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Research Profiles of ARUA Universities: Emerging Trends (2015—2017)

ARUA. June, 2021.Research Profiles of ARUA Universities: Emerging Trends (2015—2017)Cameigie Corporation. 

The report provides an aggregated analysis of the research profiles of thirteen African Research University Alliance (ARUA) member universities over the period 2015 –2017. The thirteen universities are: University of Ghana (UG), University of Ibadan (Ibadan), University of Lagos (Lagos), Makerere University (Makerere), Rhodes University (Rhodes), Stellenbosch University (SU), University of Cape Town (UCT), University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), University of Pretoria (UP), University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD) and Addis Ababa University (Addis Ababa). 

The research profiles of ARUA universities have broadly similar patterns. ARUA universities can be mainly described as undergraduate universities on account of the ‘shape’ of student enrolments. When postgraduate enrolments below master’s are excluded, the share of postgraduate enrolments declines to below 30%, especially for South African universities. Similarly, whilst the representation of women academic staff varies across the universities, the general observation is that this group is underrepresented at most of the universities. It is clear from the data that advancing gender equality should be an important priority for ARUA universitiesWhilst there are yearly fluctuations in enrolments across the various fields of study, the general trend is that most of the master’s and doctoral enrolments are in STEM fields. Enrolments by female students are however generally skewed towards Social Sciences, Humanities and Business, Mangement and Economy Studies (BEMS). The inverse correlation between the proportion of academic staff with doctorates and the proportion of academics occupying senior ranks, indicates a need for ARUA universities to implement or strengthen interventions aimed at supporting academics with doctorates to become senior scholars. Such interventions may include structured mentorship and early career support programmes, postdoctoral fellowships, support with grant writing and conference attendance, and participation in research projects led by senior scholars.  

The full report can be found here.