• World - Africa
  • Updated: December 07, 2022

Ten Best Universities In Africa

According to the Times Higher Education's World University Rankings 2023, the top universities in Africa are spread across 16 nations, from Uganda in the east to Nigeria in the west, and from South Africa at the southernmost tip of the continent to Morocco in the north.

Based on where they placed in the overall Best Global Universities rankings, these universities have been ranked numerically.

Members of the academic community from around the world and in the region rated each institution according to its performance in research.

Below are the 10 best universities in Africa.

10. The Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania


Tanzania's Dar es Salaam is home to the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences.

The university offers programs that can be pursued at the undergraduate and graduate levels in the fields of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, public health, conventional medicine, laboratory, and allied sciences.

At Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, there are typically 40 active research projects at any given time.

These can range from examining the effects of vitamins on the offspring of HIV-positive mothers to examining the potential effects of health insurance in developing nations.

9. University of Lagos, Nigeria

The University of Lagos, also referred to as UNILAG, is a public research university that was established in Lagos, Nigeria, in 1962.

Listed among the best universities in the world by prestigious education publications, UNILAG is one of Nigeria's first-generation universities.

There are currently three campuses for the university on Lagos's mainland.

Two of its campuses are in Yaba (the main campus in Akoka and the recently created campus at the former school of radiography).

Idi-Araba, in Surulere, is where it has a medical college. Its main campus is 802 acres in size and is largely surrounded by the Lagos lagoon.

Currently, the University of Lagos enrols more than 57,000 students and accepts over 9,000 undergraduate applicants each year.

8. University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), which focuses on both teaching and research, is one of the continent's biggest, oldest, and most modern universities.

UKZN has established a reputation as a top institution of higher learning on the African continent thanks to its innovative curricula, engaging teaching and learning environment, cutting-edge laboratories, and accredited professional degrees.

In terms of research productivity, the University is the top-ranked public university in South Africa.

The natural, biomedical, humanities, and social sciences are all active in research.

Academic excellence has a proud and illustrious history at the university.

In 2010, UKZN commemorated a century of academic achievement, technological advancement, and civic involvement.

7. University of Ibadan, Nigeria

The University of Ibadan (UI), the first university to be founded in Nigeria, was founded in 1932.

Initially, a college that belonged to the University of London, it received full independence in 1962.

There are thirteen faculties at UI, including those for social sciences, education, veterinary medicine, technology, law, public health, and dentistry.

With a 50/50 split between undergraduate and graduate students, UI's Postgraduate School is the biggest in Africa.

A third of all students reside in university-run residence halls, which are up-to-date buildings with common areas, cafes, and gyms.

The university's mission is to ensure that education is accessible to everyone, and it has a well-established distance learning centre where those whose access to education is hampered by family or financial obligations can enrol in the same courses as full-time students.

6. Ferhat Abbas Sétif University 1, Algeria

Ferhat Abbas Sétif University 1 was established in 1978 as the Sétif University Centre and is situated in the commercial hub of Eastern Algeria, which is frequently referred to as the birthplace of Algerian independence.

It gets its name from a political figure in the civil war that resulted in the country's 1962 separation from France.

It began with 242 students in the economics, precise science and technology, and foreign language schools before expanding to become a full university in 1989.

In 2011, the university split into two separate institutions, with Ferhat Abbas Sétif University 2 focusing on the humanities, including literature, languages, political science, and law.

The main campus including the faculties of medicine, science, natural and life sciences, economics, commerce and management and architecture and Earth sciences, remains at El-Bez.  

Its connection to the rest of the city enhanced since March 2018 by the opening of the Sétif tramway system.

The Faculty of Technology is based at El Maabouda and the Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics is at Said Boukhrissa.

5. Aswan University, Egypt

Located in the Egyptian market city of Aswan, Aswan University first opened its doors as a branch of Assuit University in 1976.

The school is committed to offering instruction in a broad range of subjects, including education, social work, engineering, agriculture, and archaeology, among many others.

To achieve this, the university is home to a variety of top-notch facilities.

To best meet their needs, the university offers its students an integrated care program that includes housing, academic support, and recreational amenities.

There are several specialized research facilities for the study of plants and animals among them, in addition to science labs, industrial centres, an information hub operated by the university, and a communication network.

Additionally, Aswan University hosts an annual sports festival and frequently engages in competition.

4. University of Cape Coast, Ghana

The University of Cape Coast is among the top 5 Universities in Africa and the top-ranked University in Ghana and West Africa according to the 2022 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

In terms of research influence, the University of Cape Coast is ranked first worldwide.

The university offers several pertinent undergraduate and graduate programs in the formal sciences, social sciences, humanities, physical sciences, and life sciences, as well as in education.

The emphasis of the institution's programs is influenced by the current, complex challenges being faced globally.

The university also offers a peaceful setting for study and leisure with amenities built with students' comfort in mind.

Academic programmes in the university are organised in five Colleges; the College of Health and Allied Sciences, Distance Education, Humanities and Legal Studies, Agriculture and Natural Sciences and Educational Studies. 

The university provides World class Centres of Excellence which give the requisite support for multi-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary teaching and research.

3. University of Witwatersrand, South Africa

Commonly known as “Wits”, the University of the Witwatersrand developed out of the South African School of Mines, set up in Kimberley in 1896. 

It adopted a non-discrimination based on race philosophy from the beginning, which caused it to experience intense conflict with the government during the apartheid era, including police raids and the detention of both faculty and students.

Because of its location in Johannesburg, Wits is close to the centre of the continent's economic activity.

It was one of the founding members of the African Research Universities Alliance and currently has an ongoing program of international partnerships both within and outside of Africa.

Highly research-intensive, it excels in subatomic physics and other fundamental scientific fields while also making significant contributions to applied fields like healthcare and the difficulties of deep-level mining.

The most famous alumnus of the university is Nelson Mandela, who studied law there and went on to become President of South Africa and the 1993 Nobel laureate for peace.


2. Stellenbosch University, South Africa

A leading educational institution in Africa, Stellenbosch University is dedicated to tackling problems and finding answers that have positive effects on our environment.

In the last ten years, the university's research output has doubled, and it has more Centers of Excellence than any other institution in South Africa.

From its founding of four faculties (Arts, Science, Education, and Agriculture), 503 students, and 40 lecturing staff in 1918 in the town of Stellenbosch, the university has expanded to become a thriving institution for 32 225 students who are guided by 3 400 academic and professional staff across five campuses and 10 faculties.


1. University of Cape Town, South Africa

The University of Cape Town (UCT) is a multicultural, multinational community made up of about 29 000 students from over 100 different countries, as well as about 5 000 academic and professional staff, administrative support staff, and service staff.

Every year, about 7 200 students graduate from UCT, which grants degrees in six faculties: law, engineering, health sciences, humanities, and science.

The best-rated university in Africa and one of the best universities in the world, UCT has a proud history of academic excellence.

Its researchers are still contributing to the development of African-based solutions to widespread problems, such as those involving urbanization, safety and security, education, and health, to name a few.

Students studying in this institution will be exposed to the most recent scholarly work and research discoveries if they choose to collaborate or study with UCT because many UCT researchers are acknowledged as global leaders in their respective fields.

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