Discover the top 10 best universities in Nigeria right here.
Many people, maybe as a result of a debate, are interested in knowing what universities are the best in Nigeria. Some even go as far as demanding to know if NUC has its list of the best Nigerian universities.
In all sincerity, the National University Commissions (NUC), releases no such list. In other words, you can’t find the list of the best universities on any official NUC document or on its official website.
However, you can find a list of the accredited universities on NUC portal. That is, Universities that are deemed capable of running degree or post graduate programmes.
Some of the federal universities were founded many years before state governments and private bodies began establishing schools of higher learning. Consequently, those federal government owned institutions — with many years of existence and experience — are among the best in Nigeria.
Note: This list is in no particular order. Therefore, because an institution is occupying number #1 spot is not an indication that it is the overall best in Nigeria.
Here are the top 10 best universities in Nigeria:
University of Ibadan (UI)
The University of Ibadan, commonly referred to as Unibadan or UI, is the oldest Nigerian university, and is located at about 8 kilometres from the centre of the city of Ibadan.
The institution is made up of the College of Medicine, and 16 other faculties.
Faculties present in UI include:
- Agriculture and Forestry
- Basic Medical Sciences
- Clinical Sciences
- Public Health
- The Social Sciences
- Veterinary Medicine
- Renewable natural resources
- Environmental design and management
In September 2016, Times Higher Education listed UI among the top 1000 universities in the World, making it the first Nigerian university to do so. Prior to that, UI has always made the list of Webometrics top 10 African universities.
Putting all the above information and resources together, it is not hard to know that UI is certainly one of the best universities in Nigeria, if not the best.
University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN)
The University of Nigeria, popularly known as UNN, is a federal university located in Nsukka, Enugu State. The institution was founded by Nigeria’s first president, Nnamdi Azikiwe, in 1955.
UNN formally opened on 7 October 1960, and academic activities began that same year. The University of Nigeria is made up of three campuses – Nsukka, Enugu, and Ituku-Ozalla – all situated in Enugu State.
The university has 15 Faculties and 102 academic departments, and currently offers 82 undergraduate programs and 211 postgraduate programmes. That said, UNN is without doubt one of the top 10 best universities in Nigeria.
Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (ABU Zaria)
Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) is a federal government owned research university located in Zaria, Kaduna State. Founded on 4 October 1962, it was originally referred to as the University of Northern Nigeria.
Owning one of the largest teaching hospitals in Nigeria and Africa, ABU is certainly one of the best schools to study medicine in Nigeria.
The institution currently boasts eighty-two (82) Academic Departments, twelve (12) Faculties, and twelve (12) Research Institutes and Specialized Centres.
Aside from that, ABU is one of the schools with the largest land mass in our country. That being said, not many would argue that it is one of the best universities in Nigeria, if not the best.
University of Lagos (UNILAG)
The University of Lagos – commonly referred to as Unilag – is a research university located in Lagos State, and owned by the federal government of Nigeria.
In a bid to meet the need of Nigeria most populous state, Lagos, the university admits arguably the highest number of students every year. As of 2013, it boasted approximately 57,000 students.
Faculties found in UNILAG include: Arts, Social Sciences, Business Administration, Law, Science, Environmental Sciences, Engineering/Technology, School of Clinical Sciences, School of Basic Medical Sciences, School of Dental Sciences, Pharmacy, Education.
With everything you know, I’m sure you’ll agree that Unilag is among the top 10 universities in Nigeria.
Covenant University (CU) is a private university located in Ota, Ogun State in Nigeria. It was founded in 2002, and has since grown to become one of the best private institutions in Nigeria.
The institution is affiliated with Living Faith Church Worldwide and is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities and Association of African Universities.
Covenant University academic programmes on offer are grouped into 4 Colleges namely College of Business and Social Sciences (CBSS), College of Leadership Development Studies (CLDS), College of Engineering (COE) and College of Science and Technology (CST).
Covenant University runs both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes under the colleges listed above.
Over the course of time, CU has grown to be one of the leading universities from Nigeria. And according to JAMB statistics, it is one of the most preferred private schools among young scholars.
University of Ilorin (UNILORIN)
University of Ilorin, commonly referred to as Unilorin, is a federal government-owned university situated in Ilorin, Kwara State.
Compared to other higher institutions of learning in the country, Unilorin boasts one of the largest landmass covering roughly 5000 hectares.
The landmass is not its biggest strength, though. There’s a popular joke among Nigerians. If you wan’t your child / ward to graduate in 4 years, or the appropriate course duration, send them to Unilorin. Unilorin is currently not part of ASUU and, as a result, doesn’t get affected by the regular strike actions ravaging Nigerian schools.
When Unilorin was founded, it had just three faculties. But today, there are fifteen faculties. They are: Arts, Education, Engineering & Technology, Agriculture, Law, Basic Medical Sciences, Clinical Sciences, Communication and Information Sciences, Veterinary Medicine, Pharmaceutical Science and Life Science, Physical Science, Environmental Science, Management Sciences, and Social Sciences.
That being said, I’m sure everyone would agree that Unilorin deserves a spot among our list of the 10 best universities in Nigeria.
Obafemi Owolowo University (OAU)
Obafemi Awolowo University, alternatively known as OAU, is a university owned and operated by the Federal Government of Nigeria . It is situated in the ancient city of Ile-Ife, Osun State, and was founded in 1962, making it one of the oldest universities in Nigeria.
At the commencement of academic activities, the university began with five faculties: Agriculture, Arts, Economics and Social Studies, Law, and Science. It has, right now, grown to a total of 13 faculties and two colleges.
Aside from being one of the oldest universities in Nigeria, OAU is considered one of the best universities in Nigeria. The high academic standard of the institution has played a huge role in this achievement.
Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUTMinna)
Federal University of Technology Minna, popularly known as FUTMinna, is a Federal Government owned university of techonology located in Minna, Nigeria.
FUTMINNA, as the name implies, specializes in technological education. The University is a designated Centre of Excellence in Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, and is widely recognized for its contribution in the development of vaccines and drugs.
FUTMinna is made up of 10 faculties, which the university prefer to refer to as schools. They are:
- School of Agriculture and Agriculture Technology (SAAT)
- School of Infrastructure, Process and Engineering Technology (SIPET)
- School of Electrical Engineering Technology (SEET).
- School of Entrepreneurship and Management Technology (SEMT)
- School of Environmental Technology (SET)
- School of Life Sciences (SLS)
- School of Physical Sciences (SPS)
- School of Information and Communication Technology (SICT)
- School of Technology Education (STE)
- School of Post Graduate Studies (SPS)
FUTMinna is widely considered the best University of Techonology in Nigeria and, as such, it will be hard to mention the best 10 universities in Nigeria without including it in the list.
University of Benin (UNIBEN)
University of Benin, also referred to as UNIBEN, is one of Nigeria’s first generation federal universities. The institution was founded in 1970 and is located in Benin city, Edo State.
University of Benin (UNIBEN) offers postgraduate and undergraduate courses and programs in several areas of studies.
Faculties found in UNIBEN include:
- Environmental Sciences
- Life Sciences
- Management Sciences
- Physical Sciences
- Social Sciences
- Environmental Science
UNIBEN isn’t just one of the top 10 oldest universities in Nigeria, it is also one of the strongest in terms of academic qualities.
Similar to Covenant University, Landmark University is a Private Christian University, with affiliation to Living Faith Church Worldwide. The institution is located in Omu-Aran, Kwara State. In 2014, just 3 years after it was founded, Webometrics listed it among the top 5 universities in Nigeria.
As of 2019, Landmark Universities has 3 primary colleges. They are: College of Agricultural Sciences, College of Business and Social Sciences, College of Science and Engineering.
With the aim of producing future employers of labour, the school provides opportunities for students to be involved in practical skill acquisition sessions as a part of the school’s Entrepreneurial Development Studies. Through this programme, students have the opportunities to learn various skills like bead making, soap making, fashion design, water production, bakery and many others.
Landmark University has one of the finest structures in Nigeria, but it doesn’t stop there. Landmark is also considered to be among the top 10 best universities in Nigeria.
Note: This is an opinion-based write up. And as earlier indicated, NUC doesn’t release any list of the best universities in Nigeria. Topics like this are in most cases subjective, and that is why we put in a lot of efforts to produce a list that will hardly be contested.