The University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, has been graded the best in the country and among the best 2000 in the world in the latest Webometrics ranking released in January this year.
The Webometrics University Ranking, which provides indicators for more than 12,000 universities in the world, is based on university web presence, visibility and web access.
The ranking system measures how strongly a university is present in the web by its own web domain, sub-pages, rich files and published scholarly articles. The ranking system is premised on the belief that web presence is a reliable indicator of the global performance and prestige of the universities and could serve as an indirect way to measure efficiency of universities in the performance of their tripartite function of teaching, research and knowledge transfer.
Acting Public Relations Officer, PRO of the UNN, Chief Okwun Omeaku made this known at Nsukka, saying that the improved rating of the institution was not unconnected with the enhanced research efforts in the university following the Vice-Chancellor’s encouragement and financial reward system.
According to Omeaku, the ranking which started in 2004 is updated every January and July.
In the latest edition of the ranking, the UNN was rated the first in Nigeria, 1389th best university in the world and 14th best in Africa based on its Google Scholar citation profile. The University of Ibadan was graded 1608th in the World, 18th in Africa and 2nd in the country.
“In the penultimate Webometrics ranking, the UNN was ranked 7th in Nigeria and 82nd in Africa, and had no trace in the global rating,” he said pointing out that the administration of the university, under Prof. Benjamin Ozumba had introduced a- publish-and-be-paid policy to encourage academic staff in engaging in impact factor-based researches.
Under the policy, the university administration pays publication fees for research papers that have been accepted for publication in journals with Thompson Reuters Impact Factor.
The administration also undertakes to give cash rewards to staff who publish in the approved Impact Factor (IF) journals. Such reward ranges from N10, 000 to N200, 000 depending on the IF rating of the journal.
The Ozumba-led administration also approved N100,000 as seed capital for over 214 research groups in the university. “The UNN is the only university in the country where staff are paid for publishing research articles that will be considered for their promotions,” Chief Omeaku, added.
Omeaku further said that the rating was the first sign of a glorious future for the university. “The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ozumba, is determined to make the UNN the best in Africa and among the top 10 in the world. That will happen sooner than later,” he pointed out.