Exploring the Top 10 Best Universities in Africa: Unlocking Excellence

Top 10 Best Universities in Africa

✅ Quick Summary

Step into the realm of academic excellence as we delve into the top 10 best universities in Africa. Africa’s educational landscape is flourishing with institutions that are not only nurturing bright minds but also making significant strides in research and innovation.

  • From the vibrant streets of Ghana to the breathtaking landscapes of South Africa, these universities are at the forefront of shaping future leaders and groundbreaking discoveries.
  • Embark on a journey with us as we unlock the essence of these prestigious institutions, delving into their rich history, impactful contributions, and the unique cultural tapestry that sets them apart.
  • Whether you’re a prospective student seeking academic prowess or an enthusiast of higher education, this exploration promises to offer compelling insights into the academic powerhouses of the African continent.
  • Join us in celebrating the commitment of these universities to push boundaries, foster intellectual growth, and redefine the educational landscape.
  • From Cape Town to Cairo, the top 10 universities in Africa await your discovery.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Best Universities in Australia

QS World University Rankings 2024Top universities in Africa
Africa rankGlobal rankUniversityLocation
1201-300University of Cape TownSouth Africa
2201-300University of The WitwatersrandSouth Africa
3401-500Stellenbosch UniversitySouth Africa
4401-500University of PretoriaSouth Africa
5301-400Cairo UniversityEgypt
6400-500Makerere UniversityUganda
7500-600University of NairobiKenya
8901-1000University of IbadanNigeria
9901-1000University of GhanaGhana
10901-1000Addis Ababa UniversityEthiopia

10 Addis Ababa University

Nestled in: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Top 10 Best Universities in Africa

It’s not just Ethiopia’s pride but a beacon for the entire continent. The university’s urban setting provides a canvas of diverse academic and cultural experiences.

While these ten shine bright, remember Africa’s academic sky is dotted with many such stars. Your ideal uni might be one of these or another equally brilliant institution on this vast continent.

How much is Addis Ababa University?

AAU tuition feesFor local citizens, tuition fees at AAU start from 1,226 USD. International students pay a minimum of 1,460 USD per year. The cost of education and the availability of scholarships can be checked on the official website.

Former namesUniversity College of Addis Ababa (1950–1962)
Haile Selassie I University (1962–1975)
Mottoኵሎ አመክሩ ወዘሠናየ አጽንዑ
(1 ተሰሎንቄ 5:21) (Geʽez)
Motto in English“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good”
(1 Thessalonians 5:21)
TypeState university
PresidentTassew Woldehanna
Students48,673 (2013/14)
LocationAddis Ababa, Ethiopia
9°2′48″N 38°45′33″E
CampusAddis Ababa (14 campus, including main)

09 University of Ghana

Based in: Accra, Ghana

Top 10 Best Universities in Africa

Envision studying where tradition meets modernity. The University of Ghana is a gateway to West Africa’s rich history and dynamic future.

What is the University of Ghana known for?

The University of Ghana is a public university located in Accra, Ghana. It is the premier, oldest, and largest of the thirteen public universities in Ghana. The university was founded in 1948 as the University College of the Gold Coast in the British colony of the Gold Coast.

MottoLatin: Integri Procedamus
Motto in EnglishProceed with Integrity
Established1948; 75 years ago
Academic affiliationAssociation of African Universities
Association of Commonwealth Universities
McDonnell International Scholars Academy
ChairpersonSophia Akuffo
ChancellorMary Chinery-Hesse
Vice-ChancellorNana Aba Appiah Amfo
Students60,875 as of July 2021
Doctoral students1,220
AddressUniversity of Ghana
P.O. Box LG 25
Legon, Ghana, Accra, Greater Accra Region, Ghana
05°39′03″N 00°11′13″W
CampusSuburban area
ColorsMidnight Blue, Lemon Yellow and Vegas Gold

08 University of Ibadan

Situated in: Ibadan, Nigeria

Top 10 Best Universities in Africa

As Nigeria’s pioneer university, Ibadan has stories etched in its walls and hallways. It’s an institution where traditions meet modern teachings.

Is the University of Ibadan hard to enter?

You don’t need any connection, and neither do you have to give bribes in order to gain UI’s admission. In other words, UI’s admissions process is not only tough and transparent but also absolutely merit-driven.

Former namesUniversity College Ibadan
MottoRecte Sapere Fons” (To think straight is the fount of knowledge).
Established1948; 75 years ago
ChairmanChief John Odigie Oyegun
ChancellorSaad Abubakar, Sultan of Sokoto
Vice-ChancellorKayode Adebowale
LocationIbadan, Oyo, Nigeria
7.4433° N, 3.9003° E
CampusUrban, Over 2,550acres
Colours   Indigo-blue and gold

07 University of Nairobi

In the midst of Nairobi, Kenya

Top 10 Best Universities in Africa

Anchored in Nairobi, Kenya’s bustling capital, this university is a melting pot of diverse programs and even more diverse cultures.

How much are international student fees?

UK tuition fees for international students: Save the Student

How much are UK tuition fees for international students? In 2021/22, annual tuition fees for international undergraduate students in the UK* started at £11,400 (US $14,130). This rose to as much as £32,081 (US $39,770).

Former nameRoyal Technical College of East Africa (1956–1961), Royal College of Nairobi (1961–1964), University College, Nairobi (1964–1970)
MottoLatin: Unitate et labore
Motto in English“In unity and work”
Established1 July 1970; 53 years ago, as University of Nairobi
ChancellorDr. Vijoo Rattansi
Vice-ChancellorProfessor Stephen Kiama
LocationNairobi, Kenya
1°16′47″S 36°49′00″E
Colors  Sky blue

06 Makerere University

Overlooking: Kampala, Uganda

Top 10 Best Universities in Africa

East Africa’s pride, Makerere, is a lush oasis of knowledge. If you’re keen on agriculture or public health, this is your playground.

What is Makerere University famous for?

Established in 1922 as a technical school offering courses in carpentry, building, and mechanics, Makerere University in Uganda is the oldest higher education institution in the country.

Motto“We build for the future”
Established1970; 53 years ago
ChancellorEzra Suruma
Vice-ChancellorBarnabas Nawangwe
Administrative staff3,174 (2018)
Students35,000+ (2018)
LocationKampala, Uganda
00°20′06″N 32°34′03″E
CampusUrban, 300 acres

05 Cairo University

Set in: Cairo, Egypt

Top 10 Best Universities in Africa

Steeped in history, Cairo University is like studying in a time capsule enriched with modern academic prowess. Being in the heart of Cairo, it pulsates with the city’s energy.

Is it hard to get into Cairo University?

Cairo University in Egypt requires students to maintain a minimum GPA of 3 in order to stand a good chance of getting admission to Cairo University. Students must also participate in other activities like sports, lead some projects, and provide community services to improve their chances of admission.

Former namesEgyptian University
Fuad I University
Established1908; 115 years ago
Academic affiliationUNIMED
PresidentMohammed Othman Al Khasht
Administrative staff12,158
LocationGiza, Giza Governorate, Egypt
30.02760°N 31.21014°E

04 University of Pretoria

Amidst: Pretoria, South Africa

Top 10 Best Universities in Africa

The University of Pretoria is where innovation meets beauty. Picture studying amidst gorgeous gardens and state-of-the-art facilities. Tempting, right?

Does the University of Pretoria accept international students?

A full or foreign conditional exemption certificate is a prerequisite for enrolment for undergraduate studies at the University of Pretoria in the case of non-South African citizens and students who do not have a South African National Senior Certificate (NSC) or an Independent Examination Board (IEB) qualification.

Other nameTuks or Tukkies
Former namesTransvaal University College (1908–1930)
MottoAd Destinatum Persequor (Latin)
Motto in English“With zeal and perseverance, strive towards the goal”
TypePublic research university
Established4 March 1908; 115 years ago
EndowmentZAR 2,470 million (As of 31 December 2010)
ChancellorWiseman Nkuhlu
Vice-ChancellorTawana Kupe
Chairperson of CouncilKuseni Dlamini
Administrative staff13,814 (full-time appointments)
StudentsAdministrative Staff
53,131 Contact
3,278 Distance
56,409 total
LocationPretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
Campus7 suburban campuses and facilities 1,120 hectares (2,800 acres)
Colors  Blue
MascotOom Gert (RIP)

03 Stellenbosch University

Located in: Stellenbosch, South Africa

Top 10 Best Universities in Africa

Think of lush vineyards and cutting-edge research; that’s Stellenbosch for you. It’s not just about books here; it’s about experiencing the best of South African winelands while you study.

How hard is it to get into Stellenbosch?

The minimum academic requirement for a bachelor’s degree is: 30% for a South African Language of Learning and Teaching (English or Afrikaans) andAn achievement rating of 4 (50% – 59%) in four 20-credit subjects.

MottoLatin: Pectora roborant cultus recti
Motto in English“A sound education strengthens the spirit”
Established2 April 1918; 105 years ago
EndowmentZAR 1,483.99 million
Academic staff1028
Administrative staff2183
LocationStellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa (SA)
33°55′58″S 18°51′51″E
Campus2 suburban and 2 urban
Colours  Maroon
AffiliationsAAU, ACU, CHEC, HESA, IAU

02 University of the Witwatersrand (Wits)

At the heart of: Johannesburg, South Africa

Top 10 Best Universities in Africa

Wits isn’t just an institution; it’s a legacy. Located in the buzzing metropolis of Johannesburg, it’s a hotbed for research and a champion of social justice.

How much is Wits fees?

Fees and other Expenses

In 2022 the average tuition fee for full-time study towards the MUS ranged from R 75 170 – R 75 730.

Former namesSouth African School of Mines (1896–1904), Transvaal Technical Institute (1904–1906), Transvaal University College (1906–1910), South African School of Mines and Technology (1910–1920), University College, Johannesburg (1920–1922)
MottoScientia et Labore (Latin)
TypePublic university
Established1922; 101 years ago
ChancellorJudy Dlamini
Vice-ChancellorZeblon Vilakazi
Chairman of CouncilIsaac Shongwe
Academic staff1,112 (Full-time, Permanent)
Students40 259
Undergraduates25 352
Postgraduates14 025
Doctoral students2 153
LocationJohannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
17px WMA button2b26°11′27″S 28°1′49″E
Campus2 urban and 3 suburban campuses
Zebulon Vilakazi  Blue
MascotKudos Kudu

01 University of Cape Town (UCT)

Nestled in: Cape Town, South Africa

Top 10 Best Universities in Africa

Ever dreamt of studying with a view of the majestic Table Mountain? UCT, a jewel in Africa’s academic crown, might just be the place for you. Their roots trace back to 1829, offering a blend of historic tradition and modern thought.

How hard is it to get into UCT?

To be eligible for admission to degree study, applicants need to meet the minimum requirements for eligibility: Applicants holding a South African National Senior Certificate (NSC) need to pass a minimum of four subjects at a rating of 4 (adequate achievement, 50–59%) or better in any four 20-credit NSC subjects.

Former namesSouth African College
MottoLatin: Spes Bona
Motto in English“Good Hope”
Established1 October 1829; 193 years ago
Academic affiliationsAAU, ACU, CHEC, HESA, IARU,IAU, WUN
EndowmentZAR 11.8 billion
(US$ 901 million)
ChancellorPrecious Moloi-Motsepe
Vice-ChancellorDaya Reddy (interim)
Academic staff1,176
LocationCape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
33°57′27″S 18°27′38″E
Campus4 suburban and 2 urban campuses
ColoursLight blue, dark blue, black, white
MascotIkey Tiger


African universities are more than just buildings and books; they’re communities, experiences, and portals to understanding this beautiful continent’s heartbeat. So, as you think of joining one, remember: you’re not just choosing a place to study; you’re choosing to be part of Africa’s vibrant tapestry.

In wrapping up, these universities aren’t just shaping the continent’s future but are also molding global narratives. Opting for an African university isn’t just about the degree – it’s an invitation to be part of a bigger story, the African story.

Drop your comments below!

Harvey James

Harvey James, Author at Toptenmix.com I'm a passionate author on Toptenmix.com, seamlessly merges his academic prowess with his unquenchable thirst for exploration. Armed with a Master's degree from the illustrious Oxford University, I infuses my writing with the depth of knowledge and the art of storytelling. As dedicated traveler, my journeys resonate through his captivating narratives. My tales whisk readers away to far-flung corners of the globe, offering a front-row seat to his encounters with diverse cultures and captivating landscapes. From ancient ruins to bustling markets, each of my adventures unfolds like a cinematic experience. Beyond my role as a seeker of the world's wonders, I'm an unabashed foodie lover. My palate is attuned to the nuances of taste, and descriptions of culinary experiences are nothing short of poetic. Through my words, readers embark on gastronomic journeys, relishing the flavors, aromas, and textures that define a culture's culinary identity. Amidst my literary and exploratory endeavors, I thrives on a tapestry of hobbies. Whether I'm behind the lens, capturing the essence of my surroundings, or embarking on adrenaline-pumping outdoor escapades, I zest for life is infectious. My articles on Toptenmix.com are a testament to his multifaceted persona. Each piece is an invitation to embark on a journey of discovery, where knowledge, adventure, and gastronomy intertwine to create a rich and engaging experience. For inquiries and collaboration: Email: james@toptenmix,com Website: https://toptenmix.com

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