By Phesheya Mkhonta
The University of Eswatini (UNESWA) has been ranked 6126 globally out of 31 000 Higher Education Institutions (HEI) from 200 countries by Webometrics.
The Webometrics Ranking of World Universities is an initiative of the Cybermetrics Lab, a research group belonging to the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC), the largest public research body in Spain.
The rankings were first published in 2004 and are published twice a year. The intention according to Webometrics is to motivate institutions and scholars to have a web presence that accurately reflects their activities. HEI are encouraged to promote and increase the volume and quality of its electronic publications.
The research group’s ranking has a special focus on open access to data from global universities and lists institutions based on the quantity and quality of their web content.
The original aim of the Ranking is to promote academic web presence, supporting the open access initiatives for increasing significantly the transfer of scientific and cultural knowledge generated by the universities to the whole society.
The institution stresses that the objective is not to evaluate websites, their design or usability, or the popularity of their contents according to the number of visits or visitors.
UNESWA’s ranking means it is one of the least-ranked National universities in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). In actual fact, UNESWA only ranks above Universidade Agostinho Neto of Angola in the region, as the latter sits at 6835.
Botho University, a Botswana HEI operating in the country is placed at 6440, while Regent Business School is at number 13073 and MANCOSA sits at 11432.
The Eswatini Christian Medical University also makes it in the rankings at number 22199, while the Southern African Nazarene University (SANU) is ranked 23246.
The University of Botswana is ranked number 2685, while the National University of Lesotho is ranked 5068 globally by Webometrics.
The University of Cape Town (UCT) is ranked 246, making it the best-ranked African university. UCT is followed closely by the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) which sits at 396.
Ranking of Some Southern African Universities
|Name Of University
|University of Cape Town
|University of Witwatersrand
|University of Stellenbosch
|University of Pretoria
|University of Kwazulu Natal
|University of Johannesburg
|University of South Africa
|Tshwane University of Technology
|University of Botswana
|National University of Lesotho
|University of Namibia
|University of Zimbabwe
|University of Malawi
|Universidade Agostinho Neto (Angola)
|Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (Mozambique)
|Regent Business School
|Christian Medical University
|Southern African Nazarene University
|Millpark Business School
Research output is also a key topic for webometrics, including not only formal – e-journals, repositories – publications but also informal scholarly communication.
These are the three main indicators webometrics focuses on;
Visibility: The number of external networks (subnets) linking to the institution’s web pages (weighted 50%)
Transparency or Openness: The number of citations from the Top 310 authors, excluding the top 30 outliers (10%)
Excellence: The number of papers amongst the top 10% most cited in each one of all 27 disciplines of the full database over the last five years (40%)