University of Nairobi, MKU shine in latest varsity rankings

University of Nairobi and Mount Kenya University.

University of Nairobi (left) and Mount Kenya University. Mount Kenya University jumps six places locally in the latest worldwide ranking as UoN retains top slot in latest varsity rankings.

Photo credit: | Nation Media Group

The University of Nairobi has retained the top slot in the latest ranking by Webometrics.

At the same time, Mount Kenya University has jumped six places locally in the latest worldwide ranking, breaking into the top ten best universities in Kenya for the first time.

The private university which was ranked 16 last year marked one of the highest improvements to position 10 in the list dominated by public universities. The University of Nairobi which has for years been ranked as number one has maintained the position. 

Other universities in the top ten list are Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenyatta University, Egerton University, Moi University, Maseno University, Strathmore University, Technical University of Kenya and Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology.

“The ranking is a true reflection of the efforts that the university has put towards enhancing, teaching and learning, research and innovations” said Prof Deogratius Jaganyi, the vice chancellor.

The Webometrics Ranking of World Universities is an initiative of the Cybermetrics Lab, a research group belonging to the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, the largest public research body in Spain.

Universities are ranked in terms of the quality of education they offer. The ranking also considers the research output is also considered. This includes both formal (e-journals and repositories) and informal scholarly communication. Diploma-mills, fake or doubtful institutions are not included in the rankings.

In Africa, South African and Egyptian universities dominate the top places and Kenya’s UoN is ranked 15th. Webometrics ranks more than 20,000 universities worldwide.

The list of the top ten universities worldwide is dominated by American universities and only one British institution is included. These are Harvard University, Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Oxford (UK), University of Michigan, University of California Berkeley, Cornell University, University of Washington, Columbia University New York and University of Pennsylvania.

“Mount Kenya University has been investing in research such as the Centre for Malaria laboratory. Its emphasis on training and research continues to create an impact in the community. This shows that the measurers that the university has put have been embraced and recognized by researchers. This improvement achieved through staff collaboration and an open leadership where people share their opinions freely,” said Simon Gicharu, the founder of MKU.

The parameters for ranking are: impactor visibility (number of external networks linking to the institution's webpages, transparency or openness (top cited researchers, number of citations) and excellence or scholar rank (top cited papers, number of papers published).