By Our Correspondent
At least, 51 Nigerian Universities led by Covenant University, Ota, have made impressive outings in the first Times Higher Education 2023 Sub-Saharan Africa rankings. At a colourful unveiling event in Accra on June 26, Times Higher Education announced the results of its 2023 Sub-Saharan university rankings. The event was attended by a delegation from Nigeria led by Professor Peter Okebukola, Chairman of Nigerian Universities Ranking Advisory Committee (NURAC).
Other members of the delegation were Dr. Noel Biodun Saliu, Deputy Executive Secretary (Academics) NUC and Professor Olanrewaju Fagbohun (member of NURAC representing southwest zone). The Vice-Chancellors of Covenant University, Landmark University and Skyline University were some of the other university leaders who graced the event from Nigeria. Professor Peter Okebukola, who was excited on return to Abuja, provided details of the results to news men.
According to him, Covenant University emerged in the 7th position in Sub-Saharan Africa and the No. 1 in Nigeria. Other universities that appeared on the elite list and their ranks are Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (26th) Benson Idahosa University (30th), Nnamdi Azikiwe University (31th), Redeemer’s University (35th), University of Ibadan (36), Cross River University of Technology (37th) , Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife (39th) Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University (43rd ), Adeleke University (45th), and Ahmadu Bello University (46th ).
Others were: University of Benin (47th), Landmark University(49th), Babcock University (50th), Ajayi Crowther University (51-60th), Bells University of Technology (51-60th ), Federal University Kashere (51-60th ), Federal University Lokoja (51-60th ), Gombe State University (51-60th ), Lagos State University (51-60th ), University of Port Harcourt (51-60th ), Baze University (51-60th ), Delta State University (61-70th ), Elizade University (61-70th ), Niger Delta University (61-70th ), Abia State University (71+), Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike (71+), Bamidele Olumilua University of Education, Ikere (71+), Bauch State University (71+), Bayero University (71+), Edo State University (71+), Lagos University of Technology (71+), Lead City University (71+), National Open University of Nigeria (71+), Glorious Vision University (formerly Samuel Adegboyega University (71+), Veritas University (71+) and Yusuf Maitama Sule University, Kano (71+).
According to the former Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC), the methodology of the sub-Saharan African rankings is on “five pillar-resources and finance (20%); access and fairness (20%); teaching skills (20%); student engagement (20%) and Africa impact (20%)”.
He noted that on all measures, Nigerian universities did impressively well, with much room for improvement. Okebukola who is the immediate past Chairman Governing Board of the National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN noted that “since this is the first edition of the sub-Saharan university rankings, by the next and subsequent editions, Nigerian universities will leap to the lead. “We will continue to improve on the metrics through better quality teaching especially with the incoming Core Curriculum and Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS), research and provision of better services for our students.”
Okebukola further informed the press that during the unveiling ceremony and the Sub-Saharan University Forum which preceded it on “Revolutionizing African Higher Education”, Duncan Ross, Chief Data Officer of Times Higher Education, lauded Nigerian universities on progress made in the last two years on global and regional league tables.
According to Ross, of the 121 universities that contributed data, Nigerian universities make up the “largest proportion (42%) followed by South Africa (12%) and Ghana (7%) Professor Okebukola explained this as the impact of the revolution towards improving quality of delivery of university education in Nigeria, initiated by Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, Executive Secretary NUC and supported by the immediate-past Minister of Education Malam Adamu Adamu”.