Confab on ranking of African varsities begins

Prof Peter Okebukola (right) addressing participants at the conference.   Photo: Seth Osabukle

Prof Peter Okebukola (right) addressing participants at the conference. Photo: Seth Osabukle

THIRTY-FIVE policy makers and academicians from eight countries have begun a three-day conference in Accra, to deliberate on implications of ranking of higher education on the African continent.

The participants are from, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Cameroun and Germany.

The event organised by the University of Professional Studies Accra (UPSA), in collaboration with the Council for Higher Education, in Germany is to highlight stakeholders position on effects of ranking of universities on the continent.

Topics to be discussed at the forum include, global university rankings, flaws, imparts and the new approach of multi-dimensional, user-driven ranking, the university ranking philea and phobia-emerging trajectories and quality assurance in Africa, and advantages and weaknesses of rankings and public policy approaches towards ranking.

Professor Peter Okebukola, past Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission of Nigeria, said African universities could do better if they were adequately resourced.

That according to him was the only way to galvanise the board of trustees of the universities to ensure that quality was not compromised

Prof Okebukola said ranking of African universities could ginger competition as well as ensure that the right infrastructure conducive for the teaching and learning is put in place.

He said though ranking of the world’s universities was not a bad idea, the modalities used in arriving at such conclusions must be modified to ensure that African universities were not discriminated against.

Prof Dr. Goski Alabi, Dean of the School of Graduate Studies of UPSA, said African universities could do well in their ranking status if they improved on their research activities.

“The research work of the universities she said would have to be consistently published in the journal citations to make an impact in the ranking systems.”

The Executive Director of the Council of Higher Education Germany Prof Dr. Frank Ziegele, said ranking was only used to degrade some universities.

He urged African universities to factor research into their activities as well as improve upon the quality of teaching and learning to enable them be counted among the best worldwide.

The Vice-chancellor of UPSA, Prof Joshua Alabi, said the university was doing all it could to ensure that it relocated to offer opportunity to those who could not get admission due to lack of accommodation to a more spacious area.

 By Lawrence Vomafa-Akpalu

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