At least twelve Nigerian universities, including the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, have improved significantly in world rankings and were recognized at the Times Higher Education World Academic Summit, which concluded on October 12 in New York.
Emeritus Professor Peter Okebukola, Chairman of the Nigerian Universities Ranking Advisory Committee (NURAC), said this while interacting with journalists in Abuja after returning from the New York summit.
The top two Nigerian universities in the 401 to 500 group, according to the Times Higher Education ranking, were the University of Ibadan and the University of Lagos.
NURAC was established by NUC’s Executive Secretary Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed to mobilize and catalyze Nigerian institutions’ involvement in all global ranking schemes.
NURAC has spent the past year working with all universities and building capacity to ensure that this mandate is carried out.
Okebukola, who attended the summit in New York with NURAC members, was visibly happy and said: “Nigeria was singled out and publicly announced at the summit by the management of Times Higher Education World University Rankings as one of the most important improvements in position within a year.”
“From five universities in the top group in 2022 to twelve universities within a year is a remarkable achievement,” he said.
Okebukola is also a member of the international advisory board of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and the chairman of the governing board of the African Higher Education Observatory as well as the chairman of the governing board of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), the top two Nigerian universities in the 401 to 500 band listed as the University of Ibadan and University of Lagos.
Covenant University is next in the 601 to 800 band. Bayero University Kano and Federal University Akure are in the 1001 to 1200 band. In the 1201 to 1500 group are the University of Ilorin, University of Nigeria Nsukka and Obafemi Awolowo University.
The three universities in the 1500+ category are the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta; Ladoke Akintola University of Technology and Nnamdi Azikiwe University.
Speaking further on the exciting development, Okebukola said “there are over 30,000 universities in the world today and about 1,799 have been ranked by Times Higher Education after meeting the ranking criteria.
He explained that institutions applying for the ranking were assessed on 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators that measure an institution’s performance across four areas: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.
The top five universities in the 2023 world rankings are Oxford, Harvard, Cambridge, Stanford and MIT. The University of Lagos ranked 478 globally and number 1 in Nigeria.
The former executive secretary of NUC noted that across Nigeria, physical sciences is the most ranked subject.
According to him, “In the 2023 ranking, Nigeria had better scores in the international co-authorship metric, but low scores in international students, international staff, operating income, doctoral degrees/staff, research reputation and teaching reputation. Between 2019 and 2023, the citation score for Nigeria increased by an average of 30. Conversely, the industry score decreased by an average of 2.5”.
Okebukola was also delighted to note that 45 Nigerian universities, among the highest in the world, are in the reporter category for the 2023 ranking, meaning they will be eligible for inclusion in the elite league tables with a little push .
According to him, “The universities in alphabetical order are: Adamawa State University, Mubi; Akwa Ibom State University; Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike; American University of Nigeria; Augustine University; Babcock University; Bamidele Olumilua University of Education, Science and Technology, Ikere-Ekiti; Baze University; Bells University of Technology; Benson Idahosa University; Bowen University; Coal City University; Cross River University of Technology; Ebonyi State University; Edo state University Uzairue; Evangel University, Akaeze; Federal University Gashua; Federal University of Kashere; Federal University of Lafia; Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun; Federal University of Technology Minna; Federal University of Technology Owerri; First Technical University; Fountain University; Gregory University Uturu; Ignatius Ajuru University of Education; University of Jos; Kings University; Lagos State University; Landmark University; Michael and Cecilia Ibru University; Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike; Niger Delta University; Nigerian Police Academy, Wudil; Novena University; Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology; Salem University; Samuel Adegboyega University; Sokoto State University; Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University; Usman Danfodiyo University; University of Uyo; Veritas University, Abuja; Wellspring University; Yusuf Maitama Sule University, Kano”.
A new dimension is being introduced to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. According to Okebukola, this is the World University Ranking 3.0. This will involve some new benchmarks and normalization procedures.
“I am very hopeful that Nigerian universities will not lose their winning streak and will excel on WUR 3.0 which will come into effect in 2024. The Executive Secretary of NUC, Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed assured NURAC that the government will continue to support the universities, including strengthening institutional and human research capacities to ensure that Nigerian universities do not fall below the mark on all WUR 3.0 metrics,” he said
NURAC has former Vice Chancellors as Zonal Coordinators. They are Professor Olanrewaju Fagbohun, former VC, LASU (southwest); Professor Chinedum Nwajiuba, former VC, AE-FUNAI (southeast); Professor Joseph Ajienka, former VC, UNIPORT (South-South); Professor Angela Miri, former VC, FUL (north central); Professor Mohammad Yahuza Bello, former VC, BUK (northwest); and Professor Jibrila D. Amin (Northeast). Others are Emeritus Professor Nimi Briggs, representing STRADVCOM; Dr Biodun Saliu, NEC Director Academic Planning and Mrs Hadiza Ramallan representing NEC.
TAGGED: www.unizik.edu.ng | Nnamdi Azikiwe University: UNIZIK