By Najibu Mulema
Makerere University in Uganda has been ranked in position 401 among all universities worldwide,according to the 2016-2017 Times Higher Education World University rankings.
In the latest ranking Makerere University is the only University in East Africa which made it to the top 500 universities in the world.In Africa the University is ranked number four after University of Cape Town(1),University of the Winterwatersrand(2) and Stellenbosch University (3) all from South Africa.
Oxford University is the new best University in the world and it’s the first university outside the United states of America to top the table.It leapfrogs last year’s number one,the California Institute of Technology, and becomes the first new number one in six years.California lnstitute of Technology is number two now.
The ranking methodology:
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings are the only global performance tables that judge research-
intensive universities across all their core missions: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international
outlook. We use 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators to provide the most comprehensive and balanced
comparisons, trusted by students, academics, university leaders, industry and governments.
The performance indicators are grouped into five areas:
Teaching (the learning environment)
Research (volume, income and reputation)
Citations (research influence)
International outlook (staff, students and research)
Industry income (knowledge transfer)
The calculation of the THE World University Rankings 2016-2017 has been independently audited by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC).
Universities are excluded from the World University Rankings if they do not teach undergraduates or if their
research output amounted to fewer than 1,000 articles between 2011 and 2015 (and a minimum of 150 a year).
Universities can also be excluded if 80 per cent or more of their activity is exclusively in one of our eight subject areas.
Institutions provide and sign off their institutional data for use in the rankings. On the rare occasions when a particular data point is not provided we enter a low estimate between the average value of the indicators and the lowest value reported: the 25th percentile of the other indicators. By doing this, we avoid penalising an institution too harshly with a “zero” value for data that it overlooks or does not provide, but we do not reward it for withholding them.
Getting to the final result
Moving from a series of specific data points to indicators, and finally to a total score for an institution, requires us to
match values that represent fundamentally different data.
To do this we use a standardisation approach for each indicator, and then combine the indicators in the proportions indicated to the right.
The standardisation approach we use is based on the distribution of data within a particular indicator, where we
calculate a cumulative probability function, and evaluate where a particular institution’s indicator sits within that function. A cumulative probability score of X in essence tells us that a university with random values for that indicator would fall below that score X per cent of the time.
For all indicators except for the
Academic Reputation Survey we calculate the cumulative probability function using a version of Z-scoring. The distribution of the data in
the Academic Reputation Survey requires us to add an