How to Study in Africa: Best 17 Universities in Africa Today

How to Study in Africa: Best 17 Universities in Africa Today

Africa is a continent of over 50 countries with different tribes, cultures, landscapes, and weather patterns that combine to make it one of the most fascinating places in the world.

In addition to that, there are several top universities in Africa that one can choose from. These Universities offer courses in various fields and programs. The research facilities in the top African universities are up there with the best in the world.

One of the biggest advantages of studying in Africa, especially for international students coming from Western Europe, America, and Canada is the low cost of living.

Fortunately, a study abroad student won’t have to scour this huge continent to pick a top university. The best universities on the list are mostly located in South Africa and Egypt.

University of Cape Town

The University of Cape Town apart from being top of the rankings in Africa is also the oldest university on the continent.

Founded in 1829, this public University is located on the slopes of Table Mountain offering students scenic views of the countryside. Student enrollment is about 30,000 with about 4,000 of those being international students from all parts of the world.

The university is structured around six faculties offering undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate programs. These are the faculties of Commerce, Engineering and Built Environment, Health Sciences, Humanities, Law, and Science.

University of the Witwatersrand (Wits)

Ranked in the top 400 universities in the world, Wits is also located in South Africa. It has five campuses in and around the city of Johannesburg.  Student enrollment is about 30,000 with international students accounting for about 2500.

The university consists of five faculties offering programs at all levels. These faculties are Commerce, Law, and Management; Health Sciences; Science; Engineering and the Built Environment; and Humanities.

American University in Cairo

The American University in Cairo, located in Egypt, was founded in 1919 and is the top University in the country. It has a total student enrollment of about 6000 students.

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The English-language-based university has the distinction of having the best and biggest English language library in Egypt.

The American University in Cairo offers bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees in the schools of Business, Humanities and Social Sciences,  Global Affairs and Public Policy, Sciences and Engineering, and Education.

Stellenbosch University

Stellenbosch University is ranked in the top 400 universities in the world according to the latest rankings. This 4th ranked University in Africa is located in the city of Stellenbosch, about 50 km to the east of Cape Town in South Africa.

Founded in 1918, Stellenbosch has a total enrollment of about 30,000 with close to 3000 of those being international students.

Undergraduate and postgraduate international students can select courses from the faculties of  Arts and Social Sciences, Science, Education, AgriSciences, Law, Theology, Economic and Management Sciences, and Engineering.

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Cairo University

Cairo University was founded in 1908 and is not actually located in Cairo, the capital of Egypt, but in Giza, which is 20 km southwest of Cairo.

This fifth-ranked University in Africa has a student population of about 155,000 with a sizable international student community of over 7000 students from several countries around the world.

Cairo University currently has over 22 faculties in various fields of human endeavor in the arts, humanities, science, engineering, and medical fields.

University of Pretoria

According to the latest University ranking for Africa, the University of Pretoria also share the fifth spot with Cairo University. It is one of the largest universities in South Africa with a student population of over 50,000. 4,500 of those are international students from various countries around the world.

Established in 1908, the university has 6 campuses with the Hatfield campus being the major campus and administrative center of the whole University.

Ten faculties are spread across the six campuses. These are the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Faculty of Education, Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, and Gordon Institute of Business Science.

Rhodes University

Named after a British businessman, Cecile Rhodes, the University is located in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa.

The suburb of Grahamstown is the host of the highly residential University. The latest figures for student enrollment stand at around 8,000, with international students making up about 2000.

There are six faculties offering undergraduate and postgraduate programs in law, humanities, science, education, commerce, and pharmacy.

University of Johannesburg

This is the youngest University on the list of top African universities. It was formed about 11 years ago as a result of the merger between three tertiary institutions: Rands Afrikaans University, Technikon Witwatersrand, and Vista University all in South Africa.

With the main campus in the township of Soweto, this University has a student population of about 50,000 spread over four campuses.

The university has 9 faculties spread across the four campuses and offers both undergraduate and postgraduate programs in diverse fields such as arts, economic and financial sciences, education, engineering, health sciences, humanities, law, management, and Science.

University of KwaZulu-Natal

This is another top university based in South Africa. It was formed in 2004 by the merger of the University of Natal and the University of Durban-Westville.

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It has five campuses with a student population of about 40,000. About 3,000 students from around the world make up the international student population.

The university consists of four faculties or colleges with diverse programs leading to undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. Some of the colleges are the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science; College of Health Sciences; College of Humanities; and College of Law and Management Studies.

Ain Shams University

Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt, is the biggest of the universities in the top 10 list. It has a massive population of about 180, 000 students spread across 8 campuses.

Founded in 1950, international students have several diverse fields of study to choose from in 15 faculties for either undergraduate or postgraduate study.

Other top-ranked universities in Africa include:

Al-Azhar University, Egypt
Alexandria University, Egypt
Makerere University, Uganda
North-West University, South Africa
University of Ghana, Ghana
The University of Nairobi, Kenya
University of the Western Cape

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