The National University of Rwanda (NUR) has been rated lower, losing some 830 places worldwide and 19 in Africa in the latest Webometrics Ranking of World Universities.
In the latest ranking, the oldest public university in the country is ranked at the 4,470th position in the world, down from the previous 3,631st position.
On the continent, NUR is ranked 77th, down from its previous 58th position.
The institution is the only local higher institution of learning in the top 100 in Africa this year.
In its recent ranking, Webometrics ranked Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (Kist) at 171 place in Africa and 8,559 globally, while Kigali Institute of Education (KIE) is placed at 340 position in Africa and 13,627 in the world.
Kigali Health Institute (KHI) comes at the 371st position in Africa, and 14,240th in the world, while Kigali Independent University is ranked at 15,559th in the world, Umutara Polytechnic comes at 19,397, and Institut d’Agriculture de Technologie et d’Éducation de Kibungo (Inatek) is the 20,842nd out of over 21,000 ranked universities globally.
The Webometrics ranking of World University, conducted by Cybermetrics Lab, a Spanish research agency, is largely based on global performance and visibility of the universities on the web.
The ranking is done twice a year with data collected during the first weeks of January and July for being published at the end of both months.
In an interview with The New Times, Dr Bonfils Safari, the Director of Quality at the Huye-based University, said there is no reason to worry about the rankings.
Safari attributed the slide to what he called ‘periodical activities’ of the university.
Because the evaluation depends mainly on the web visibility and publications, Safari said, the university’s online presence is mostly remarkable in the last six months of the year.
“Much of our activities are concentrated in the second part of the year,” Safari told The New Times, citing research conferences, research publications, graduation ceremonies and other academic activities he said are mostly concentrated between July and December of every year.
“That’s why the university has proved to rank better in [the] January [report],” Safari said.
He also noted that the university is working on improving its website to ensure that it remains dynamic so as to increase its visibility on the international scene.
East African region
Started in 2004, the ranking is based on a combined indicator that takes into account both the volume of the web content, visibility and impact of these web publications.
The ranking aims at promoting web publication, supporting open access initiatives, electronic access to scientific publications and to other academic material, according to a post on the Webometrics web site.
Globally, Harvard University is ranked first followed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University.
In Africa, the University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) tops the category, but comes 381 worldwide followed by the University of Cape Town, ranked 390th globally.
Uganda-based Makerere University is the top ranked university in the East African Community, occupying the fourth position in Africa and 696th in the world. It is followed by the University of Dar-Es-Salaam (9th position).
The highest ranked university in Burundi, Université Lumière de Bujumbura, comes at the 213th position in Africa, and 10,634 globally.