According to the January 2018 Edition of the Webometric Ranking, out of the over 25,000 higher Institutions in the World and 209 Higher instutions ranked in Nigeria only a handful of 23 Universities (representing 11%)in Nigeria made top 5,000 in the World.
The Top 23 Universities which were led by the University of Ibadan with a Global rank of 1099 followed in Second place by Covenant University, Ota with 2,142 Global rank and coming in Third place was Obafemi Awolowo University.
The Top 23 Universities were dominated by 19 Federal Universities, 3 state Universities and 2 private Universities.
Covenant University Ota remained the Only non – federal university in the top 10 ranking.
On the African Stage the University of Capetown remained number 1 with a 290 Global rank while University of Ibadan ranked 11th place while Covenant University came in at 34th.
Also worthy of note is that the Openness indicator of Webometrics rated the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in the latest edition of the ranking as the most cited University in Nigeria by Universities across the Globe.
In comparison to South Africa, Kenya and Ghana Nigeria Universities were poorly represented in the top 40 rankings in Africa.
The dismal performance of over 89% of Nigerian Universities who couldn’t make top 5,000 could mostly be as a result of more emphasis in the Excellence indicator of the Webometric Ranking (which rates the top 10% highly cited researchers in 26 disciplines) which saw Excellence increase from 30-35% and a decrease of Presence from 10-5%.
Methodology of the Webometric Ranking
Webometrics uses link analysis for quality evaluation as it is a far more powerful tool than citation analysis or global surveys. In the first case, bibliometrics only counts formal recognition between peers, while links not only includes bibliographic citations but also third parties involvement with university activities. Surveys are not a suitable tool for World Rankings as there is not even a single individual with a deep (several semesters per institution), multi-institutional (several dozen), multidisciplinary (hard sciences, biomedicine, social sciences, technologies) experience in a representative sample (different continents) of universities worldwide.
Research output is also key topic for Webometrics, but including not only formal (e-journals, repositories) publications but also informal scholarly communication. Web publication is cheaper, maintaining the high standards of quality of peer review processes. It could also reach much larger potential audiences, offering access to scientific knowledge to researchers and institutions located in developing countries and also to third parties (economic, industrial, political or cultural stakeholders) in their local community.