University Of Embu Emerges The Best University in Kenya, New Report Shows

In the inaugural Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) university ranking published on Monday, June 26, none of the Kenyan higher education institutions made the top 100 list.

On the continental ranking, where Makerere University from Uganda was placed fifth, the top university in Kenya, the University of Embu, was listed at position 16.

Other Kenyan institutions of higher learning that made the list were Rongo University (25), Kibabii University (36), Kabarak University (42), University of Kabianga, Maasai Mara University, and Riara University.

Popular universities across the country like the University of Nairobi (UoN), Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), and Kenyatta University (KU) were nowhere to be seen.

Notably, Ashesi University in Ghana, which carried out the research backed by MasterCard Foundation, indicated that it only ranked 121 universities that had provided data for the exercise.

That effectively meant that top universities like UoN had not submitted the data making them ineligible.

“This first edition ranks 88 universities across 20 countries. An additional 33 institutions are listed because they provided data but did not meet our eligibility criteria to receive a rank,” clarified the team behind the ranking.

The ranking, which evaluated 121 universities in total, used a methodology that covers five key pillars namely; resources and finances, access and fairness, teaching skills, student engagement, and African impact.

In the top 10, South Africa had four universities including the top two; the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Johannesburg. Tanzania had two and Uganda, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Ghana had one each.

According to the organisers, private universities in Sub-Saharan countries were flexible as well as efficient and often went the extra mile to track their graduate’s progress.

“Public and private higher education institutions in sub-Saharan Africa complement each other in providing quality education for the masses,” added Laté Lawson, research manager at the Charity Education Sub-Saharan Africa.

Pauline Rose, the Professor of International Education at the University of Cambridge and Director of the Research for Equitable Access and Learning Centre, lamented that the institutions were underfunded and experienced large faculty-to-student ratios and limited time as well as money for research.

The top three universities on the list were the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) and the University of Johannesburg (South Africa) and the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Science (Tanzania).

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