104 countries and regions of the world were included.

Besides, survey responses from 40,000 scholars globally were analysed.

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“Overall, we collected over 680,000 data points from more than 2,500 institutions that submitted data,” THE stated.

Odion Slyverter, a senior lecturer in the department of Political Science at the Lagos State University (LASU), in his reaction, observed that global university rankings have not been favourable to African universities for some obvious reasons.

“They use a lot of parameters in doing the ranking and if a university does not have those requirements, such a university will definitely be ranked low. One of those parameters is an online presence which helps to heighten an institution’s ranking,” he said.

The university don reiterated that it was only South African universities that receive positive rankings at the global level because of their quality of infrastructure, funding, and grants among others which make them visible at the international level.

“It is understandable that when it comes to infrastructure, we are underdeveloped, hence, we cannot measure up with them in ranking due to lack of facilities,” he said.

Stanley Boroh, a lecturer at the Federal University, Otuoke in Bayelsa State, sees a lack of facilities, grants, and a good working environment as reasons many universities in Nigeria do not make it up there when it comes to global university ranking.

“The ranking is a sad one; I think the lack of visibility is one major reason for this,” he said.

Boroh further said that the lack of infrastructure, poor working environment, and lack of adequate funding are some of the things ASUU is fighting for. With these in place, more universities from Nigeria will be up there in ranking.

“The ranking is fair, but we need grants to boost our work,” he said.

Stanley Alaubi, a lecturer at the University of Port Harcourt said the criteria for the listing of the universities were something to be queried.

“Sometimes I wonder about the criteria for the listing. I think they should be made public. Without prejudice, I think it is a welcome development. I congratulate the listed universities, we expect others to follow suit,” he said.