Varsities: Egypt makes a leap

CONRAD ONYANGO

EGYPTIAN Universities’ growing emphasis on churning out high impact research could pave the way for other higher institutions of learning in Africa to enter the top league of the World’s Best Universities.

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022, has listed Egyptian Universities among the fastest rising higher institutions of learning over the last four years.

At 11 points of growth, the rate is even higher than China’s, which saw an improvement of 9 points. However, China’s improvement saw two of its universities enter the top 20, while Egypt has just entered the top 300. Nevertheless, the 11 points is substantial.

“Universities in Egypt are the fastest-rising higher education institutions in the world, improving more quickly over the past four years than those in mainland China,” says the ranking report in part.

Egypt’s improved average score is largely attributed to an increase in their citation impact scores and industry income score.

Citation score measures research influence among global scholars and the ability to get published in international journals, while Industry score measures the capacity of research work to boost knowledge transfer across the globe and attract funding.

“Egypt’s gains follow decades of policy-driven growth in scientific research and an increase in funding” as well as collaboration with international research partners,” said Manar Sabry, senior assistant director for strategic analysis at SUNY Binghamton
University and an expert on higher education in the MENA region.

Egypt’s top higher institution of learning, Aswan University, features in the World’s top 500 with scores on citation (100), industry income (34.8), research (9.8) and international outlook (47.9).

Three other Egyptian Universities – Kafrelsheikh, Mansoura and Suez Canal featured in the top 600 best institutions globally- against 1,662 universities ranked in the report.

“Collaborative publications receive more citations and are of better quality, thus having a greater chance of being published in high impact journals,” said Sabry.

Times Higher Education shows the continent has since 2018 improved significantly in three of its five key ranking metrics, a trend suggesting that institutions of higher learning in Africa are likely to continue moving higher in the league table. The continent ranked top in Citations globally, pointing to African research papers now being amongst the most influential, globally. In other areas, the continent still has some catching up to do.

At position 183, South Africa’s University of Cape Town (UCT) is the only African institution ranked among the top 200.

UCT scores highly in Citation, International outlook (its ability to attract international students and staff) and Industry income.

Africa as a whole ranks extremely highly in Citation (research influence), Industry (knowledge transfer) and Research (university’s reputation for research excellence) scores.

Stellenbosch University and the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) are ranked among the top 300, with scores of 79.5 and 100 in Citations, respectively.

High research citation scores were also recorded in Nigeria’s University of Ibadan (91.2) and University of Lagos (90.3), Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa University (95.2), Algeria’s Ferhat Abbas Sétif University 1 (93.8) and Kenya’s University of Nairobi
(96.7).

/bird story agency



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