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2021 Top 10 Universities In Africa According To USNews

It’s the start of a new academic year and you’re excited about getting into a university. However, with so many universities vying for your attention, the choice becomes difficult. This is the typical dilemma of any fresher. Of course, financial resources play a big role in this decision as well. Since most universities in Africa are affordable, your choice will likely boil down to the quality of education.

To help you make a decision, we made a list of the top 10 best academic institutions in Africa. This list is based on the US 7th Annual Global University ranking of 1,748 universities. The ranking of the universities was based on their academic research and overall reputation. A total of 13 indicators were used to compare each university against the other. Consequently, the percentage weights of these indicators were added together to give the overall score for each university. The score determines the rank of the universities. So, here are the top 10 best global Universities in Africa and what makes them stand out.

#1. University of Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town Unievrsity
(Photo credit: africavarsities.com)

The University of Cape Town sits at the top of the best Institutions in Africa with a global ranking of 103. It is the best research university in Africa and also ranks among the top 10 global universities for Infectious Disease study. 

#2. University of Witwatersrand, South Africa

Witwatersrand University
(Photo credit: wits.ac.za)

The second-best university in Africa is also in South Africa. The University of Witwatersrand has a global ranking of 192 and it’s the 3rd best research university in Africa. It also ranks among the 30 best global universities for infectious disease study. Also, the beautiful surrounding is hard to miss.

#3. Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Stellenbosch University
(Photo credit: archdaily.com)

Another South African university claims the third spot among the best African Universities with a global ranking of 321. Stellenbosch University is also famous for its research excellence and ranks as the 4th best research university in Africa. It is also the third-best University for infectious disease study in Africa.

#4. University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Kwazulu University
(Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Obviously, South African universities dominate the list of the best universities in Africa. The University of KwaZulu is the 6th best Africa institution for research. It is ranked the 332nd best global university out of the 1,748 universities that were considered. Unlike its predecessors, this university excels in the study of Space science and claims 61st position in this field, globally. 

#5. University of Johannesburg, South Africa

University of Johannesburg
(Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The fifth best University in Africa stands at number 378 in the best global university ranking. The University of Johannesburg is the 10th best research institution in Africa. It excels in the sciences with a position of 337 in 7 science subjects, out of the 1,748 institutions being ranked. 

#6. Cairo University, Egypt

Cairo University
(Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Cairo University is located in Giza, Egypt. It is the 6th best university in Africa and the 427th best global university. As the first university in Egypt to make the list, it is also the best university in Egypt. Cairo University is the 7th best research institution in Africa. Also, it is among the top 100 global universities for Pharmacology and Toxicology study. 

#7. University of Pretoria, South Africa

University of Pretoria
(Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The University of Pretoria is in Hatfield, South Africa. It is the 6th South African Institution to make the list and 2nd best research university in Africa. Globally, it is the 444th best university and the 42nd best global university for the study of Plant and Animal Science. 

#8. University of Ibadan, Nigeria

University of Ibadan
(Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The University of Ibadan is in the city of Ibadan, Nigeria. This Nigerian university is the 8th best university in Africa and the 525th best university, globally. Its core strengths are Clinical Medicine, Public, Environmental, and Occupational Health where it ranks among the top 200 best global universities. It is also the 5th best research institution in Africa. 

#9. Mansoura University, Egypt

(Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Mansoura University is the second-best university in Egypt and the 9th best university in Africa. The university is on average number 424 best global university in the 4 science courses where it excels. The courses are chemistry, clinical medicine, engineering, pharmacology, and toxicology. On a global scale, it is considered the 547th best university. However, it is not among the top 10 best research universities in Africa. 

#10. Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

Addis Ababa
(Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The Ethiopian university in Addis Ababa is the 10th best university in Africa according to the study. The university ranks within the top 200 best global universities in the fields of Clinical medicine, Public, Environmental and Occupational health. It is also number 553 in the best global university ranking. However, it is not among the top 10 best research universities in Africa. 

What Country In Africa Has The Best Education System?

The US News global university ranking uses key indicators in selecting and ranking universities in the world. The ” Regional research reputation” is one of these indicators and it is unique to the US News ranking system. This indicator represents the opinions of academics on the university’s research work over a period of five years. Since research is the foundation of any good university, it is easy to see why universities that rank high in the regional research reputation have the best education system. 

Therefore, it is safe to say that South Africa has the best education system in Africa. This is because it has a total of 6 universities among the top 10 best African Institutions. Five of these Universities rank highest in the regional research reputation index. Furthermore, out of the 48 African universities that were ranked, 13 of them are in South Africa. This makes it the country with the highest number of institutions on the list of Best Global Universities in 2021. 

Which University Has The Most Beautiful Campus In Africa?

Africa has some of the best tourism destinations in the world. The beautiful and serene landscape with abundant wildlife makes it a go-to place for nature lovers, wildlife photographers, and holidaymakers. However, there is more to this continent. Cape Town, a city in South Africa proves to be more than just a tourist hotspot.

The University of Cape Town which has the top rank amongst African Universities is also the most beautiful University on the continent. It is located at the foot of a mountain, surrounded by lush vegetation and the ocean not too far away. On the inside, the University’s magnificent buildings and the environment is a reflection of the town in which it is located. 

University of Cape Town, South Africa

 Cape Town
Aerial view of the University of Cape Town (Photo credit: iesabroad)
 Cape Town
This picture highlights the surrounding vegetation of the university (Photo credit: times higher education)
 Cape Town
A closer view of the university (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Universities In Africa
Stunning view of the university (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


These institutions are indeed deserving of their position. We are proud to see them among the top best global universities. There is a misconception that African universities are nothing to write home about. Sadly, this is partly the reason why Africans are scuffling to get a better education in Western countries. Hopefully, this list will be able to get them to change their minds. Is your University on the list? let us know in the comment box.  

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