The University of Nairobi is the only Kenyan institution among the top 900 universities in the World.

This is according to the latest QS World University Rankings.

The university took position 701 out of 891 institutions ranked, though the survey considered about 3,539.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology is the World’s top university, followed by Harvard.
Makerere and Dar es Salaam beat the University of Nairobi.

South African universities dominated the top positions on the continent, with the University of Cape Town ranked 171 in the world.

A total of 76,798 academics and 44,226 employers contributed to the rankings though the QS global survey analysed 11.1 million research papers — indexed by Elsevier’s Scopus database.

QS Head of Research Ben Sowter said the results revealed more diversity than ever in the distribution of universities at the highest levels.

“We are providing prospective students with the richest picture,” said Mr Sowter.

The QS ranking is an annual league table of top universities.

It is compiled by the QS Intelligence Unit in consultation with an advisory board of leading academics.

The ranking is widely referenced by prospective and current students, university professionals and governments.

The purpose of the ranking is to recognise universities as multi-faceted organisations and to provide a comparison of their success against their notional mission of becoming or remaining world-class.

The ranking is based on four key pillars: Research, teaching, employability and internationalisation.


It considers six indicators: Academic reputation (40 per cent), employer reputation (10 per cent), faculty-student ratio (20 per cent), citations per faculty (20 per cent), international students (five per cent) and international faculty (five per cent).

About 11.1 million papers indexed were analysed and 58.2 million citations counted, which amounted to 44.9 million once self-citations were excluded.

The United States dominated the rankings with 49 institutions, ahead of the UK (30), Netherlands (12), Germany (11), Canada, Australia and Japan (eight) each, China (seven), France, Sweden and Hong Kong (five) each.

Cambridge and Stanford come third and fourth respectively.

Last month, the University of Nairobi was ranked among the best in Africa by Times Higher Education Supplement.

It was eighth in a list of the continent’s top 30 universities and once again Uganda’s Makerere was ahead of the University of Nairobi as it claimed position three.

The ranking was based on research contributions from every university, with institutions from South Africa taking up most positions.