Each time these two rank Universities, our Nigerian Ivory Towers are always missing in the list.

We wonder how some Universities in other parts of the world make the list and the likes of the University of Ibadan or Obafemi Awolowo University and the expensive private universities in the country are not making the list.

We believe we have universities that can be regarded as one of the best in the world, don't we?

It is against this background we attempt to understand how the best universities are ranked and why the Nigerian ones are considered not good enough to make the list.

Websites that rank universities all over the world have metrics for grading universities. And according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, there are five basic indicators for ranking Universities.

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The five indicators include quality of the alumni of universities; Award-winning staff in the universities; Highly Cited Researchers in the universities (HiCi); the number of papers published in Nature and Science and Papers indexed in Science Citation Index-expanded and Social Science Citation Index.

Each metric or indicator has a percentage attached to its weight and if a University does not meet the standard of the indicators, it would not be considered among the best institutions.

Quality of Education:

In grading an institution, the alumni of the University is put into consideration. The total number of the university alumni who have won Nobel laurel or field medal gives the institution a higher chance of being rated.

Alumni in this sense include all those who obtain bachelor's, master's or doctoral degrees from the institution. The weight of this indicator is 10 percent.

Quality of Faculty:

The Quality of staff indicator considers the total number of staff of the university who have won Nobel laurel or field medal in different fields such as Physics, Chemistry, Medicine and Economics and Fields Medal in Mathematics. This indicator also covers HiCi (highly cited researchers) which refers to the staff of the institutions being cited in 21 subject categories. The HiCi and the awards under this indicator carry 20% each.

Research Output:

Universities are also ranked by the research output of the institutions. The number of papers published in Nature and Science, (N&S) within a period of time as well as a total number of papers indexed in Science Citation Index-Expanded and Social Science Citation Index, (PUB) are considered under research output.

These weight of these two (N&S and PUB) also attract 20% each in Shanghai World Academic University Ranking

Per Capita Performance:

This is the last indicator and according to Shanghai ranking, this weights the scores of the five indicators above, (divided by the number of full-time equivalent academic staff).

However, if the number of academic staff for institutions of a country cannot be obtained, the weighted scores of the above five indicators is used.


Using this ranking formula, the only reason for a Nigerian University to not be among top 500 or 1000 universities in the world is simply because it does not meet these criteria.

Although in the 2015/2016 ranking of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, only University of Ibadan was ranked among the top 800 universities in the world.

The ranking was released on Wednesday, September 30, 2015, showed that the Premier university ranked 601st out of one thousand universities in the world.

That was the only time our Universities had a place in world university ranking. The Nigerian government, Education ministry, university governing body, educationists in the country and the academic environments need to do the needful to place Nigerian Universities on the world map, fund the academic industry and ensure all requirement for ranking is fulfilled.

Only this effort will give Nigerian universities a proper recognition among academic communities in the world.

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