The University of Nairobi has been ranked in the 51-100 category for Development Studies worldwide. The sixth edition of the QS World University Rankings also places the University of Nairobi among the top 100 universities in the world.
South Africa’s University of Cape Town was ranked ninth for Development Studies, making it the only African university to rank in the Top 10 in one of QS’s 42 subject tables this year. Harvard University displaced the United Kingdom’s University of Sussex to rank as the world’s best place to pursue Development Studies.
Development Studies prorammmes at the University of Nairobi are offered by the Institute for Development Studies (IDS). Established in 1965, IDS is the oldest of 20 such institutes in the world. The premier multi-disciplinary and a multi-purpose development institute carries out full time research on high priority areas of social-economic and political development in Kenya, Africa and the world in general. The Institute currently offers a Master of Development Studies (MDEV) programme as well as Doctor of Philosophy in Development Studies.
According to QS Top Universities website, the primary aim of the QS World University Rankings is to help students make informed comparisons of leading universities around the world. Based on six performance indicators, the rankings are designed to assess universities in four areas: research, teaching, employability and internationalization. The six indicators are:
1. Academic reputation (40%)
This is measured using a global survey, in which academics are asked to identify the institutions where they believe the best work is currently taking place within their own field of expertise. The aim is to give prospective students a sense of the consensus of opinion within the international academic community.
2. Employer reputation (10%)
The employer reputation indicator is also based on a global survey, taking in more than 44,200 responses for the 2015/16 edition. The survey asks employers to identify the universities they perceive to be producing the best graduates. This indicator is unique among international university rankings.
3. Student-to-faculty ratio (20%)
This is a simple measure of the number of academic staff employed relative to the number of students enrolled. In the absence of an international standard by which to measure teaching quality, this indicator aims to identify the universities that are best equipped to provide small class sizes and a good level of individual supervision.
4. Citations per faculty (20%)
This indicator aims to assess universities’ research impact. A ‘citation’ means a piece of research being cited (referred to) within another piece of research. Generally, the more often a piece of research is cited, the more influential it is. So the more highly cited research papers a university publishes, the stronger its research output is considered.
5 & 6. International faculty ratio (5%) & international student ratio (5%)
These indicators aim to assess how successful a university has been in attracting students and academics from other nations. This is based on the proportion of international students and faculty members at the institution. Each of these indicators contributes 5% to the overall ranking results.
Prof Winnie Mitullah, Director IDS.