As every August 15 since 2003, the Shanghai ranking of the world’s top 1000 universities was made public last Monday. In this batch of top 1000 universities in the world, only 18 are included to save Africa.
18 African universities are ranked top in the Shanghai ranking this year. Among these, 9 are from South Africa, 7 from Egypt, 1 from Nigeria and 1 from Ethiopia. Thus, Africa continues to lag behind in this ranking.
The Shanghai ranking is based on six criteria. These include the number of Nobel Prize winners and Fields Medal winners among alumni and faculty, the number of most cited professors in their discipline, the number of publications in the scientific journals Nature and Science or indexed in the Science Citation Index-Expanded and Social Science Citation Index, as well as a weighting according to the size of the institution.
However, it is quantitative factors, which measure research excellence, that have been taken into account. There was no question of evaluating the quality of the pedagogy or the professional integration of graduates.
As usual, it is the English and American academies that take the top places in this ranking. Indeed, of the top 20 universities in this ranking, 15 are American, including Harvard (still in pole position), Stanford (2nd place) and MIT in 3rd place. On the other hand, while French universities are declining overall, three of them are in the top 50. These are the University of Paris-Saclay, PSL University and the Sorbonne University.
Conceived in 2003 by the Chinese Jiao Tong University, the ranking has been carried out since 2009 by the Shanghai Ranking consultancy. This year, more than 2,500 establishments were examined to establish this ranking.