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Archive for May 31st, 2009

Which are the Top Universities in Eastern Africa?

Posted by Popular Ombudsman on May 31, 2009

The respected CyberMetrics Lab which also publishes the International Journal of Scientometrics, Informetrics and Bibliometrics has ranked the best University in Eastern Africa at number 2404 world wide. The ranking is a weighted index made up of 0.20 times the number of pages on the University website, 0.15 times the number of files related to academic work, 0.15 times the number of papers and citations for each academic domain. The greatest weight (0.50) is given to visibility which is the number of unique external links. Based on this methodology, the ranking is as follows (Only Universities above number 6,000 worldwide are mentioned here):

Position, Name and World ranking
1.Strathmore University 2404
2.University of Dar es Salaam 3496
3.University of Nairobi 4046
4.National University of Rwanda 4415
5.Sokoine University 4751
6.Makerere University 4836
7.Egerton University 5845

The Eastern Africa Universities seem to pay a high price due to the poor internet connectivity available within the region. This is because visibility is related to internet connection and use. For instance, some Universities do not have reliable internet connections, so measuring unique external links to unreachable websites is in a way self defeating. If a critical indicator for any University such as scholarly work as evidenced by articles and citations is used alone, the ranking is turned upside down:

Position, Name of University and Scholarly articles & Citations
1.Egerton University 7414
2.National University of Rwanda 5986
3.Sokoine University 5579
4.University of Dar es Salaam 3847
5.University of Nairobi 3839
6.Strathmore University 3097
7.Makerere University 2603

What this shows is that in the near future, as internet connectivity improves through the fibre optic networks being installed, East African Universities may emerge from the shadows and join the cream in Africa and the rest of the world. Universities can not afford to underrate the importance of the internet in the current knowledge economy. -Mwalimu


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