Rwanda varsity shines in inaugural Africa rankings 

UGHE Butaro campus. Courtesy Photo

University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) in Northern Burera District of Rwanda has emerged among top ten in the inaugural ranking of Universities in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The rankings by Times Higher Education, the renowned provider of data and insights to global higher education, is part of a project designed to offer world-first bespoke university ranking and performance analysis system developed specifically for Africa.

UGHE ranked eighth in 88 universities from across 20 sub-Saharan countries, which were evaluated on the basis of impact in addressing the most pressing challenges faced in the region.

Two South African universities namely University of the Witwatersrand and University of Johannesburg claimed top spots, followed by Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Science (Tanzania), University of Pretoria (South Africa), Makerere University (Uganda), University of the Western Cape (South Africa) and Covenant University (Nigeria) at seventh place.

Launched in 2015, the 89-student population UGHE, alongside Adventist University of Central Africa (AUCA), another higher learning institution with 2,855 students across its three campuses, are the only local higher learning academies that are present in the ranking. The latter ranked 71th.

According to the project implementers, not all universities that might be expected to be ranked are present in this inaugural edition, and not every country is featured, as the process is voluntary.


The ranking looked at metrics such as resources and finance, access and fairness, teaching skills, student engagement, and societal impact.

In particular, UGHE earned second place (with 92.2% score) in the Africa Impact metric which evaluated aspects such as African research citations, African research co-authorship, policy, lawmaker outreach and education.

In a statement, UGHE management said that recognition in top ten Sub-Saharan Africa Universities is “a testament to the leadership, faculty, staff and students at UGHE, and their unwavering commitment to providing high-quality education and research as well as improving health outcomes and social systems.”

“This is a testimony of the extraordinary vision of our founder, Dr. Paul Farmer, the unwavering commitment to excellence of our staff and the unique environment Rwanda offers as a country,” said Joel M. Mubiligi, UGHE Vice Chancellor.

ALSO READ: Which African countries were most innovative in 2022?

UGHE equally scored relatively well (67.8%) on the resource and finances metric which assessed aspects such as faculty-to-student ratio, finance per student, funding sources, continuous professional developments, mental health counselling and facilities.

The university got 54.9% in the access and fairness evaluation which looked at low income students receiving financial aid, proportion of first generation students, proportion of female graduate, affordability, disability support services and accessible facilities.

Teaching skills earned 68.4% score. It touches metrics such as experiential learning, practical courses, career guidance, employability and course quality.

On its part, Adventist University of Central Africa scored below 50% except in pillars of teaching skills, and student engagement which assesses university elected representation, students’ union, teaching engagement and interaction with peers and faculty.

Initiators of the project say the ranking is designed to explore the impact of universities in sub-Saharan Africa in addressing some of the toughest challenges faced on the continent.

They say that building a prosperous Africa calls for strong and successful universities to nurture human talent on a huge scale, to drive innovation in a new knowledge economy and to enable the inventions and discoveries.

Share this post: