Covenant University & UNN Break into Times Higher Education (THE) top 1000 World Rankings


Three Nigerian Universities including The University of Ibadan (UI), The University of Nigeria (UNN), and Covenant University (CU)made it this time into Times Higher education list of the World Best Universities – in the just published 2018/2019 edition of The reputable THE rankings.

The THE world ranking evaluates world-class universities against 13 separate performance indicators, covering the full range of a top university’s essential areas of activity: research; interaction with business; international outlook; and, uniquely, the teaching environment.
THE’s rich data has become very vital for governments and policymakers across the globe. The resource is useful for students and also widely used by faculty to inform career decisions, by university leaders to help set strategic priorities and also by governments to help monitor policy. This is because the THE World University Rankings are based on one of the richest databases of university performance in the world.

This year’s list of the best world best universities was led by The University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge, both retaining their top spots in the first and second positions consecutively for the second year in a row.

Yale University happened to be the only newcomer to the top 10, joining elite varsities at eighth place, up from the 12th position it claimed in the previous 2017/18 edition. Meanwhile, Switzerland’s ETH Zurich dropped out from this elite group, from it’s previously held joint 10th place to 11th place.

The ranking unraveled good news for education in Asia, as Japan (with 103 institutions) has overtaken the UK (which has 98 institutions represented) as the second to the United States, with the most-represented nation in the world in the THE ranking.

Overall, a total of 86 countries were represented in the ranking, including Iraq, Jamaica, Nepal, Tanzania, and Kazakhstan which made it for the first time.

The University of Cape Town continued to remain the best-ranked university in Africa, attaining a remarkable position of 156th in the world.

Covenant University broke the ranks in the 2018/19 edition Times Higher education ranking finishing ahead of The University of Ghana and The University of Ibadan to claim the Number 1 spot in West Africa. Nigerian universities performed better in this year’s edition of the ranking as The University of Ibadan (CU) which is the only Nigerian University that finished among the top 1000 in the past three editions of the reputable ranking improved in the ranking, although placed in the same category (601-800th) as CU. This is a huge feat for CU, being one of the youngest Nigerian universities ever listed on THE database.

Another Nigerian University that remarkably broke into the top ranking is the University of Nigeria, Nsukka which finished in the 1001+ category, as the ranking size was increased to recognized well-performing universities.

The University of Ibadan is not new to the THE ranking having ranked 978th in the 2016/2017 edition, and was also ranked in the previous edition (2015/2016) before that.

No doubt, the Times Higher Education (THE) is one of the most prestigious and objective platforms for ranking of universities globally. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings, founded in 2004, provides the definitive list of the world’s best universities, using a carefully balanced and comprehensive methodology that was developed after more than a decade of working in consultation with the world’s leading universities.

The THE 2018/2019 ranking 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); and industry income (knowledge transfer).

– Teaching accounts for 30% of the ranking by weight, as follows:
Reputation survey: 15%
Staff-to-student ratio: 4.5%
Doctorate-to-bachelor’s ration: 2.25%
Doctorates-awarded-to-academic-staff ratio: 6%
Institutional income: 2.25%

– Research (volume, income and reputation) accounts for 30% of the ranking as follows
Reputation survey: 18%
Research income: 6%
Research productivity: 6%

– Citations (as an indicator of research influence) accounts for 30% of the ranking weight.

– International outlook (staff, students, research) accounts for 7.5% of the ranking weight as follows:
The proportion of international students: 2.5%
The proportion of international staff: 2.5%
International collaboration: 2.5%

And Industry income (knowledge transfer) accounts for 2.5% of the total ranking score.


  1. Covenant University, Ota (CU).

  2. University of Ibadan, Ibadan (UI).

  3. University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN).

The estimations of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019 was independently audited by The PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), to ensure that the ranking is subjected to full, independent scrutiiny.