EDITORIAL: Universities can do better - Daily Nation

Universities can do better

Monday February 1 2016

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Every institution worth its salt strives to excel in its core business and any external recognition is the icing on the cake.

This is why there must be some excitement at the University of Nairobi about its continued high ranking by international organisations.

Kenya’s oldest university, which is nearly half-a-century old, has again impressed in the latest rankings by Webometrics, Times Higher Education and two others.

In the January 2016 Webometrics ranking of some 24,000 institutions, UoN was placed at position 697 globally, and sixth in Africa.

Other Kenyan universities that continue to feature in these rankings are Moi, Egerton, Kenyatta, all other public universities, and the privately-owned Strathmore.

Though this is a commendable showing against the very best in the world, it is simply not good enough. Nairobi, which became a full-fledged university in 1970, can, surely, do better.

The Webometrics ranking is a measure of the institutions’ visibility through web publications.

Nairobi and our other universities have been around long enough and command the human and material resources to put them among the very top in any kind of ranking of academic institutions.

Nairobi should see this latest accolade as a wake-up call to do more to scale up the ladder. A place among the top 100 in the world in any rating of universities is achievable.