The 10 Best Law Universities in Africa to Enroll in 2021
By Gladys Mokeira Obiero
Law is one of the most prestigious degrees one can study in Africa. Students miss out on joining law universities because slots are filled or because they do not know the right schools to apply to. For these reasons, it is essential to know the best law universities in Africa where the best education is offered.
Expectedly, law faculties of African universities are in constant competition to be the best. This ranges from infrastructural development and hiring the best law professors and admitting only the brightest students. Since education is closely linked to development, many countries have given their universities adequate funds to develop international standards.
Not all those who join law school manage to complete their degrees because the course is not a walk in the park. It takes years of rigorous coursework and pupilage to become a competent lawyer.
Here are the best law schools that attract not only the best local students but also international
- Stellenbosch University
Stellenbosch University is the best law university in the African continent. The school opened its gates in 1866 in Stellenbosch, a town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. It is the oldest university in South Africa, having received full university status in 1918.
Stellenbosch University was the first African university to sign the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. It consistently appears in the top 200 worldwide in law, politics and geography.
- University of Cape Town
The University of Cape Town is one of the best law schools in Africa. The public research university has its main campus in Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. It was founded in 1829 when it used to be called the South African College.
Law is the smallest faculty at the institution, and as a result, the execution of a rigorous curriculum makes its graduates be highly sought after. The faculty hosts more than 11 world-class research units that are focused on various aspects of legal practice and implementation.
- University of South Africa
The University of South Africa is the largest universities in South Africa in terms of enrollment. Students from more than 130 countries worldwide form part of the 400,000 students of UNISA. This makes it the top law schools in Africa.
Most of its programmes have international accreditation explaining the high employability worldwide. Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu are among the notable alumni of the university.
- University of Witwatersrand
The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, is among the top universities in Africa. It is found in the northern areas of central Johannesburg and has its roots in the mining industry. In 2017, it was the highest-ranked university in Africa.
The school was at the centre of the apartheid opposition in the 1960s. Law is offered under the Commerce, Law, and Management faculty based on the West Campus.
- Cairo University
Cairo University used to be known as the Egyptian University from 1908 to 1940. The name changed to King Fuad I University from 1940 to 1952 when it got its current name. It is the premier public university of Egypt and was founded in 1908.
It was ranked 2nd in Egypt and 6th in Africa in the 2021 QS ranking. The first female lawyer in Egypt, Naima Ilyas as-Ayyubi, went to school here.
- University of Ibadan
The University of Ibadan is the best law university in Nigeria and a pacesetter among the law universities in West Africa. It was founded in 1948 with the name University College Ibadan and was a college within the University of London.
It became autonomous in 1963. This made it the oldest degree-awarding institution in Nigeria. It has a total of 17 faculties, with law being one of them. The faculty of law has two departments, the Department of Private and Business Law and the Department of Public and International Law.
- University of Pretoria
As the name indicates, the public research university is located in Pretoria, South Africa. It was established in 1908 as a campus of Transvaal University College. It has a law library, the Oliver R Tambo Law Library, which houses the faculty of law’s collection of legal materials.
- University of Dar es Salaam
The University of Dar es Salaam is a public university established in 1961 to be an affiliated college of the University of London. In 1963, it became an affiliate of the University of East Africa (UEA).
In 1970, UEA split into Makerere University (Uganda), University of Nairobi (Kenya) and University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania). It is the best-ranked university in the country and among the top 100 in Africa. It ranks 1st in the best law schools in East Africa.
- University of Nairobi
The University of Nairobi is a collegiate research university in Kenya established in 1956. It was independent in 1970, becoming the first national university in the country. It tops Kenya’s university rankings and is consistently among the top 10 in Africa.
The University of Nairobi School of Law was established in 1970, making it one of the original faculties of the institution. The school runs a clinical programme that enables students to be attached to courts to familiarize themselves with the workings of the law. The law school is among the largest law faculties in East and Central Africa.
- University of Western Cape
The University of Western Cape carved a name for itself due to its creative struggle against oppression, discrimination and disadvantage. It is yet another among the many prestigious law universities in South Africa.
The school was established in 1960 by the South African government for ‘coloured’ people only. It has a Community Law Center that houses the Children’s Rights Project organization, which advocates recognizing and protecting children’s rights.
A degree course from any of the ten institutions is a recognised qualification in working for most countries. Also, all the ten institutions highlighted accept international students, especially ones from African countries