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UoN scores higher in global ranking

Posted by Administrator on February 5, 2012


High ranking means more prestige and ability to attract foreign students and high profile scholars. Photo/FILE

High ranking means more prestige and ability to attract foreign students and high profile scholars. Photo/FILE

The University of Nairobi (UoN) has opened a big lead ahead of its peers in Kenya in terms of volume and quality of research, according to a new ranking of 12,000 universities worldwide.

The latest study by Spanish research firm Webometrics shows that UoN retained its top position in Kenya, moving up to 14 from 27 in Africa and more than 1,700 places worldwide to stand at 2,452 compared to last January’s ranking.

In contrast to UoN’s performance, all other Kenyan universities ranked below 3,000 worldwide, meaning that they are lagging behind their global rivals in the adoption of modern research, teaching, and academic publishing methods.

The Webometrics study ranks universities after assessing the volume and quality of online academic research and scholarly activity of 20,300 universities around the world.

The low ranking of Kenyan universities compromises competitiveness of Kenyan graduates in the global labour market. It also means a lower prestige for the local institutions on the international stage, slowing down scholarly partnerships and funding from the top league universities and donors.

“There is enormous attention given to every league table that is published as well as its quality ranking. And they are taken seriously by students, government and especially by the media,” said Ms Ellen Hazelkorn, the main author of a study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which sought to establish the influence of university ranking.

Though the choice of a university in Kenya is largely affected by cost considerations, prospective local and international students from wealthy families have started paying attention to the global ranking.

Webometrics says its goal is to encourage greater adoption of online publications and information sharing.

“The web presence and visibility are probably the best proxies for describing the overall performance of the universities in the 21st century, and possibly they are also the only ones able to classify all of them in a confident way,” Webometrics said in a statement.

Strathmore University came second to UoN, dropping to 54 from 38 in Africa, with a global standing at 3,051. Egerton University is third and is ranked 60 among the top 100 universities in Africa and 3,449 worldwide. Kenyatta University is fourth in Kenya, dropping to 61 from 51 in Africa with a global ranking of 3,522.

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology is fifth, climbing up to 80 from 89 in Africa and 5,315 globally. African Virtual University, which is headquartered in Kenya, is sixth after breaking into Africa’s top 100 list for the first time at 82, standing at 5,390 worldwide.

Kenyan universities have in the past two years gone big on physical expansions, opening several constituent colleges without a commensurate spend on academic staffing and learning resources such as libraries.

The universities are yet to offer local degrees on a pure online platform, citing high initial costs and a deep-seated culture of classroom teaching. Funding for research has also been constrained at a time when admissions have expanded rapidly.

The low uptake of modern technologies among most African countries has seen universities in the more developed world dominate all rankings as they improve their research and teaching methods, including use of the Internet.

South African universities, for instance, took up the top five spots in the top 100 Africa ranking, led by University of Cap Town, Stellenbosch University, and University of Witwatersrand.

Globally, Harvard knocked off Massachusetts Institute of Technology from the pole position, leading a pack of 15 US universities that dominated the ranking.

Source: http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Corporate+News/UoN+scores+higher+in+global+ranking+/-/539550/1320666/-/66snaq/-/


4 Responses to “UoN scores higher in global ranking”

  1. How do we as kenyans rate our universities and colleges. Why should it that research for everything should be done from outside kenya. This remind me of beer competition, the competition were held europe then we were told kenyan beers has worn gold medals for their quality. The someone asked whether don,t we have people in kenya who can test our beers, we have mzungu to do test for us as if don,t have sense of smell and taste.Myself I know university of nairobi is one of best in africa even if it not in the world

  2. Fuko said

    Nairobi University, JKUAT, and Kenyatta University, Like the reknown Makerere University, has the best education quality one can ever have. Just like other vocational colleges, eg.,Teachers’ training colleges including Kenya and Mombasa Polytechnics, our state institutions of higher learning have always had dedicated and well-educated intructors.

    Attending American univeristies and colleges leaves a lot to be desired, and one wonders how easy it is to attain a degree, despite the hulabaloos of studying while working full-time to make ends meet. And the western countries knows it too well that graduates from African universities are a hot cake especially the ones in the field of sciences. Why? Because back home, you concentrate on your education unlike here where there are too many distractions and interference that is not condusive to good learning environment. Congrats UON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. sam gwaya said

    Where is Moi University????? Somebody change the name. May be call it Havard, so close to Harvard.

  4. poko said

    Plis my dear, I apologise for the next statement. Stop bullshitting. You are yet to grasp the American education system. None in Kenya can come close. Yes, the examining may sound easier because of things like open-book exams, but what is the Kenyan cramming version good for when all the Kenyan-graduated scientists have produced nothing so far? No innovations, zero, zilch…wanasoma nini UoN tusioiona?

    I write this as one who once had your mentality until I took time to immerse myself in this eduaction system and sir/madam, it is designed to seive. That almost everyone can go to college, yet they are encouraged to quit if they want to should tell you something: The system allows creativity and innovation. I have worked with people in R&D, highschool education, no college degree but have produced pantented work. My immediate boss had 12, yet all he did is a Chemistry degree undergrad. Next time ur car is in a collision and the front glass does not shad in your eyes, thank him for the technology of the polymer used to attach that glass to ur car so as to reduce crash impact.

    In America, a first degree is not given much strength. U will find that almost all proffesional careers need specialized education after the undergrad. Medicine, engineering, pharmacy, law…they allow students to discover who they are, and what they are good at.

    Would you be suprised that a former Chief Economist in the US has a first degree in music. Had his rock band as a teenager until he sat in an economics class and something went off in his head.

    In Kenya, we are a couple lightyears behind. In addition, most African students almost always use the “dark” continet moniker to get by. They just sit around and study and study, get A’s and get scholarships. They rarely ever engage in anything else. No extra activities unless it is in an African club. Because they have neglected the social aspect of development, they find it tricky to go upwards and fall back to Africa, where all they need is a degree. No sense of service or social responsibility.

    Very many African leaders studied abroad on scholarships- for their brains, see what they do. They never, ever learned anything outside class. That is not growing, and that should never be an intention of an Institution of higher learning.

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