FALSE: UI College of Medicine Ranks 6th, NOT 4th in Africa!

CLAIM: University of Ibadan (UI) College of Medicine ranks 4th in Africa, says news publication.

FASLE: In the absence of a continentally accepted authority for rating African universities, we resorted to T.H.E. World University Rankings. The metric scale rated the University of Ibadan- College of Medicine as 6th in Africa.

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On September 12, a number of news publications reported how the College of Medicine- University of Ibadan (UI), attained the fourth position in Africa in the World University Ranking. The reports claimed the assertion originated from the College Provost- Professor Olubunmi Olapade-Olaopa; further stating that he revealed the news while speaking with newsmen at the end of the Innovative Research Fair of the college.

Everyone wants to graduate from the best university and get the best job. Consequently, most tertiary institutions make claims to be the top in order to attract students to their institutions. In this light, the necessity of this fact check becomes paramount.


Findings show that the University of Ibadan is ranked between 501-600. The search was made on the World University Ranking 2020- the same metric referenced by the Provost. The parameters used were “Medicine and Dentistry” and limited to the African region.

Times Higher Education (THE) World University Ranking 2020

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings are a global comprehensive metric. Their performance tables judge universities across all of their core missions. These include: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. 13 calibrated performance indicators are used to provide the most comprehensive and balanced comparisons. This metric is 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 top ten ratings of Africa universities offering Medicine and Dentistry, according to the World University Ranking are:
  1. University of Cape Town, South Africa ranked 136
  2. University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa ranked 194
  3. Stellenbosch University, South Africa ranked between 251-300
  4. University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa ranked between 401-500
  5. Mansoura University, Egypt ranked between 401-500
  6. University of Ibadan, Nigeria ranked between 501-600
  7. Suez Canal University,  Egypt ranked between 501-600 
  8. Beni-Suef University, Egypt ranked between 601-800
  9. Cairo University, Egypt ranked between 601-800
  10. Ferhat Abbas Setif University, Algeria ranked between 601-800

Additionally, findings from webometrics place the University of Ibadan as 17th in Africa; after the University of Ghana and 1233 worldwide. However, webometrics does not do its rankings by subjects. Its criteria are based on university presence, impact, openness and excellence. 

African universities currently do not have a continentally accepted ranking scale. This means the results provided are very subjective. The disparities in the results provided by both ranking systems underlines said subjectivity. Nonetheless, the Times Higher Education ranking system does not only have global acceptance but ranks universities by subjects. This makes it the most suited choice for verification.


To summarize, we utilized the T.H.E. World University Rankings for our results. The metric scale rated the University of Ibadan- College of Medicine as 6th in Africa. More so, it is the only available rating scale that ranked institutions by subjects. This of course is notwithstanding the disparities that exist in other metrics with respect to UI’s position.

This fact-check was done by a Dubawa Fact-checking Fellow in collaboration with The Nation, the second-most-read newspaper in Nigeria according to a 2011 report by The Advertisers’ Association of Nigeria. To see this article and others, click here.

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