1) CAIRO UNIVERSITY – EGYPT: Cairo University is a large public university with over 45,000 students and 5,000 faculty. The university publishes its prestigious Medical Journal of Cairo University, as well as publications in interdisciplinary science, pharmacology, information technology, and political science. Founded in 1908, the university was the region’s first secular university, and boasted some of Africa’s first medical and engineering schools.
2) AMERICAN UNIVERSITY IN CAIRO – EGYPT: Founded in 1919, the American University in Cairo is an American-style small liberal arts college with a heavy emphasis on quality of teaching. The university’s full-time faculty is complemented by an extensive adjunct teaching staff and frequent international visiting lecturers, including the Distinguished Visiting Professor program, which draws global experts from some of the world’s leading institutions.
3) MANSOURA UNIVERSITY – EGYPT: Founded in 1972, Mansoura University is one of Egypt’s largest universities with a total student population of around 100,000 spread over its 17 faculties. A research powerhouse, Mansoura University boasts a world class array of medical centers, including those focused on oncology, urology and nephrology, gastroenterology, ophthalmic, and pediatric medicine. Its nephrology center is one of the largest in the region.
4) MAKERERE UNIVERSITY – UGANDA: Founded as a technical school in 1922, Makerere University became an independent national university in 1970. The university developed a focused research agenda in line with the national government’s policy objectives, and seeks to support those programs with a multidisciplinary approach ranging from natural sciences to economics and education. Home to a top medical school, the University of Makerere also partners with the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine to host a medical exchange program, in which students complete rotations in the fields of cardiology, family planning, pediatrics, infectious disease, and trauma (emergency medicine), among many others.
5) UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI – KENYA: Tracing its roots back to 1956, the University of Nairobi became an independent university in 1970. Today, the university is home to about 50,000 undergraduate students, and boasts an extensive range of research faculties, from biotechnology and bioinformatics to HIV prevention and research, from nuclear science and technology to tropical and infectious diseases.
6) UNIVERSITY OF DAR ES SALAAM – TANZANIA: Following the dissolution of the University of East Africa, the University of Dar es Salaam was established as an independent university in 1970. Today, the University has five campuses and 10 faculties, including faculties in mechanical and chemical engineering and aquatic science and technology. A research-focused institute, the University of Dar es Salaam produced 279 journal papers in the academic year ending in 2008.
7) UNIVERSITY OF BOTSWANA: In 1982, the “One Man One Beast” campaign was launched in Botswana to found an independent university that would reduce dependence on South African universities ruled under apartheid. Contributions poured in from all around the country in the form of cash, cattle, grain, eggs, and other crops. Today, the University of Botswana, whose motto is “Education is a Shield,” has an undergraduate population of roughly 16,000. The university offers comprehensive undergraduate programs in seven faculties. Degrees issued range from electrical and electronic engineering to media studies.
8) UNIVERSITY OF GHANA: Originally founded as an affiliate college of the University of London, the University of Ghana became an independent institution in 1961. Today, undergraduate students number around 26,000. Academic programming is spread over nine colleges issuing an array of academic degrees. A hub of research, the university has institutes focusing on seismology, population studies, migration studies, and ecology. The university boasts partnerships with the Norwegian Universities’ Committee for Development Research and Education, and the Commonwealth Universities Student Exchange Consortium.
9) UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS: Established in 1962 with the aim of training professionals for the newly independent Nigeria, the University of Lagos is a comprehensive university that strives to learn through “knowledge and research.” The University houses nine faculties, and the Medical School is home to three faculties. With an emphasis on research, the University’s faculty has published over 1,700 papers, with the most publications coming out of the medical, science, and engineering faculties.
10) ASHESI UNIVERSITY: Established in 2002, Ashesi University’s mission is “to educate a new generation of ethical, entrepreneurial leaders in Africa; to cultivate within our students the critical thinking skills, the concern for others and the courage it will take to transform a continent.”
— The criteria used include the following: 1) undergraduate and graduate school reputation among higher education peers; 2) student selectivity for entering undergraduate class; 3) quality and quantity of faculty research, including depth of research facilities and engagement beyond immediate community, and 4) international student ratio—the degree to which institution draws students from outside of its national boundaries.