Pursuing higher education is relevant but much more important is the source and quality of the information you receive which shapes your knowledge. The world university rankings rate most of the major higher institutions across the globe. African Universities, just like every other thing that can be ranked, are highly subject to change – and a few of these African universities have proven to be better than others in the same continent. These 50 higher institutions are among the many that are putting the continent on the global map.
50. Université des sciences et de la Technologie Houari-Boumediene – Algeria
USTHB is an outstanding higher institution when it comes to science and technological institutions in Algeria. It was founded in 1974 after the transfer of the Faculty of Science of the University of Algiers to Bab Ezzouar, close to Algier International Airport.
This is a government-owned University in Nigeria that was established in 1982. The USTHB which is meant to enhance technological development in the region offers higher education programs such as pre-bachelor degrees, bachelor degrees, master degrees, doctorate degrees in several areas of study. The institution also offers several non-academic facilities and services to students including a library, housing, sports facilities, and/or activities, as well as administrative services that will be beneficial for all the students. The institution caters to over 20, 000 students and was known to be the biggest until 2013 when more universities were established. The school tutors primarily in the French language, except for the Geography curriculum that is provided in the Arabic language.
49. Université Ferhat Abbas Sétif – Algeria
The University Ferhat Abbas of Setif also known as Université Ferhat Abbas de Sétif (UFAS), Algeria, was established in 1978 but became a full-fledge institution in 1989. It was divided into two universities in 2011 (1 & 2) with 2 focusing on law, political science, and other related courses. Named after a renowned political leader that led to the country’s separation from France in 1962, the institution’s main campus is located in El-Bez while its branches are in El Maabouda and Boukhrissa.
48. Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport – Egypt
Formerly known as Arab Academy for Science, Technology, and Maritime Transport, this university basically caters to students who are looking to run programs in marine transportation, business, and engineering. It was established in 1972 and is located in Egypt. It offers certificates that are equivalent to those offered by other Eygptian universities.
47. Université Mohamed Boudiaf de M’sila – Algeria
Another prestigious university based in Algeria, Université Mohamed Boudiaf de M’sila has an old history having been formed in 1985 as a multidisciplinary public institution. However, it gained university status in 2001 and has since stood out. Located precisely in M’sila, the institution has about 7 faculties including the faculty of technology, the faculty of sciences, the faculty of mathematics and computer science, the faculty of law, among others. With over 50,000 students and over 2000 staff (including teachers and technical and administrative staff), it is safe to call this higher institution a big institution.
46. Université Mohammed V – Souissi – Morocco
Mohammed V University at Souissi is a non-profit Moroccan public institution of higher education and scientific research. It was founded on December 21, 1957, by King Mohammed V after independence. From Inception, it has provided and continues to provide training of high-level executive and administrative teaching to the country. The university was split into two independent universities in 1992.
45. Université Mohamed Khider de Biskra – Algeria
The university was established in 1998 and it is located in Biskra, Algeria. The University faculties include sciences, sciences of nature and life; human and social sciences; law and political science; economics, business, and management sciences; science and technology; letters and languages.
44. Université de la Reunion – Reunion
The University of La Réunion is a French university in the Academy of Réunion. Located in Saint-Denis, it is the first European university in the Indian Ocean. It is officially recognized by the Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche et de l’Innovation, France (Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, France) and caters to only 15,000 students.
43. Ain Shams University – Egypt
Ain Shams University is an institute of higher education located in Cairo, Egypt. Founded in 1950, the university provides education at the undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate levels.
42. Universidade Eduardo Mondlane – Mozambique
Eduardo Mondlane University is the oldest and largest university in Mozambique. The institution was set up as a center for higher education in 1962 in what was then Lourenço Marques, the capital of Portugal’s overseas province of Mozambique. Founded by the time of Overseas Minister Adriano Moreira, it was called Estudos Gerais Universitários de Moçambique (Mozambique General University Studies). After Mozambique became independent in 1975, the city was renamed “Maputo” and the university was renamed in honor of Frelimo leader Eduardo Mondlane in 1976
41. Ahmadu Bello University – Nigeria
Established in 1962, the Ahmadu Bello University is the first University of Northern Nigeria. The university which is located in Zaria, in northern Nigeria, is also regarded as the largest University in Nigeria, in sub-Saharan Africa and second-largest in Africa coming behind Cairo University, Egypt. It offers most generally accepted academic programs such as pre-bachelor degrees, bachelor degrees, master degrees, doctorate degrees in several areas of study.
40. Durban University of Technology – South Africa
DUT is an institution that was founded in 2002 by the merger of Technikon Natal and ML Sultan Technikon and was previously known as the Durban Institute of Technology. The institution was is located in the hear of the city of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
39. University of Namibia – Namibia
The University of Namibia (UNAM) is the national university of Namibia, located in the Pioneers Park residential area of Windhoek. It was established by an act of the National Assembly on 31 August 1992. It is the only University in Namibia that offers a doctorate in the study of the Khoekhoe language.
38. University of Ilorin – Nigeria
The University of Ilorin, also known as Unilorin was established by a decree of the Federal Military Government in 1975 and is a federal government-owned tertiary institution of education. In August 2014, the school was ranked as the best university in Nigeria by 4icu.
37. Namibia University of Science and Technology – Namibia
The NUST is a tertiary institution founded that was founded in 1985 and is located in Windhoek, Namibia. The University also offers courses and programs leading to officially recognized higher education degrees.
36. Obafemi Awolowo University – Nigeria
Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) is a federal government-owned and operated Nigerian university. The school offers undergraduate and post-graduate programmes in fields of specialization spanning the humanities, the arts, the natural sciences, the social sciences, the medical sciences, engineering, and technology.
35. University of Khartoum – Sudan
The University of Khartoum is a multi-campus, co-educational, public university located in Khartoum. It is the largest and oldest university in Sudan.
34. Alexandria University – Egypt
Alexandria University is a public research university in Alexandria, Egypt. It was established in 1938 as a satellite of Fuad University (the name of which was later changed to Cairo University), becoming an independent entity in 1942. It was known as Farouk University until the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 when its name was changed to the University of Alexandria. Taha Hussein was the founding rector of Alexandria University. It is now the second-largest university in Egypt and has many affiliations to various universities for ongoing research.
33. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology – Ghana
A public University located in Kumasi, Ashanti, Ghana and founded in 1951. The University offers Bachelors’s and Masters’s Courses. Scholarships and Internships for all National and International students.
32. Nelson Mandela University – South Africa
Formerly known as Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) and previously the University of Port Elizabeth, the Port Elizabeth Technikon and Vista University’s Port Elizabeth campus is a South African tertiary education institution with its main administration in the coastal city of Port Elizabeth. NMU was founded through a merger of three institutions in January 2005, but its history dates back to 1882, with the foundation of the Port Elizabeth Art School. The University draws international students from all over the world.
31. University of Botswana – Botswana
The University of Botswana or UB was established in 1982 as the first institution of higher education in Botswana. The university has four campuses: two in the capital city Gaborone, one in Francistown, and another in Maun.
30. University of Dar es Salaam – Tanzania
The University of Dar es Salaam is a public university in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. It was established in 1961 as an affiliated college of the University of London. The university became an affiliate of the University of East Africa (UEA) in 1963, shortly after Tanzania gained its independence from the United Kingdom
29. Université Frères Mentouri de Constantine 1 – Algeria
A dynamic institution that is taking the lead in science and technological orientation with its emphasis on experiential training, quality service, community involvement, and research. The University was established in 1969 and it is located Constantine, Algeria which is the capital of Constantine Province in northeastern of the country. It’s a big university catering to over 60,000 students. Its English name is the University of Constantine 1 and was known previously as the University of Mentouri.
28. Université Kasdi Merbah de Ouargla – Algeria
The University of Ouargla is a scientific, cultural, and professional institution founded on March 22, 1988. The institution is located in the suburban setting of the large town of Ouargla, Algeria.
27. Sudan University of Science and Technology – Sudan
Sudan University of Science and Technology, or SUSTech, is one of the main public universities in Khartoum, Sudan with five campuses located in the state of Khartoum. SUSTech is a member of the Federation of the Universities of the Islamic World.
26. Tshwane University of Technology – South Africa
Founded in 2003, Tshwane University of Technology is a public higher education institution located in the urban setting of the large city of Pretoria, a city in Gauteng, South Africa.
25. University of Nigeria – Nigeria
Founded in 1960, the University of Nigeria also known as UNN, is a government university located in the small city Nsukka, Enugu State, eastern Nigeria.
24. Université Abderrahmane Mira de Béjaia – Algeria
This an Algerian institution formed in 1983 and named after Abderrahamne Mira. The higher institution is a big public university based in Bejara, Algeria catering to over 40,000 students, and about 2000 staff. It offers courses leading to officially recognized higher education degrees such as bachelor degrees, master degrees, doctorate degrees in several areas of study.
23. Université Abou Bekr Belkaid Tlemcen – Algeria
Also known as the University of Tlemcen, it is a public higher education institution located in the large town of Tlemcen, Algeria. It was established in 1974.
22. Cape Peninsula University of Technology – South Africa
Located in Cape Town, South Africa, the Cape Peninsula University of Technology founded in 2005, is the largest University in the Western Cape Province. It is also the only university of Technology in the province. The institution has branches in Bellville, Mowbray, Wellington, Greenpoint.
21. Covenant University – Nigeria
A relatively new institution compared to the most on the list, Covenant University is a private university founded in 2002 by Living Faith Church Worldwide. It is located in Ota, Ogun State of Nigeria. The institution has several faculties (Education, Law, Management & Commerce, Science & Agriculture, Social Sciences & Humanities) all of which offer qualifications up to the doctoral level.
20. Makerere University Kampala – Uganda
Makerere University Kampala is Uganda’s largest and third-oldest institution of higher learning, first established as a technical school in 1922, and is now part of Uganda Christian University. In 1963, it became the University of East Africa, offering courses leading to general degrees from the University of London.
19. Universiteit van die Vrystaat – South Africa
Located in Bloemfontein, the capital of the Free State, the Universiteit van die Vrystaat also known as the University of the Free State is a multi-campus public institution. Founded in 1904, the UFS offers courses and programs leading to officially recognized higher education degrees such as bachelor degrees, master degrees, doctorate degrees in several areas of study
18. Mansoura University – Egypt
Mansoura University was founded in 1972 in Mansoura city, Egypt. Mansoura University is located in the middle of the Nile Delta in Egypt. It is one of the biggest Egyptian universities and has contributed much to the cultural and scientific life in Mansoura and Egypt.
17. Rhodes University – South Africa
Established May 31, 1904, Rhodes University is located in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, Rhodes is a small university when compared to some other African Universities but the institution enjoys the distinction of having among the best undergraduate pass and graduation rates in South Africa, outstanding postgraduate success rates, and the best research output per academic staff member. Overall, Rhodes University shares among the top 50 universities in Africa
16. Kenyatta University – Kenya
This is a research institution located in Nairobi Kenya. Founded in 1985, the Kenyatta University has branches in Mombasa, Kitui, Nakuru, Embu, Ruiru, Nyeri, Kiambu, Kericho and Dadaab. It is, no doubt, one of the top universities in Kenya.
15. The German University in Cairo – Egypt
The German University in Cairo is a university in New Cairo City, Cairo, Egypt. The language of instruction is English. Presidential decree 27/2002 established the university which was founded in 2002.
14. University of Ghana – Ghana
The University of Ghana is the oldest and largest of the thirteen Ghanaian universities and tertiary institutions. It was founded in 1948 as the University College of the Gold Coast and was originally an affiliated college of the University of London, which supervised its academic programs and awarded degrees. It gained full university status in 1961 and now has nearly 40,000 students.
13. The American University, Cairo – Egypt
The American University in Cairo was established by Americans who were devoted to education and service in the Middle East in 1919 with a motive to create an English-language based university that will uphold very high standards of learning, conduct, and scholarship and to ultimately contribute to the intellectual growth, discipline, and character of the future leaders of Egypt and the region. The founding president, Dr. Charles A. Watson helped shape the institution for the first 27 years.
Initially, the American University in Cairo (AUC) was intended to be both a preparatory school and a university. With a population of 142 students in two classes that were equivalent to the last two years of an American high school, the preparatory school was opened in 1920 and awarded Junior college-level certificates to 20 students in 1923 as her first diploma certificate. The American University in Cairo ranks number 10 on our list of Top 50 Best Universities in Africa.
12. Addis Ababa University – Ethiopia
Addis Ababa University is a state institution located in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. The institution was formally known as the University College of Addis Ababa in 1950 and was later renamed Haile Selassie I University in 1962 after the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie.
11. University Of The Western Cape – South Africa
The University of the Western Cape is a national university and has a history of creative struggle against oppression, discrimination, and disadvantage. The institution was established in 1960 by the South African government as a university for Colored people only.
10. Cairo University – Egypt
The Cairo University was founded on the 21st of December, 1908 as a European-inspired civil university, in contrast to the religious university of al-Azhar, and became the prime indigenous model for other state universities. The idea came in an effort to establish a national center for educational thought. The standards maintained by this university put it among the top 50 most respected universities in Africa.
9. North-West University – South Africa
The North-West University is a merged institution with three campuses at Potchefstroom, Mahikeng, and Vanderbijlpark, South Africa. The Potchefstroom Campus (founded in 1869) is the largest, and the head office of the University is situated at this location. With its merged status, North-West University became one of the largest universities in South Africa and has 64 081 students (full-time and distance education).
8. University of Lagos – Nigeria
The University of Lagos – popularly known as Unilag – is a federal government university in Lagos State, southwestern Nigeria. The University has remained one of the most competitive in the country in terms of admissions. Notwithstanding, with approximately 45,000 students as of 2010, the University of Lagos has one of the largest student populations of any University in the country.
7. University of Nairobi – Kenya
The inception of the University of Nairobi is traced back to 1956, with the establishment of the Royal Technical College which admitted its first group of A-level graduates for technical courses in April the same year. It is the largest university in Kenya. Although its history as an educational institution goes back to 1956, it did not become an independent university until 1970 when the University of East Africa was split into three independent universities: Makerere University in Uganda, the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, and the University of Nairobi.
6. Stellenbosch University – South Africa
Stellenbosch University is one of the oldest universities in South Africa. Stellenbosch University (or Universiteit Stellenbosch) is one of South Africa’s foremost research universities. Established in 1866, Stellenbosch boasts the privilege of designing and manufacturing Africa’s first microsatellite, SUNSAT, launched in 1999. A century-long tradition of quality teaching and research has ensured the University a place among the finest academic institutions in Africa.
5. University Of Kwazulu-Natal – South Africa
The two KwaZulu-Natal universities were among the first batch of South African institutions to merge in 2004 in accordance with the government’s higher educational restructuring plans that will eventually see the number of higher educational institutions in South Africa reduced from 36 to 21. The University was established in 2004 through the merger of the University of Durban-Westville and the University of Natal bringing together the rich histories of both the former Universities. The South Africa government rates KwaZulu-Natal as one of five research-intensive universities in South Africa. Nearly 75 percent of its academics are research-active.
4. University of Johannesburg – South Africa
The University of Johannesburg came into existence on 1 January 2005 as the result of a merger between the Rand Afrikaans University, the Technikon Witwatersrand and the Soweto and East Rand campuses of Vista University.
3. The University Of Witwatersrand – South Africa
The University of Witwatersrand is one of the top-ranking universities in Africa. The institution has a reputation built on research and academic excellence. It is one of only two universities in Africa rated by two separate international rankings as a leading world institution. It has grown from around 1,000 students to more than 28,000 by 2010. It boasts five faculties, comprising 34 schools. Witwatersrand is the recipient of the highest levels of external financial support of all South African universities. It is not only famous for its academic excellence but its National Heritage sites, rock arts museums, among others.
2. University Of Cape Town – South Africa
Established 1st October 1829, optimism is the official creed of this university, which has the motto “Spes Bona” (“Good Hope”). The University of Cape Town has consistently ranked at the top of the best universities in Africa. The University of Cape Town started off as a College with a small tertiary-education facility that grew substantially after 1880 when the discovery of gold and diamonds in the north – and the resulting demand for skills in mining – gave it the financial boost it needed to grow. The College developed into a fully-fledged university during the period 1880 to 1900
1. University Of Pretoria – South Africa
The University of Pretoria commenced its activities in 1908 with a staff of four professors and three lecturers. Thirty-two students enrolled for courses at the first campus, Kya Rosa, a house in the center of the Pretoria. The University of Pretoria became a fully-fledged university in 1930. The name Tuks, for the University of Pretoria, derives from the acronym for the College, namely TUC. The institution has proven its worth over the years by maintaining a high standard and world-class talents.