A quick glance at any recent list of top 100 universities in the world may not yield an African one but still, there are several globally acclaimed universities on the continent. What are their names? Where are they located?

We take a look at the Top 10 Best Universities In Africa 2019 based on London-based Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings.

These universities were evaluated and then ranked based on performance in the following six metrics:

Academic Reputation (40%)

Employer Reputation (10%)

Faculty/Student Ratio (20%)

Citations per faculty (20%)

International Faculty Ratio (5%)

International Student Ratio (5%)

So which universities make the top 10? Find out below.

1. University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa

Topping this list of Top 10 Universities In Africa is The University of Cape Town. The school tops this list by a mile, scoring 43.9% on the performance indicators.

This school is located in the city of cape town, South Africa. Regarded as the oldest university in South Africa, the school started out as a high school for boys in the year 1829. Today, it is home to around 25,000 students and 1000 academic staff.

UCT as the name of the school is abbreviated, is famous both home and abroad. There is a diversity of students studying there, with international students accounting for about 20% of the student body. The school is highly committed to innovations, research, and scholarship.

2.University of Witwatersrand (Wits), South Africa

In second place behind UCT is the Johannesburg based University of Witwatersrand (Wits).

The school achieved a score of 29% on the QS scale. Currently, there are over 3,600 undergraduate and postgraduate courses in English available in the school within the areas of Science, Health Sciences, Humanities, Engineering and the Built Environment, and lastly, Commerce, Law and Management.

Wits is known for top-level research, regularly published by its academics in the fields of natural science, medical and health science, social science, humanities and engineering.

Currently, there are 381 NRF-rated researchers and 400 award-winning researchers in the university. They regularly contribute new research in their fields and also have a direct impact on policy and industry.

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Wits is a global community of some sort, with 85 countries represented on campus. 10% of its total student population are from foreign countries.

3.Stellenbosch University (SU), South Africa

Over 23,000 students study on the campus of one of South Africa’s oldest universities. Stellenbosch, founded in the year 1866 is currently the 3rd best university in Africa.

It completes a trio of South African Universities on the podium for this list of Top 10 Best Universities In Africa. The school has a century-long tradition of quality teaching and research, and this has cemented its status as one of Africa’s finest universities.

The university enjoys full accreditation with 10 faculties. Agricultural and Forestry Sciences, Arts, Economic and Management Sciences, Education, Engineering, Health Sciences, Law, Military Science, Science, and Theology are the 10 faculties in the school.

It offers both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes with over a third of its student body being postgraduate students.

This school also has a significant foreign student population although the number has dropped substantially since 1993 to over 1900 students from more than 70 countries currently. It scored 27.9% as evaluated by QS Rankings.

4.American University in Cairo (AUC), Egypt

Its score of 27.1% by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) lands it in 4th place on this list, closely behind Stellenbosch University. American University in Cairo was established in 1919 and has since become an essential contributor in shaping the intellectual, cultural and social life of Egypt.

Both undergraduate and postgraduate studies are available in the school, with about 6,500 students currently enrolled in 36 undergraduate programs in the school.

There are 44 master’s, and two doctoral programs. The University maintains two campuses: the main campus in the suburbs of Cairo and its historical campus in downtown Cairo.

5.Cairo University (CU), Egypt

Next is another Egyptian University called Cairo University. Widely considered as the mother university among other younger universities in Egypt, its delivery of quality education and research, as well as cultural duties over the years has earned it a spot among the best universities on the continent.

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The school has a history dating as far back as 1908, and currently has 26 faculties/institutions in different scientific disciplines. There are about 250000 students studying at the university.

6.University of Johannesburg (UJ), South Africa

Located in the beautiful and multicultural South African city of Johannesburg, University of Johannesburg is one of the best-rated institutions of higher learning in Africa.

The school is actively transforming lives and diversifying professions. It is a widely respected research institution.

The school has four campuses where its students learn Vocational and traditional academic programmes, professional courses as well as postgraduate programmes.

A total of 8 faculties of the school: Art, Design and Architecture; Education; Engineering and the Built Environment; Health Sciences; Humanities; Law; and Science, as well as the College of Business and Economics all open their doors to students who come from all parts of the world.

Also staff and students of the University of Johannesburg come from over 50 different countries around the world.

7.University of Pretoria (UP), South Africa

Sitting in the heart of Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa’s is the University of Pretoria. It is one of the largest universities in South Africa and one of the best on the African continent.

The school enjoys an impressive research and community engagement output. The university’s community is diverse, with students coming from different parts of the world.

Undergraduate and postgraduate programmes are available for study at the university.

8.Ain Shams University, Egypt

In this show of dominance by South African and Egyptian universities, Ain Shams University gets the nod for 8th position on this list of Top 10 Universities In Africa.

This Egyptian University was founded in 1950 and offers both undergraduate and postgraduate programs across its 7 campus locations.

4 of its campuses are located in Alabassya, 2 in Heliopoli, and the last one in Shubra Elkheima. There are over 160,000 students studying in the university, guided and tutored by an academic staff strength of over 11,000.

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9.University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), South Africa

Yet another South African university! The University of KwaZulu-Natal was formed only recently, precisely on the 1st of January 2004, following the merger of two major educational institutions in KwaZulu-Natal.

The two merged institutions are the University of Natal and the University of Durban-Westville. The school is highly committed to academic excellence, innovation in research and also a critical engagement with society.

It aims to be the best University in Africa and is certainly not too far off its goal. The school is actively committed to the development of the African continent.

10.Al Akhawayn University, Morocco

The only non-South African or Egyptian university to feature on this list is Al Akhawayn University, located in Ifrane, Morocco.

This university is independent, public, not-for-profit, and coeducational. It is actively committed to educating future citizen-leaders of Morocco and the world. The school runs a globally oriented, English language, liberal arts curriculum that is based on the American system.

Inaugurated in the year 1995 by His Majesty King Hassan II and Crown Prince Abdallah bin Abdel-Aziz of Saudi Arabia, the university has succeeded in carving a name for itself in such a short time.

There are over 2000 students in the university currently, and about 138 staff.


The roles played by universities in shaping our world is quite huge. They are usually research institutions where groundbreaking research is carried out to further advance the human race.

Also, young men and women are forged into world-beaters in these institutions. It is therefore not surprising, the amount of interest these institutions generate.

Yearly, thousands of students gain admission into these schools to study the numerous available courses.

For those who desire to know the Top 10 Best Universities In Africa currently, your question has been answered.

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