Makerere Rises in Global University Subject Rankings

Makerere University's Main Building

Uganda’s Makerere University remains in the world’s top 50 for Development Studies, ampoule making Uganda one of only three African nations to be represented in this year’s rankings, try it has emerged.

The sixth edition of the QS World University Rankings by Subject, released Tuesday night on, features a record-breaking 42 disciplines, making it the largest-ever world subject rankings.

Makerere University’s Development Studies course actually rises this year, from 33rd to joint 30th.

In placing among the world’s top fifty, Makerere University ranks, for this subject, above universities like Johns Hopkins University and Duke University of the United States (16th and 29th respectively in the overall QS World University Rankings), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven of Belgium (82nd in the overall rankings), and National Taiwan University (70th in the overall rankings).

Makerere also ranks alongside South Africa’s University of Cape Town, who comes joint 9th for Development Studies, making it the only African university to rank in the top 10 of one of QS’s 42 subject tables this year.

Kenya’s University of Nairobi ranks in the 51-100 band of this ranking.

At the top of the table, Harvard University displaces the United Kingdom’s University of Sussex to rank as the world’s best place to study Development Studies.

By placing in this year’s rankings, Makerere University allows Uganda to become one of 60 countries worldwide that contain universities recognized by QS as providing a world-class education in one or more subjects.

The expert opinion of 76,798 academics and 44,426 employers informed the results, alongside the analysis of 28.5 million research papers and over 113 million citations sourced from the Scopus/Elsevier bibliometric database.

Harvard Shines

Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) continue to dominate, leading in 24 subjects between them. Each takes twelve leading positions.

In the six new disciplines ranked, Harvard University leads the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge in Anthropology, while Cambridge leads Oxford and University College London (UCL) in Archaeology.  Juilliard tops the table for Performing Arts; it is followed by the University of Performing Arts Vienna. Colorado School of Mines tops Mineral Engineering while MIT takes the second spot.

University of Pennsylvania leads Nursing, followed by Johns Hopkins University and the University of Toronto. Harvard, London School of Economics, and the University of Oxford take the top three spots for Social Policy and Administration. Nine of the thirty-six rankings published last year have new leaders.

Ben Sowter, Head of the QS Intelligence Unit, said: “Though the US and UK remain dominant, our most inclusive rankings yet show that excellence can be found in an ever-increasing number of places. Nations like Austria, South Africa, Finland, Brazil, China, and Sweden can be found in the top ten of our tables. Our new top 100 for Performing Arts acknowledges academic excellence in 27 different countries, while our top 100 for Mineral Engineering recognises it in 26.”

QS Quacquarelli Symonds have been providing expert insight and analysis for both the higher education and the business sector since 1990.

Their QS World University Rankings are the world’s most popular based on Alexa data and other social media metrics.

Their annual World University Rankings by Subject provide employers, students, parents, and academics with the most comprehensive insight into global university performance at the subject level. They can be found in their entirety.

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