There are currently more than 1,225 officially recognized higher-education institutions in Africa, that’s according to the UniRank database. According to the QS world university ranking 2021, eleven (11) African universities made it to the list which seven (7) of those are from South Africa.
Here’s the list of the top 10 universities in Africa 2021:
10. University of Pretoria, South Africa
The University of Pretoria, South Africa, founded in 1908, is located in the city of Pretoria. The University of Pretoria is a non-profit, multi-campus public research university. Started with 32 students in a single house, the university now has 7 suburban campuses and facilities 1,120 hectares (2,800 acres), 13,814 full-time administrative staff, 56,409 total students from all over the world. The University of Pretoria has nine faculties and a business school. The University of Pretoria Veterinary School is the second-oldest veterinary school in Africa. In terms of research, The University of Pretoria has produced more research outputs research every year since 1997 than any other higher institution of learning in South Africa.
9. Cairo University, Egypt
Founded in 1908, in the metropolis area of Giza, Cairo University is a non-profit and public university in Egypt. From 1908 to 1940 it was known as the Egyptian University. And from 1940 to 1952 it was called King Fuad I University and Fu’ād al-Awwal University. Cairo University is the second oldest institution of higher education in Egypt after Al Azhar University. Its main campus is in Giza. Cairo University has a total number of 12,158 administrative staff and 231,584 students. The university has 28 faculties and institutes:
Faculty of Engineering
Faculty of Medicine
Faculty of Computers and Artificial Intelligence
Faculty of Pharmacy
Faculty of Agriculture
Faculty of Science
Faculty of Economics and Political Science
Faculty of Mass Communication
Faculty of Archaeology
Faculty of Arts
Faculty of Commerce
Faculty of Specific Education
Faculty of Nursing
Faculty of Law
Faculty of Physical Therapy
Faculty of Oral and Dental Medicine
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Faculty of Dar El-Ulum
Faculty of Education For Early Childhood
Faculty of Graduate Studies for Statistical Research
Faculty of African Postgraduate Studies
National Cancer Institute
Faculty of Regional and Urban Planning
Faculty of Graduate Studies for Education
National Institute of Laser Enhanced Sciences (NILES)
Center of Open Education
Cairo university centre for Languages and Arabic Culture
Faculty of Nanotechnology for Postgraduates Studies
8. University of Nairobi, Kenya
The University of Nairobi is one of the largest universities in Kenya. Started in 1956 as an educational institution and affiliate, the university gained independence in 1970 as a university on its own. In 1956 it was called Royal Technical College, in 1961 it was called Royal College Nairobi, in 1964 it was called University College Nairobi, and in 1970 it had its current name University of Nairobi. The University of Nairobi has 70,000 undergraduate students and 12,424 postgraduate students. The university is located in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. The university has 11 faculties and over 50 departments.
7. University of Johannesburg, South Africa
The University of Johannesburg is located in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa and it’s one of the largest universities in South Africa. In 1967, it was Randse Afrikaanse Universiteit (Rand Afrikaans University). After the merging of the Rand Afrikaans University (RAU), the Technikon Witwatersrand (TWR) and the Soweto and East Rand campuses of Vista University, in 2005, the University of Johannesburg came into existence. The University of Johannesburg has 2,942 academic staff and over 50,000 students. Its campuses are Auckland Park Kingsway (APK), Auckland Park Bunting Road (APB), Doornfontein (DFC), and Soweto (SWC). The University of Johannesburg is organized into eight (8) faculties and more than 30 departments.
6. North-west University, South Africa
North-west University is a non-profit public research university located in South Africa with three campuses in; Potchefstroom, Mahikeng and Vanderbijlpark. Founded in 2004, North-west University has 72,994 students; 56,579 undergraduates and 16,167 postgraduates. The university is home to eight (8) faculties and over 40 departments.
5. The American University of Cairo, Egypt
The American University of Cairo is a private research university in Cairo, Egypt. Founded in 1919, The American University of Cairo has an endowment of $535.5 million as of 2019. The American University of Cairo is a leading English language and American-accredited university of higher education and centre of research. The American University of Cairo has 467 Full-time academic staff and 149 Part-time (45% international faculty). The total number of students is 6,857 (from 59 countries, 58% female) 5,743 of those are undergraduates and 1,114 are postgraduates. The university offers a lot of great programs in Science, Technology, Medicine, etc.
4. University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
The University of KwaZulu-Natal is a non-profit public university located in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Established on January 1, 2004, the University of KwaZulu-Natal has over 1,000 academic staff and over 40,000 students since 2004. The university is located in Durban, Westville, Pinetown and Pietermaritzburg KwaZulu-Natal and has five campuses in the aforementioned areas. Westville Campus (Main campus), Nelson. R. Mandela School of Medicine, Howard College Campus, Edgewood Campus and Pietermaritzburg Campus. The University of KwaZulu-Natal offers a variety of amazing programs in Science, Technology, Medicine, Law, Economics, Agriculture, etc.
3. University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
The University of Stellenbosch is located in the tiny city of Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa. Founded in 1918, the University of Stellenbosch is a non-profit public research university and one of the best universities in South Africa and the continent of Africa at large. It is the oldest university in South Africa and the oldest extant university in Sub-Saharan Africa alongside the University of Cape Town. Stellenbosch University designed and manufactured Africa’s first microsatellite, SUNSAT, launched in 1999. The university has 1028 academic staff, 2183 administrative staff, 19,042 undergraduates a and 10,051 postgraduates. The University is ranked in number 361 by QS World university rankings. Stellenbosch University is one of the only three universities in Cape Town, South Africa. The university consists of about 150 departments and 10 faculties. Stellenbosch University has more than 40 research (and other) institutions.
2. University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa is a public research university located in the metropolis area of Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa. Known as Wits University or Wits, the university is founded in 1896 as the country’s School of Mines. It is known to be the third oldest South African university existing. Before being given the name the University of the Witwatersrand, its former names are South African School of Mines (1896–1904), Transvaal Technical Institute (1904–1906), Transvaal University College (1906–1910), South African School of Mines and Technology (1910–1920), University College, Johannesburg (1920–1922). In 1922 they established what is now the University of the Witwatersrand. The university has two urban and three suburban campuses in South Africa, over 25,000 undergraduates, over 14,00 postgraduates, and over 2,000 doctoral students. The University of the Witwatersrand has 5 faculties encompassing the Sciences, Commerce, Law, Management, Engineering, Health Sciences and Humanities with 33 schools offering over 3000 courses.
1. University of Cape Town, South Africa
University of Cape Town, South Africa is number one in the list of top 10 universities in Africa. The University of Cape Town was founded in 1829 under the name South African College. It is the oldest higher education institute in South Africa and the oldest extant university in Sub-Saharan Africa alongside Stellenbosch University. The University of Cape Town has an endowment of ZAR 11.8 billion (USD 780 million), the highest in South Africa. The university has four suburban campuses and 2 urban campuses, over 1,000 academic staff, over 3,000 administrative staff, over 17,000 undergraduates, and over 10,000 postgraduates, students. The University of Cape Town is ranked in number 220 QS World University. The University of Cape Town has a total of six faculties; Engineering & the Built Environment, Health Sciences, Science, Commerce, Law, and Humanities.
Note, there are hundreds of great universities in Africa that are offering quality education in Science, Technology, Medicine, Law, Economics, Agriculture, Business, Education, Health, Commerce, Engineering, and many more. But these are the TOP 10 just like anywhere else in the world we have the ‘top 5, top 10, top 20, top 100’ and so on.