The recent Reuters ranking of the World’s Most Innovative Universities in partnership with Clarivate Analytics should jolt Africa to action. African universities never featured in the top 100 educational institutions that are most successful in advancing science, inventing new technologies, and powering new markets and industries.
North American universities dominated the ranking with 48 universities featuring in the top 100 – 46 in the USA and two from Canada. European universities took 27 places on the list. Asia followed closely, with 23 universities; Germany and Japan with nine universities each; South Korea with eight universities; China, France and the United Kingdom each with 5; Switzerland (3); Belgium, Canada, Israel and the Netherlands (2); and Denmark and Singapore (1). Regionally, Asia has 23 institutions on the list, the Middle East has two.
Very few African universities feature favourably on global university rankings This is partly attributable to the fact that they invest very little in research, don’t set their own research agenda; don’t motivate local expertise and fail to be strategic in partnerships. The rankings, however contestable, are an eye opener to jolt African universities to proactivity.