By Foday Moriba Conteh
In a significant achievement for higher education in Sub-Saharan Africa, the University of Sierra Leone, on the 21st July, 2023 , has secured a spot among the top universities in the region. The ranking was conducted by Times Higher Education, a renowned data provider that assesses university excellence across continents, and aims at highlighting and addressing local higher education concerns.
Comprising Fourah Bay College, the Institute of Public Administration and Management, and the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, the University of Sierra Leone’s inclusion in the top 100 universities in Sub-Saharan Africa attests to its academic prowess and commitment to delivering quality education.
The 2023 rankings were unveiled during the organization’s inaugural meeting in the region, which was held in collaboration with Ashesi University in June 2023. Topping the chart is South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand, followed by the University of Johannesburg and Tanzania’s Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in second and third places, respectively.
Interestingly, although South Africa boasts the highest number of universities in the top ten, Nigeria takes the lead with the most institutions in the top 37, with Covenant University securing the seventh position.
The ranking encompasses a total of 88 institutions spread across 20 countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, Mauritius, Kenya, and Mozambique. To evaluate the universities, an innovative methodology incorporating aspects of teaching, influence, and research was employed. The assessment is built on five pillars: resources and funding, access and equity, teaching skills, student involvement, and the overall impact on Africa.
Crucial to the data collection process was a survey that involved over 20,000 students from the 88 participating colleges. Students were presented with various questions, assessing factors such as the level of academic challenge presented by the university’s teaching, the encouragement of critical thinking, and the opportunities available for students to interact with faculty and peers.
The University of Sierra Leone’s commendable ranking serves as a testament to the growth and progress of higher education institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa. As the region’s universities continue to strive for academic excellence, this recognition by Times Higher Education is sure to inspire further advancement in the realm of education and research.