The University of Namibia has been named as the top-ranking institution of higher learning in the country and part of the top 100 universities in Africa.
This is according to various 2021 university ranking systems such as Times Higher Education Index, Unirank, Scimago and Nature Index.
These rankings, published just a month ago, are a key indicator of Unam’s significant contributions toward the development of knowledge and society through conducting quality research with societal impact.
It also indicates the tally of academic research published in indexed journals. The 2021 Nature Index shows Unam as number one in Namibia and 84th in Africa, out of 290 universities. This listing, according to Nature Index, is based on an institution’s or country’s publication output in 82 natural-science journals, selected on the reputation by an independent panel of leading scientists in their fields.
UniRank, an international higher education ranking directory and search engine, which was referenced for evaluation of universities in the Harambee Prosperity Plan, ranked Unam as the top university in Namibia and 24th in Africa respectively.
According to Scimago Institutions Rankings (SIR), which serves as a reliable ranking system for universities and other research institutions, Unam is ranked first in Namibia, 74th in Africa and 784th in global rankings.
The Namibia University of Science and Technology, has a global rank of 863 and occupies the last position in Africa at 120.
On this ranking system, Unam is well ahead of similarly sized universities in Southern Africa such as the University of Mauritius, University of Botswana, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.
SIR is based on a weighted performance in a combination of indicators that include research performance (50%), innovation outputs (30%), and societal impact as measured by web visibility from the institution›s website and mentions from social networks (20%). The SIR rankings are an attestation to Unam’s position as a leading institution, despite the 2020 knock from the Covid-19 pandemic, which negatively impacted the university’s overall standing in Africa and globally.
Unam’s academics took to publishing during the lockdown and increased their research outputs. This resulted in an improved research ranking. Professor Anicia Peters, pro-vice-chancellor for research, innovation, and development explained that: “University rankings are becoming an increasingly important reflection of the university’s national, regional and international standing and competitiveness and are unbiased and independent.” She further mentioned research is a leading measurement in the university’s ranking system and that Unam strives to be part of the top 10 universities in Africa and top 500 globally by consistently publishing 1000 peer-reviewed SCOPUS listed articles per year by the year 2030.
In 2019, Unam had a total of 208 publications in SCOPUS, which increased to 295 in 2020, and a target of 400 has been set for 2021. This target will increase annually. Unam is on its way to achieving its vision: “To be a sustainable international hub of excellence in higher education and training.