What are the top 10 best universities in Nigeria? Which universities in Nigeria rank highest? Which of all Nigeria’s 262 higher learning institutions are the best?
West Africa has a total of 527 universities. Nigeria has the highest number of universities in West Africa and even the whole of Africa. As of July 2020, Nigeria counted 262 higher institutions. In August 2021 though, the National Universities Commission released a list of 197 accredited universities operating in the country.
List of Best Universities in Nigeria
Now on to the list of best universities in Nigeria, also the most preferred universities in the country sorted into best in research and human development;
First on our list of best universities in Nigeria is University of Ibadan, having ranked 8th in Africa and number 2 university in West Africa.
As the leading and top best university In Nigeria, University of Ibadan is number one on the list. University of Ibadan, UI as it is fondly referred to, is the first University in Nigeria. Until 1962 when it became a full-fledged independent University, it was a College of the University of London in a special relationship scheme.
The University, which took off with academic programmes in Arts, Science and Medicine, is now a comprehensive citadel of learning with academic programmes in sixteen Faculties namely, Arts, Science, Basic Medical Sciences, Clinical Sciences, Agriculture, the Social Sciences, Education, Veterinary Medicine, Pharmacy, Technology, Law, Public Health, Dentistry, Economics, Renewable Natural Resources and Environmental Design and Management
11th in Africa and 3rd in West Africa, our first runner up is University of Lagos (UNILAG).
The University of Lagos was founded in 1962. It presently has three Campuses in Yaba and Surulere. Whereas two of its Campuses are located in Yaba (the main campus in Akoka and the recently created campus at the former School of Radiography), its College of Medicine is located in Idi-Araba, Surulere.
It is remarkable that all three campuses are located in the Mainland of Lagos. Its main campus is largely surrounded by the scenic view of the Lagos lagoon on 802 acres of land in Akoka, the North-Eastern part of Yaba.
University of Lagos currently has twelve Faculties, namely, Arts, Basic Medical Sciences, Business Administration, Clinical Sciences, Dental Sciences, Education, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Law, Pharmacy, Science, and Social Sciences. UNILAG, as the university is fondly called, also offers Masters and Doctorate degrees in most of the aforementioned programmes.
In addition, it has two Centres, namely, the Centre for Human Rights and the Centre for African Regional Integration and Borderland Studies. The Distance Learning Institute (DLI) of the University also offers courses in Accounting, Business Administration, Science Education and Library / Information Sciences.
17th best university in Africa, and 4th in West Africa, Covenant University is a growing, dynamic vision-birthed, vision-driven University, founded on a Christian mission ethos and committed to pioneering excellence at the cutting edge of learning.
Covenant University is driven by the compelling vision of raising a new generation of leaders for the African Continent on the platform of a Holistic, Human Development, and integrated learning curriculum, in order to raise Total Men who will go out to develop their world.
Our mandate as a University is to revolutionize the educational landscape of Africa. Ours is indeed a rescue mission in education, driven on the platform of Christian ethics and life-transforming values.
4th on our list of best universities in Nigeria, University of Ilorin (Unilorin) was founded with the aim to provide more opportunities for Nigerians who aspired to have a university education and to contribute to the rapidly expanding economy.
Originally a small university offering just a few subjects, Unilorin now has over 48,000 undergraduate and over 5,000 postgraduate students studying 90 academic programmes across 15 different faculties.
Subjects on offer include agriculture, clinical sciences, medical sciences, law, education, engineering and technology, physical sciences, arts, pharmaceutical science, social sciences, veterinary medicine and management sciences.
There are dormitories on site so students can live close to the campus hub. There’s also a comprehensive library, computer services and information technology labs, bookshop, bakery, printing press, health centre, shopping complex, post office and banking facilities. There’s also a new multipurpose auditorium to house events throughout the year.
The 5th best university in Nigeria is University of Nigeria, Nsukka, commonly referred to as UNN. University of Nigeria is a federal university located in Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria. Founded by Nnamdi Azikiwe in 1955 and formally opened on 7 October 1960, the University of Nigeria has three campuses in Enugu State– Nsukka, Enugu, and Ituku-Ozalla – and the Aba campus in Abia State.
The University of Nigeria is the first full-fledged indigenous and first autonomous university in Nigeria, modelled upon the American educational system. It is the first land-grant university in Africa and one of the five most reputed universities in Nigeria.
The university has 15 Faculties and 102 academic departments. The university offers 108 undergraduate programs and 211 postgraduate programmes.
The university celebrated its 50th anniversary in October 2010 and would have celebrated its 60th anniversary save for the COVID-19 pandemic.
6th on our list of best universities in Nigeria is Obafemi Awolowo University. Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife is one of three Universities established in Nigeria between 1961 and 1962 as a result of the report submitted to the Federal Government in September 1960.
It was established by a Commission it appointed in April 1959 under the Chairmanship of Sir Eric Ashby, Master of Clare College, Cambridge, to survey the needs of post-secondary and higher education in Nigeria over the next twenty years.
On 8th June 1961, the Law providing for the establishment of the Provisional Council of the University was formally inaugurated under the Chairmanship of Chief Rotimi Williams.
The University started with five Faculties – Agriculture, Arts, Economics and Social studies (now Social Sciences), Law and Science. Six new Faculties have since been added, namely the Faculty of Education (established on 1st October 1967), the Faculty of Pharmacy (established on 1st October 1969).
The rest are the Faculties Technology and Health Sciences (now College of Health Sciences) (both established on 1st October 1960), Faculty of Administration with effect from 1st October 1979) and Faculty of Environmental Design and Management (established on April 6, 1982).
In 1992, the University established a collegiate system with five Colleges. The system did not function effectively and was abandoned after two years. However, the Postgraduate College and the College of Health Sciences were retained. The College of Health Sciences now comprises the Faculties of Basic Medical Sciences, Clinical Sciences and Dentistry.
The Lagos State University (LASU), located at Ojo, was established as a Public University in 1983 by the enabling law of Lagos State. Established with the vision of pursuing the advancement of learning and academic excellence, the university has been unrelenting in the pursuit of its mission of becoming a citadel of learning, a community with the trademark of excellence in teaching, research and service to humanity, a catalyst as well as an agent for development.
The Lagos State University (LASU) currently has a total of 33,154 Students (inclusive of 794 students from the College of Medicine at Ikeja campus, 1,124 from Engineering Faculty and 216 from School of Agriculture both of which are from the Epe campus), distributed in various faculties for different programmes
- Full-time Undergraduates – 20,986;
- Postgraduates – 4,880;
- Sandwich – 3,000;
- Diplomas – 1,160;
- Entrepreneurial Studies – 90;
- Joint University Preliminary Examination Board [JUPEB] – 647
- Pre-Degree Science [PDS] – 257
Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) is a federal government research university located in Zaria, Kaduna State. ABU was founded on October 4, 1962, as the University of Northern Nigeria.
The university operates three main campuses: Samaru and Kongo in Zaria, and the School of Basic Studies in Funtua. The Samaru campus houses the administrative offices, sciences, social sciences, arts and languages, education, environmental design, engineering, medical sciences agricultural sciences and research facilities. The Kongo campus hosts the Faculties of Law and Administration.
The Faculty of Administration consists of Accounting, Business Administration, Local Government and Development Studies and Public Administration Departments. Additionally, the university is responsible for a variety of other institutions and programs at other locations.
The university is named after the Sardauna of Sokoto, Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello, the first premier of Northern Nigeria.
The university runs a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate programs (and offers associate degrees and vocational and remedial programs). The university has a large medical program with its own A.B.U. Teaching Hospital, one of the largest teaching hospitals in Nigeria and Africa.
The University of Port Harcourt, an entrepreneurial University acting in consonance with the regulations of the National University Commission (NUC), set up a SERVICOM Unit, Office of the Vice-Chancellor.
The University of Port Harcourt was established in 1975 and is situated in Choba/Aluu town in Rivers State, Nigeria in the South-South geo-political zone. Currently, the University has one (1) College, twelve (12) Faculties, and seven (3) Schools.
Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), a top-ranking university of technology in Nigeria and indeed the nation’s pride. Established in 1981, the university has grown tremendously, stretching its academic disciplines and research across eight different schools and over fifty academic departments
It is located in Akure, the capital city of Ondo State. Other universities of technology established around the same time were the Federal University of Technology Owerri, the Federal University of Technology, Abeokuta (FUTAB), which later metamorphosed to the present 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.