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### Leading the Pack: Kenya and Uganda Outshine Top Tanzanian Universities in Global Rankings

Dar es Salaam. Tanzanian universities are striving for global acknowledgment, but recent rankings have placed them below their East African counterparts, making this pursuit challenging.

The University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), Tanzania’s leading institution, is ranked 37th in Africa in the 2024 UniRank ratings, a well-known higher education platform globally.

Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) and Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), holding the second and third positions nationally, are placed at 79th and 89th positions, respectively, on the continent.

On the other hand, the University of Dodoma (UDOM) and the State University of Zanzibar (SUZA) are positioned at 123rd and 174th in Africa, respectively, ranking fourth and fifth nationally.

In comparison, the University of Nairobi (Kenya) secures the seventh spot in Africa within the East African region, followed by Makerere University (Uganda) at 16th position, and Kenyatta University (Kenya) at 28th.

Strathmore University, ranked 31st in Africa, holds the fourth spot in East Africa, while UDSM closes the top five in the region.

Experts suggest that global recognition symbolizes excellence, innovation, and academic strength for universities.

Despite favorable local rankings, Tanzanian higher education institutions are trailing behind on the continental and global platforms, as indicated by the UniRank report.

Dr. Amos Majure, a respected education expert, highlighted the significance of global visibility in attracting attention and promoting academic progress in an interview with The Citizen on Saturday, February 17, 2024.

He stressed the importance of Tanzanian universities benchmarking against international standards and adopting best practices to enhance their global reputation.

Dr. Grace Mbeki, a digital education strategist, emphasized the importance of Tanzanian universities utilizing digital platforms and online resources to expand their global presence.

She recommended investing in social media engagement, optimizing websites, and implementing virtual outreach programs to reach a broader audience.

Ms. Mariana Malisa, a consultant with the Global Partners for Education (GPE), advocated for strategic partnerships with renowned international institutions to facilitate knowledge exchange and research collaboration.

She highlighted the significance of forming alliances with leading academic institutions worldwide to access global networks for collaborative projects and faculty development initiatives.

The necessity of English proficiency among faculty and students for effective communication and scholarly interactions on the international stage was underscored.

Ms. Malisa emphasized the importance of English language training programs to equip faculty and students with the required linguistic skills for global academia.

Dr. Fatma Maziku, an expert in curriculum development, stressed the importance of diversifying academic programs and embracing interdisciplinary approaches to address contemporary global challenges.

She urged Tanzanian universities to cultivate a culture of innovation and collaboration to attract students and researchers from across the globe.

Despite the obstacles, UDSM, SUA, MUHAS, and UDOM are actively working to enhance their global standing through various initiatives.

UDSM, for instance, has revitalized partnerships and invested in infrastructure to evolve into a “SMART CAMPUS.”

Prof. William Anangisye, the Vice Chancellor of UDSM, stated, “With high-speed internet, we are set to revolutionize teaching, research, and public services, propelling UDSM towards greater effectiveness and efficiency.”

However, Mr. Juma Byemela, an expert in rankings, cautioned against flaws in the ranking process, suggesting that universities should focus on accurate information dissemination to improve their positions.

UniRank’s criteria require universities to be officially recognized and accredited, providing traditional face-to-face learning formats through on-site facilities.

The ranked universities must be officially licensed or authorized to confer at least three-year undergraduate degrees (bachelor’s degrees) and/or postgraduate degrees (master’s and doctoral degrees).

The portal does not currently encompass two-year degree-granting institutions like community colleges, vocational colleges, training colleges, or distance learning institutions.

It excludes niche higher education institutions such as seminaries, other theological higher-education institutions, or military or law enforcement higher-education institutions.