12 Nigerian Varsities Move Up in Global Rankings, UI Nigeria’s Best

No fewer than 12 Nigerian universities have shown remarkable improvement in world ranking and were applauded at the Times Higher Education World Academic Summit which ended in New York on October 12.

Chairman of the Nigerian Universities Ranking Advisory Committee (NURAC), Prof Emeritus Peter Okebukola made this known to reporters in Abuja on return from the New York Summit.

NURAC was set up by the Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Abubakar Adamu Rasheed to mobilise Nigerian universities for and catalyse their participation in all global ranking schemes.

Over the last 12 months, NURAC had been working with all universities and building capacities to ensure the actualisation of this mandate.

Okebukola who attended the summit in New York with members of NURAC was visibly thrilled and noted that “Nigeria was singled out and publicly announced at the summit by the management of Times Higher Education World University Rankings as having made one of the most significant improvements in ranking within a year.

From five universities in the top band in 2022 to 12 universities within a year is a remarkable feat”.

Okebukola who is also a member of the international advisory board of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and the Chairman of the Governing Board of the African Higher Education Observatory as well as the Chairman of the Governing Board of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), listed the top two Nigerian universities in the 401 to 500 band as the University of Ibadan and University of Lagos.

Covenant University is next in the 601 to 800 band. Bayero University Kano and Federal University Akure are in the 1001 to 1200 band. In the 1201 to 1500 band are University of Ilorin, University of Nigeria Nsukka and Obafemi Awolowo University.

The three universities in the 1500+ category are Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology and Nnamdi Azikiwe University.

Speaking further on the exciting development, Okebukola said “there are over 30,000 universities in the world today and about 1,799 were ranked by Times Higher Education after meeting the ranking criteria.

He explained that Institutions that apply for the ranking were assessed on 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators that measure an institution’s performance across four areas: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.

The top five universities in the 2023 world rankings are Oxford, Harvard, Cambridge, Stanford, and MIT. University of Lagos ranked 478 globally and the number 1 in Nigeria.

The former executive secretary of NUC, noted that across Nigeria, physical sciences was the most frequently ranked subject.

He added, “In the 2023 ranking, Nigeria had better scores in the international co-authorship metric but had low scores in international students, international staff, industry income, doctorates/staff, research reputation and teaching reputation.

Between 2019 and 2023, the citation score for Nigeria increased by an average of 30. Conversely, the industry score decreased by an average of 2.5″.

Okebukola was also pleased to note that 45 Nigerian universities, among the highest in the world, are in the reporter category for the 2023 ranking which means that with a little nudge, they will be eligible for inclusion in the elite league tables.

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