Three Nigerian universities: the University of Ibadan (UI), the Lagos State University (LASU) and the University of Lagos (UNILAG) have emerged among the top 800 universities globally, according to the 2021 global ranking of universities by Times Higher Education World University Ranking.
The body thus ranked UI, LASU and UNILAG respectively as the first three leading universities in the country.
In the fourth position is Covenant University in Ota, Ogun State which retained its position as the best private university in Nigeria. The University of Nigeria, Nsukka followed in the fifth position and the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife ranked sixth.
However, the ranking on the African continent was dominated by South Africa and Egypt which have universities among the top 300.
The University of Cape Town and the University of Pretoria, both in South Africa, were ranked first and second on the continent.
The American University in Cairo, Egypt was also ranked among the top in Africa. For the fifth year running, Oxford University in England was ranked the best in the world. The California Institute of Technology in the United States and Cambridge University in England were ranked second and third globally.
Reacting to the development, the Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, the University of Ilorin Branch, Prof. Moyosore Ajao, said the nation’s universities can do better if the system is better funded and adequate facilities provided.
“Though there are different parameters used by ranking bodies, one is not surprised that we are not among the top on the continent. We can surely do better if what is needed are provided.
“One of the reasons we are always up in arms against the government is the need to adequately fund the sector. If you know what the budget for education in South Africa and Egypt is, you will marvel. Here, the government pays lip service to education. It is not that we don’t have the human resources here to take our universities to the highest level, but where are the things to work with and where is the motivation,” he said.
Over 1,500 universities in 93 countries were assessed by the body.