By Innocent Anguyo
A number of Ugandan universities have improved in ranking in the latest continental and global ranking of institutions of higher learning.
According to the ranking by Webometrics, an organisation that monitors university performance worldwide, about 30 Ugandan tertiary institutions are placed in the top 1,000 on the African continent.
Even new universities such as Muni in Arua, which is yet to admit its maiden students, and the Uganda Technology and Management University (UTAMU), are in the top 955 in Africa.
Led by Makerere University, the 30 Ugandan institutions are also ranked among the top 20,000 of the 23,000 reputable institutions of higher learning in the world.
Since the previous ranking by Webometrics six months ago, 17 Ugandan universities have improved to attain higher status.
These include Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), Uganda Matrys, Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU), and Bugema.
Others are Nkumba University, Uganda Management Institute (UMI), Busoga International Health Sciences, Ndejje, Kampala, Mutesa I Royal, Victoria, Bishop Stuart, African Rural, Uganda Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Livingstone International and St. Lawrence.
The other Ugandan institutions that are fresh entrants into the Webometrics ranking are Cavendish, St. Augustine International, Kumi, Soroti, Virtual University of Uganda, International School of Business and Technology and University of Africa.
Makerere University, which was tenth on the continent six months ago, has been relegated to the 13th position.
But, Makerere is the only Ugandan university in the top-50-tier on the continent. Gulu University declined from 254 to 308.
Makerere University Business School (MUBS) is number 157, from 122. Uganda Christian University (UCU) is 151, down from 128, while Kyambogo is 264 from 255. Mountain of the Moon last year ranked 274 and is now 318. Kampala International University dropped to 340, from 318.
Busitema receded to 524, down from 357. The University of Nairobi topped the East African region, ranking ninth on the continent. Makerere came second. University of Cape Town topped the African continent.
Globally, Harvard University maintained its number one position, followed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Save for Britain’s University of Cambridge and University of Oxford; and Canada’s Toronto and British Columbia, the top 27 universities in the world are in the USA.
Responding to the rankings, Dr. Vincent Ssembatya, the director quality assurance at Makerere, said they would work hard to ensure Makerere returns to the top ten in Africa.
Other universities could not be reached for a comment by press time. The “Webometrics Ranking of World Universities” is the largest academic ranking of higher education institutions.
The ranking methodology considered visibility at 50% and activity (including presence, openness and excellence combined) at 50%.
Makerere University ranked fourth in Africa
Makerere University ranked eighth in Africa
Makerere University rank improves
Ugandan universities slip in continental ranking