Introducing our Sub-Saharan Africa University Rankings advisory board

THE’s SSA advisory board launches with members from countries across the region

September 20, 2023
Sub-Saharan Africa
Source: iStock

We recently announced a search for members for a new Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) University Rankings advisory board to help us shape the league table to better achieve its set objectives.

The role of the SSA board – like that of the Impact Rankings, World University Rankings and Arab University Rankings boards – is to provide a more formal mechanism for feedback, as well as to help us explore potential changes to the methodology.

The creation of these boards is an important part of our commitment to increasing the transparency of our approach in all our rankings.

We are pleased to announce that the SSA board has now been created, with 11 members from across the SSA region and beyond, a wide range of experience and a balanced gender split.

The board members are:

Patrick Awuah (Ghana) is founder and president of Ashesi University, a private, not-for-profit institution based in Ghana. Before founding Ashesi, Patrick worked as a Program Manager for Microsoft, where, among other things, he spearheaded the development of dial-up internet working technologies. He holds bachelor’s degrees in engineering and economics from Swarthmore College and an MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

Chioma Blaise Chikere (Nigeria) is a professor of environmental microbiology and biotechnology at the University of Port Harcourt, where she has worked for the past 18 years. She is also director of the university’s Entrepreneurial Centre and an academic associate in the department of environmental sciences at the University of South Africa.

Hossein Masoumi Karakani (South Africa) is a senior institutional researcher at the University of Pretoria’s department of institutional planning, monitoring and evaluation. In 2021, he became the first person from the university to enter the global Kaggle Rankings, placing among the top 1 per cent of data scientists worldwide.

Sylvia Kunkyebe (Ghana) works with the Mastercard Foundation as lead for transitions, supporting universities under the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Programme, which helps students gain job skills and have a smoother transition from school to work and further education. Ms Kunkyebe also supports universities in building industry collaborations and providing experiential learning and job opportunities for students. She has spent over a decade in Africa’s higher education sector, from international student recruitment and inclusivity to career services and alumni engagement.

Violet Makuku (Zimbabwe) is director of the Global Quality Assurance Association. Having spent a significant part of her career as a university lecturer, she became the first director of quality assurance at Bindura University of Science Education in Zimbabwe before moving to the Association of African Universities as the project manager for the Harmonisation of African Higher Education Quality Assurance and Accreditation initiative (2016-2022).

Ato Micah (Ghana) is founder and managing principal of Maverick Research, a market research company based in Accra that provides consumer insights about what Africans buy, watch and listen to. Mr Micah has more than 20 years of experience in market and social research, brand management and general management.

Ahmed Ibrahim Nageye (Somalia) is higher education adviser to the Minister of Education, Culture and Higher Education of the Federal Republic of Somalia. Dr Nageye is an active member of the Higher Education Bill Writing Committee and holds the position of senior lecturer at Somali National University. He previously served as dean of the economics faculty at SIMAD University. He has taught economics and leadership courses for more than a decade and his research expertise spans the fields of economics, leadership and education.

Darius Mogaka Ogutu (Kenya) is director of higher education at Kenya’s Ministry of Education in the State Department of Higher Education and Research. He has more than a decade of experience shaping policy on East African research and education.

Angela Owusu-Ansah (Ghana) is provost and professor at Ashesi University. She is an activist for higher education quality, serving on National University accreditation agency boards, including the Ghana Tertiary Education Council and the US Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

Linda du Plessis (South Africa) is the vice-principal and the deputy vice-chancellor for planning and campus operations at the North-West University. She started off as a programmer and a systems analyst in industry before moving to higher education, where she has been for 29 years, with 18 in management. She has a PhD in education and in higher education management from the University of Bath. Her current role involves providing strategic leadership and direction from an institutional perspective.

Juliet Thondhlana (UK) is a professor and Unesco chair in international education and development at the University of Nottingham. She is also coordinator of the Association of African Universities’ Europe Regional Office. She has expertise and research experience in the internationalisation of higher education; the decolonisation of research; curricula; doctoral training; and policy development and implementation.

Although most members are affiliated with specific institutions, members will be participating as individuals and not as representatives of particular institutions or organisations. We look forward to working with the members on the future strategy for the SSA University Rankings.

Binta Hussaini is a data scientist at Times Higher Education.

Register to continue

Why register?

  • Registration is free and only takes a moment
  • Once registered, you can read 3 articles a month
  • Sign up for our newsletter
Please Login or Register to read this article.

Related articles