Study In Africa: List of 17 Top-Ranked Universities in Africa

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

So if you in search of top ranked universities in Africa, you can check out our list of African Universities to Study In Africa.

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, Canada is the low cost of living.

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

Why Study In Africa?

Africa is a vital world region. Some of the fastest-growing economies in the world are in Africa, a continent of thousands of languages and cultures, unparalleled eco-diversity, and has over a billion vibrant and innovative Africans.

We often overlook Africa as a desirable destination for studying abroad, but the region is certainly making waves in the global education sector.

Furthermore, there are lots of reason to study in Africa which includes quality education, friendly environment, diverse culture, easy visa application, beautiful and conducive learning environment, and affordable tuition.

Also, the opportunity to learn a new language and other benefits will make Africa your dream destination to study.

List of 17 Top-Ranked Universities in Africa

Here is a list of the top ranked Universities in Africa you can study in.

  • University of Cape Town
  • The University of the Witwatersrand ( Wits)
  • American University in Cairo
  • Stellenbosch University
  • Cairo University
  • The University of Pretoria
  • Rhodes University
  • University of Johannesburg
  • University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Ain Shams University
  • 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

#1. 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 both undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate programs. These are the faculties of Commerce, Engineering and Built Environment, Health Sciences, Humanities, Law, and Science.

#2. University of the Witwatersrand (Wits)

Wits is also in South Africa, ranked in the top 400 universities in the world. 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 comprises five faculties offering programs at all levels. These faculties are Commerce, Law, and Management; Health Sciences; Science; Engineering and the Built Environment; and Humanities.

Visit School

#3. American University in Cairo

American University is one of the top-ranked university to can study in Africa.

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.

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.

Visit School

#4. 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 Stellenbosch, about 50 km 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, Agri sciences, Law, Theology, Economic and Management Sciences, and Engineering.

Visit School

#5. Cairo University

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

This is one of the best university you can study in Africa. It is the 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 has over 22 faculties in various fields of human endeavor in the arts, humanities, science, engineering and medical fields.

Visit School

#6. 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: Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Faculty of Education, Engineering, Built Environment, and Information Technology,

Also, the 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.

Visit School

#7. Rhodes University

Named after a British businessman, Cecile Rhodes, the University is 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 stands at around 8,000, with international students making up about 2000.

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

Visit School

#8. University of Johannesburg

This is the youngest University in the list of top African universities. It was formed about 11 years ago due to 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 as arts, economic and financial sciences, education, engineering, health sciences, humanities, law, management, and Science.

Visit School

#9. University of KwaZulu-Natal

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

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

Visit School

#10. 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.

Visit School

Other top-ranked universities in Africa include:


Considering higher education in Africa is a good start. So studying in any of the best educational systems in Africa requires that you pick from the best-ranked African universities in this article.

We Recommend

Comments are closed.

DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we receive a commission.

You May Also Like