Nigeria as a country is on a steep ascent. The population and economy of Nigeria are growing steadily and only look set to continue rapidly.
Proportionately, the youth population is one of the largest in the world, and Nigeria has a developing higher education sector. However, there are a few concerns regarding the higher education sector.
Nigerian higher education stakeholders are worried about the youth’s access to high-quality education.
Concerns such as the quality of education students get from universities. Another concern is the quality of lecturers (teaching staff) engaged in teaching children.
Other concerns include the quality of student and staff health services; the quality of student dormitories; the overall institution atmosphere; the quality of teaching and learning, and the quality of non-academic support services.
A list has been compiled of the Top Universities in Nigeria. A list based on the latest rankings from top University ranking bodies.
Bodies include Times Higher Education World University ranking, World University Rankings, and The Reuters Top 100.
Top 10 Universities In Nigeria:
1. University Of Ibadan:
The University of Ibadan was established in 1947. And at first, was a college under the University of London. The college began with academic programs in Arts, Science, and Medicine.
However, the University of Ibadan became a fully independent university in 1962. And the institution has grown since then to include academic programs in 13 faculties which include:
- Basic Medical Sciences
- Clinical Sciences
- Agriculture and Forestry
- Social Sciences
- Veterinary Medicine
- Public Health and
The Basic Medical Sciences faculty, Clinical Sciences, Public Health, and Dentistry are a part of the University’s College of Medicine. The University of Ibadan also has academic units, some of which are.
- Institute of Child Health
- Institute of Education
- Institute of African Studies
- Centre for Educational Media Resource Studies
- African Regional Centre for Information Science (ARCIS)
- Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI)
- Centre for Control & Prevention of Zoonosis (CCPZ) etc.
Currently, the University of Ibadan hosts the Pan African University Life & Earth Sciences Institute for the West African Subregion. The program is in its 2nd year and has 97 students from all over Africa.
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2. University of Lagos:
Established in 1962, the University of Lagos “UNILAG” is one of the top Universities in Nigeria. It has three campuses located at Akoka, Yaba, and Surulere.
UNILAG started with 131 students and has grown to have over 40,000 students. The university staff strength is 3,365, and there are 12 faculties:
- Basic Medical Science
- Business Administration
- Clinical Sciences
- Dental Sciences
- Environmental Science
- Social Science
The University of Lagos is the University of First Choice and the Nation’s Pride. It has just 2 Centres:
- Centre for Human Rights
- Centre for African Regional Integration and Borderland Studies
UNILAG also has a Distance Learning Institute that offers courses in Accounting, Business Administration, Science Education, and Library Information Services.
3. Covenant University:
Covenant University is arguably the best private university in Nigeria, as well as one of the top universities in Nigeria. Located at Ota, Ogun State, the university was set up in 2000 with a vision of becoming the leading world-class Christian Mission University.
However, the university didn’t start until March 2002 when the Nigerian Federal Government handed the institution the licensing certificate to operate as a private university.
Covenant University was founded by the Bishop of the Living Faith Church, Dr. David Oyedepo as a part of the Liberation Commission. The university is built around the following core values: Spirituality, Capacity Building, Possibility Mentality, Responsibility, Integrity, Diligence, and Sacrifice.
They intend to revolutionize the educational landscape using the platform of Christian ethos and life-transforming values.
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4. Obafemi Awolowo University:
Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) is a federal government-owned university located in the ancient city of Ile-Ife, Osun State.
Formerly known as the University of Ife, Obafemi Awolowo University was established in 1962.
The university is one of the biggest in Nigeria in terms of land mass. It covers a land expanse of 11,862 hectares.
As a result of this land area, it has one central campus along with its student residential area, staff quarters, and a teaching and research farm.
The University has produced a Nobel Laureate and several National Merit Award winners as well.
OAU also houses several government parastatals which include:
- The Centre for Energy Research and Development (CERD)
- The National Centre for Technology Management (NACETEM)
- The African Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology Education-English (ARC SSTE-E)
- The United Nations Regional Centre for Training in Aerospace Survey (RECTAS)
The vision of Obafemi Awolowo University is to be one of the top-rated universities in Africa, as itis currently one of the top universities in Nigeria. And is made evident by its application of modern technology to teaching, research, and community service.
And its provision of practical solutions to social, cultural, and economic problems.
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5. University of Nigeria, Nsukka:
Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe founded the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1955. But on the 7th of October 1960, the school formally opened. The University of Nigeria, Nsukka “UNN” is made up of four campuses.
- Nsukka (University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN)
- Enugu (University of Nigeia Enugu campus, UNEC)
- Ituku-Ozalla (University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, UNTH) and
- Aba (University of Nigeria Aba campus, UNAC)
UNN is the first autonomous university in Nigeria making it one of the top universities in Nigeria. Presently it has 15 Faculties and 102 academic departments. Also, the University offers 82 undergraduate and 211 postgraduate programs.
The vice Chancellor of UNN has a strong desire to create a smart university and this led to the Roar Nigeria Hub which is one of the full-fledged Universities embedded ICT Hub in West Africa.
Some of the notable alumni from UNN include:
- Godwin Emefiele
- Charles Soludo (CBN Governor, 2004-2009)
- Herbert Wigwe (CEO, Access Bank)
- Peter Obi
- Peter Odili
- Dora Akunyili
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6. University of Ilorin:
The University of Ilorin is one of the top universities in Nigeria. UNILORIN enrolled its first set of 200 students on the 23rd of October, 1976. Academic work began on the 25th of October, 1976.
The University started on a piece of the temporary campus of the Kwara State Polytechnic. UNILORIN has 15 faculties which include:
- Environmental Sciences
- Life Sciences
- Management Sciences
- Physical Sciences
- Social Sciences
- Communication and Information Sciences
- Engineering and Technology
- Pharmaceutical Science
- Veterinary Medicine
- College of Health Sciences (with 2 Faculties-Basic Medical and Clinical Sciences)
- Institute of Education and Unilorin Sugar Research Institute, and
- The Postgraduate School
In 2014, UNILORIN became the first University in Nigeria to be ranked among the top 20 universities in Africa. With a rank of 20th in Africa and 1824th in the world.
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7. Ahmadu Bello University:
Ahmadu Bello University “ABU” was established in 1962 and is currently one of the top universities in Nigeria.
Before ABU was established, the Ashby Commission on Post-School Certificate and Higher Education in Nigeria recommended that a University be set up in Northern Nigeria. ABU is the product of this recommendation.
Ahmadu Bello University began full operation in 1962. It started on the sites of the defunct Nigerian College of Arts, Science, and Technology; the Clerical Training Centre, Kongo; the Samaru Agricultural Research Station, and the Shika Livestock Farm.
ABU was named after Sokoto’s Sardauna and Northern Nigeria’s Premier, Sir Ahmadu Bello. ABU started with the following faculties:
It had 15 faculties in total and 426 inaugural students. Presently, ABU has 2 campuses with 12 faculties, 1 Postgraduate School, and 82 academic departments. ABU has 35,000 students, who come from every state in the country and represent a diverse range of ethnic groups.
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8. University of Benin:
The University of Benin, also known as UNIBEN is one of the top universities in Nigeria. The University is well-known for producing the first female vice-chancellor.
And this happened when Grace Alele-Williams took up the position from 1985 until 1991. Currently, the student enrolment in UNIBEN stands at over 40,000 comprising both full-time and part-time students.
UNIBEN is well-known for its collaboration with several universities around the world, as well as with both local and international organizations such as USAID, Ford Foundation, UNCF (United Negro College Fund), RMRDC (Raw Materials Research & Development Council of Nigeria), and others in the fields of agriculture, public health, and engineering.
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9. University Of Abuja
Without the University of Abuja, our list of top universities in Nigeria is definitely not complete. The University started in 1990. At the time, the University of Abuja used a temporary site, made up of three blocks of building meant for a primary school in Gwagwalada.
It was dubbed “mini-campus.”However, in the same year, the university was allotted an expanse of land covering over 11,800 hectares along the Abuja-Abuja road for the development of its main campus,
Some of the important landmarks on the campus include:
- Senate Chamber
- The Science Laboratories
- Faculty of School Sciences
- The Faculty of Management Sciences
- School of Remedial Studies and
- Institute of Education
Furthermore, the University of Abuja has a fully equipped Medical Centre. It is stacked with all the modern medical facilities. The school also hosts a number of recreational facilities including a volleyball pitch, an Olympic size football field, and a long tennis court.
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10. Federal University Of Technology, Akure:
The Federal University of Technology Akure (FUT Akure or FUTA) is a federal government-owned university in Akure, Ondo State. It was established in 1981 as part of the Nigerian government’s initiative to establish universities that specialized in producing graduates with both practical and theoretical knowledge of technology.
Other technology universities founded around the same time included the Federal University of Technology Owerri, the Federal University of Technology, Abeokuta (FUTAB), which later became the current University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), the Federal University of Technology Minna, the Federal University of Technology Yola, and the Federal University of Technology Bauchi (now Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University).
The university has nine faculties and a college of medicine:
- College of Health Sciences
- School of Basic Medical Sciences (SBMS)
- School of Basic Clinical Sciences (SBCS)
- School of Clinical Sciences (SCS)
- School of Computing (SOC)
- School of Life Science (SLS)
- School of Physical Science (SPS)
- School of Earth and Mineral Sciences (SEMS)
- School of Environmental Technology (SET)
- School of Engineering and Engineering Technology (SEET)
- School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology (SAAT)
- School of Logistics and Innovation Technology (SLIT)
- School of Postgraduate Studies (SPGS)
The school runs pre-degree science programs, Short-Term courses, and University Advanced Basic Science programs.
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FAQs ABOUT TOP UNIVERSITIES IN NIGERIA
Which are the top universities in Nigeria?
Some of the top universities in Nigeria include the University of Ibadan, Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Lagos, Ahmadu Bello University, and University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
What is the admission process for Nigerian universities?
The admission process for Nigerian universities usually involves writing the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB). Afterward, candidates are required to apply to their desired universities, meet the specified cutoff marks, and participate in post-UTME screening exercises conducted by the universities.
How can I check my admission status in a Nigerian university?
To check your admission status, you can visit the JAMB portal (jamb.org.ng) and log in with your JAMB registration number. Additionally, universities often have their admission portals where you can check your status using your application number or login credentials.
Can international students study in Nigerian universities?
Yes, international students can study in Nigerian universities. Most universities have provisions for international students and offer admission opportunities to eligible candidates from other countries. International students are usually required to meet specific admission requirements and obtain a student visa.
Are there scholarships available for Nigerian university students?
Yes, there are various scholarship opportunities available for Nigerian university students. These scholarships may be offered by the government, private organizations, or international bodies. Some scholarships are merit-based, while others are need-based or targeted toward specific fields of study.