Volume 11 Issue 2 (2022)

Examining the Status of Flagship Universities in Africa

pp. 96-119  |  Published Online: December 2022  |  DOI: 10.22521/unibulletin.2022.112.6

Goodluck Jacob Moshi


Background/purpose –This article explores the social historical, of flagship universities in Africa through marketing, research output and academic knowledge. The article then highlights social, academic, political, and economic significance in their respective countries.

Materials/methods–This study was conducted by adopting various recognitions from selected global rankings of top universities, including 1) the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU); 2) the QS World University Rankings (QS); and 3) the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (THEs). It attempts to analyze hybrid list of African flagship universities listed commonly between 2015 and 2017.

Results– This study then recognizes that, between 2015 to 2017, Cairo University has maintained a higher ARWU status than the American University in Cairo. The next-highest ranked university is South Africa’s Witwatersrand. Regardless of their long history, the findings further highlight research innovations and achievements over time.

Results emerging from this study are 1) most of Africa’s national elite universities strive to attract the best candidates from a competitive global academic scene, and 2) few African universities have achieved high global rankings. Despite innovations, Africa produces little research, and has the lowest higher education investment level. Finally, this article concurs that governments should increase research support, improve funding initiatives, and facilitate universities’ research policies. These efforts have potential to boost academic reputations and curriculum innovations.

Conclusion– The findings suggest that as development marketing strategy for flagship universities, Africa should select a few institutions into which they will invest on significant funding and research resources.

Keywords: flagship universities, global university ranking, quality research, higher education, Africa


Accepted: The final version of the article will be published soon.



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