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Does Any Ranking Supports Claim University of Abuja is Number One in Nigeria?

The VC made the claim on November 21, 2023, during the ‘official unveiling of the UniAbuja publishing complex’ at the Faculty of Agriculture Lecture Theatre, University of Abuja Main Campus.

Does Any Ranking Supports Claim University of Abuja is Number One in Nigeria?

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Claim

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Abuja, Professor Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah had claimed that the university is number one in Nigeria.

The VC made the claim on November 21, 2023, during the ‘official unveiling of the UniAbuja publishing complex’ at the Faculty of Agriculture Lecture Theatre, University of Abuja Main Campus.

Prof. Na’Allah said: “If our president [Bola Ahmed Tinubu] is the number one citizen in Nigeria, the University of Abuja is the number one university in Nigeria. We are number one. Nobody can compete with us. You cannot be in Ibadan or Nsukka, or ABU, or Dutsin-Ma, and compete with UniAbuja. It is impossible.”

The microphone of the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA)  can be seen on the lectern, suggesting that the event, which was also live-streamed on the university’s Facebook page, was covered by reporters.

University of Abuja

The video has been liked and shared by over 200 people.

Established in 1988, UniAbuja is the only federal university in the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria.

It began academics with three colleges namely: College of Arts and Education; College of Law, Management and Social Sciences; and College of Science and Agriculture.

ROUNDCHECK Findings 

ROUNDCHECK notes that the universities the Vice Chancellor referred to in his address were; the University of Ibadan, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Ahmadu Bello University,  Zaria, Federal University Dutsin-Ma (FUDMA) respectively.

The tertiary institutions were established in 1848, 1955, 1962, and 2011 respectively. UI was the pioneer university in Nigeria.

Research shows that global organisations conduct ranking of universities worldwide using different metrics. Some of the longest-established and most influential global rankings are those produced by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), Times Higher Education (THE) and Shanghai Ranking Consultancy, publisher of the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).

The 20th edition of the QS World University Rankings features 1,500 institutions across 104 locations and is the only ranking of its kind to emphasise employability and sustainability, the global rating organisation said on its website.

“This year, we’ve implemented our largest-ever methodological enhancement, introducing three new metrics: Sustainability, Employment Outcomes and International Research Network.”

The Times Higher Education, on the other hand, noted on its website that it “creates university rankings to assess university performance on the global stage and to provide a resource for readers to understand the different missions and successes of higher education institutions.”

“Our rankings cover the three main missions of university activity: research, teaching and impact.”

What Rankings Show 

The table below shows the top seven universities in Nigeria, according to the Times’ 2023/2024 ranking of tertiary institutions in the country.

Top Seven Universities in Nigeria

Nigeria Rank 2024

World University Rank 2024

World University Rank 2023

University

=1

801–1000        

601–800

Covenant University

=1

801–1000        

401–500

University of Ibadan

=3

1001–1200

1001-1200

Federal University of Technology, Akure

=3

1001-1200

401-500

University of Lagos

=5

1201-1500

1001-1200

Bayero University

=5

1201-1500

1001–1500

University of Ilorin

=5

1201-1500

1201-1500

University of Nigeria, Nsukka

Source: Times Higher Education

Other universities on the list are; Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti; University of Benin,        Benin City; Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta        , Abeokuta; Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso; Lagos State University, Ojo;         Nnamdi Azikiwe University        Awka; Obafemi Awolowo University        Ile-Ife and University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt.

QS Stars 2023 ranking shows only four Nigerian institutions on its list. They are; Covenant University (1051-1100); the University of Lagos (1401+); University of Ibadan(1401+), and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (651-680) — rankings based on QS sustainability and by subject, respectively.

 

Also, Shanghai Ranking Consultancy recognised the following Nigerian universities on its website; UI, University of Lagos; University of Ilorin; Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; UNN, ABU, and Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.

 

Verdict

ROUNDCHECK Misleading

Findings show that the University of Abuja is NOT the number 1 university in Nigeria, by global and national rankings. Hence, the VC’s claim is unfounded and misleading.

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