With more than ₦5 billion being allocated to the education sector every year, Nigeria is one of the best countries to get your first degree if you plan on schooling in Africa.
There are lots of affordable public and private universities in the country that charge less than $200 for tuition fees per annum. This makes Nigeria one of the cheapest countries to study on Earth.
Degrees awarded by Nigerian universities are recognized all over the world, this means that even if you schooled in Nigeria, there is a splendid chance that you can work abroad even if your first degree was from a Nigerian university.
Nigeria boasts of more than 200 tertiary institutions capable of turning over three million students into competent graduates that can revolutionize the country.
Since there are lots of universities in the country, it may overwhelm you and you may find it difficult to pick the right university for you.
Aside from giving you a rundown of the best universities in Nigeria, you’ll also get to see a brief history of these institutions and a table that contains the top 100 best universities in Nigeria.
Table of Contents
- Overall Best University In Nigeria For 2021
- 1. UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN, IBADAN (UI)
- 2. UNIVERSITY OF ILLORIN, ILLORIN (UNILORIN)
- 3. UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS, LAGOS (UNILAG)
- 4. UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA, NSUKKA (UNN)
- 5. OBAFEMI AWOLOWO UNIVERSITY, ILE-IFE (OAU)
- 6. AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY, ZARIA (ABU)
- 7. COVENANT UNIVERSITY, OTA (CU)
- 8. FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY AKURE, AKURA (FUTA)
- 9. UNIVERSITY OF BENIN, BENIN CITY (UNIBEN)
- 10. FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY MINNA, MINNA (FUTMINNA)
- Problems of Nigerian Universities
- Cost Of Universities Education In Nigeria
- Top 100 Best Universities In Nigeria
Overall Best University In Nigeria For 2021
When you pick the best university for your course of study, it has an enormous impact on your life and the career that you’ve decided to study.
Most Nigerian universities are dedicated to groom students and turn them into intelligent and industrious people ready to go into the labor market.
Believe me, some of these universities have done a fine job and produce some of the most iconic Nigerians in history. We’ve done our research and compiled a well-detailed list of the best universities in Nigeria for undergraduate and postgraduate students.
If you are ready, these are the top 10 best Nigerian universities for 2021.
1. UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN, IBADAN (UI)
The University of Ibadan sits on top of the list as the best University in Nigeria for 2021. Popularly referred to as UI, this tertiary institution is located in Ibadan, Oyo State.
Because of its excellent performance, UI is one of the most respected universities on earth and even affiliated with the University of London. This means that if you graduate from this university, you can easily get a student visa and study in the UK.
The University of Ibadan did not just become the best university in Nigeria overnight. It started as the University College of Ibadan in 1948 and became a Federal Independent University in 1963.
Since then, this tertiary institution has grown to become one of the most prestigious school of higher learning in Africa and has set a vantage for other Nigerian tertiary institutions to follow in its path,
2. UNIVERSITY OF ILLORIN, ILLORIN (UNILORIN)
The University Of Ilorin is another iconic institution for students that want to study medicine and surgery in Nigeria. Aside from the fact that it is one of the most respected universities in Nigeria, this institution has done some of the most impressive research and studies in Africa.
The University Of Ilorin is renowned for having facilities that shelter and preserve endangered species of plants and animals. The Institution boasts of three different campus locations, 92 departments, over 7,000 staff, and 80,000 students actively learning every day.
UNILORIN has massive halls that are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to perform detailed studies and interactive classes. Some of these halls have over 13,000 seat capacity and contain more than 30% of the students.
UNILORIN is the only Nigerian University that was listed in the Shanghai Jino 1000 best university ranking and the first Nigerian university to be listed among the top 20 best universities in Africa.
Aside from being a reliable institution for students pursuing a first degree, there are programs in the schools that reward students with excellent performance.
Some of the most iconic alumni of UI include Chinua Achebe, Abdulfatah Ahmed, William Kumuyi, and Wole Soyinka.
3. UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS, LAGOS (UNILAG)
Founded in 1962, the University of Lagos is a federal government university located in Lagos state. Its location makes students have a feel of the beautiful city of Lagos while enjoying life on campus.
UNILAG has three campuses: the main campus is surrounded by the Lagos lagoon, the second campus is located in Yaba, and the last one, the UNILAG college of medicine is located in Idi-Araba Surulere.
The University of Lagos has over 120,000 active students learning in over 12 faculties. UNILAG sits between 601st and 800th best university in the world according to the Times Higher education ranking.
UNILAG is also affiliated with other successful institutions including the University of Lagos business school (ULBS), Institute of maritime studies… Best of all, the vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo is one of the many alumni of the University of Lagos.
4. UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA, NSUKKA (UNN)
The University of Nigeria is the first indigenous and autonomous Nigerian University. It was established in 1955 by Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, but the University was formally open on the 7th October 1960.
This federal University is located in the southeastern part of Nigeria in Nsukka, Enugu State. UNN boasts of 15 registered faculties and 102 departments scattered across its three campuses including the Nsukka campus, the Enugu campus (UNEC), the University of Nigeria teaching hospital (UNTH), and the University of Nigeria, Aba campus (UNAC).
UNN also has an extensive list of over 200 postgraduate programs, 1,500 active academic staff, and more than 50,000 intelligent students in different academic programs.
Most of the people that graduated from this institution are prominent politicians, business tycoons, and established entrepreneurs including Waje, Patrick Utomi, Godmin Emefiele, Peter Obi…
UNN is currently the 1001st best university on Earth according to The Times Higher Institution education ranking and 1685th on the Webometrics Web University Ranking.
5. OBAFEMI AWOLOWO UNIVERSITY, ILE-IFE (OAU)
Obafemi Awolowo University has also risen to become one of the best federal universities in Nigeria. This tertiary institution was founded in 1961 but officially started admitting students and taking classes on the 17th October 1962 at the University of Ife.
The name was later changed from the University of Ife to Obafemi Awolowo University. Today, OAU has risen to great highs and has over 85,000 students in undergraduate and postgraduate programs.
OAU has 13 highly faculties and two colleges including the postgraduate college and health Science College. The University also has other reliable facilities like a well-equipped library, state of the arts medical and health facilities, and other technology hubs around the campus.
Obafemi Awolowo University also houses some government parastatal like the center for energy research and development (CERD), The United Nations regional center for training in the aerospace survey (RECTAS), and it was formally affiliated with the Loma Linda University in California, USA.
6. AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY, ZARIA (ABU)
ABU is another fantastic institution for everyone that plans to study in Nigeria. Located in Zaria, Kaduna state, the Ahmadu Bello University was established on 1st October 1962 and stands as the first and most prominent university in Northern Nigeria.
ABU was named after the Sardauna of Sokoto, Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello, and has trained outstanding Nigerians like Atiku Abubakar, Solomon Arase, and Yahaya Bello.
What makes this institution stands out from other universities in Nigeria is the fact that they offer some of the most intensive undergraduate, postgraduate, associate degrees, vocational and remedial programs in Nigeria.
The Ahmadu Bello University is currently the 2285th best university on Earth according to Webometrics University ranking and one of the best universities to study architecture and engineering in Nigeria.
7. COVENANT UNIVERSITY, OTA (CU)
Covenant University is the only private Nigerian university on our list of the best Nigerian universities of 2021. It is also one of the youngest established universities in the country.
Covenant University was established on the 21st of October 2002 by Dr. David Oyedepo. CU is a Christian university structured to raise its students to become God-fearing professionals, and it has its main and only campus at Ota, Ogun state.
Covenant University was also listed in the 2017 Times Higher Education ranking as the 6th best University in Nigeria and 833rd best university on Earth.
Covenant has won some serious awards and duly recognized for its awesome works. In 2014, CU was awarded the best Centenary ICT driven University in Nigeria.
8. FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY AKURE, AKURA (FUTA)
Founded in 1981, FUTA stands as one of the best Nigerian universities of 2021. Located in Akure, Ondo state, FUTA is an indigenous tertiary institution that specializes in the study of science and technology.
One of the things that makes this institution special is its specialization in information technology. Even the school motto “technology for self-reliance” ensures that the focus is on developing the technological sphere of Nigeria in both theoretical and practical aspects.
The Federal University of Technology Akure is not as populated as most schools on this list. It can only boast of just over 25,000 students in its undergraduate and postgraduate programs.
According to Webometrics, FUTA is the best tertiary institution in Nigeria for engineering and Technology.
9. UNIVERSITY OF BENIN, BENIN CITY (UNIBEN)
Established on the 13th of November 1970, the University of Benin is located in the ancient city of Benin, Edo state. UNIBEN also started as a university of technology before it transformed into a fully-fledged university.
UNIBEN is also a record-breaking institution. It is the first tertiary institution in Nigeria to have a female vice-chancellor in Nigeria. Professor Grace Alele-Williams was the first female vice-chancellor in Nigeria (1985-1991).
Aside from propagating the principle of democracy, The University of Benin is also one of the best universities in Nigeria to study arts including visual arts, cultural and creative arts.
UNIBEN currently has two institutions, the main campus is located in Ugbowo and the second campus is situated in Ekenhuan. UNIBEN boast of almost 85,000 active students enrolled in undergraduate and postgraduate programs.
Webometrics University’s world ranking placed UNIBEN as the 2,348th best university on Earth. UNIBEN is also affiliated with several universities in Europe and reputable organizations including USAID, UNCF, Ford Foundation, RMRDC…
UNIBEN has produced influential Nigerian businessmen, politicians, and leaders including Babatunde Fashola, Emmanuel Uduaghan, and Lilian Imuatinyan Salami.
10. FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY MINNA, MINNA (FUTMINNA)
Last on our list is the Federal University Of Technology Minna. FUTMINNA is another indigenous university of technology in Nigeria. The University was founded in 1983.
FUTMINNA was a designated institution of excellence in biotechnology and genetic engineering. It has also proved worth and vaccines and drugs to fight simple and complex parasites, germs, and diseases.
FUTMINNA is currently the 3030th best university in the world, according to The Webometrics University Ranking. Along with its strife for greatness and increase in knowledge, FUTMINNA has disciplined some of the most intelligent Nigerian scientists.
Problems of Nigerian Universities
Nigeria is one of the best places in the world to live, but there are some factors and make Nigeria one of the worst countries for students in tertiary institutions.
What I’m saying is that I won’t advise the son of my enemy to study in Nigeria. Nothing is working in Nigeria, including the education sector.
There are millions of eager students that want to get admitted into the university, but the challenges and barriers in these institutions make it difficult for a student’s future to shine bright.
In this part of our article, we will be reviewing some disadvantages of studying at a Nigerian university.
1. Poor Infrastructure
Less than 30% of the student population has access to classrooms, laboratories, and workshops. This is because there isn’t enough funding, these institutions cannot build enough facilities to accommodate the student they’ve admitted.
2. Poor Quality Education
Let’s be honest, most of the lecturers and professors in Nigeria are not qualified to teach. They only got their jobs because their uncle or parents are food friends with a high-ranking official in the university.
Even those that are qualified to teach find it hard to cope because of the poor infrastructures and learning materials.
For more than five decades, secret cults have been ravaging Nigerian tertiary institutions like a plague. Thousands of lives have been lost to the endless conflicts between rival groups on campuses nationwide.
4. Poor Funding
In 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari allocated only 7.04% of the nation’s budget to the education sector. Out of the ₦8.6 trillion, only ₦605.8 billion was allocated to the Nigerian education sector.
The amount allocated by the federal government is much lower than the 26% recommended by the United Nations. At the end of the day, most of the money would be stolen by the government and school officials before it is used to make anything decisive change in the university.
Cost Of Universities Education In Nigeria
Despite the challenges, Nigeria is still one of the cheapest countries to study in the world. There’s a long list of both public and private institutions.
Tuition fees in Nigerian public universities are usually between ₦25,000 and ₦350,000 per academic session. Private institutions on the other hand can charge high as ₦2 million per year.
Top 100 Best Universities In Nigeria
Here’s a table that contains some of the best Nigerian tertiary institutions. These are the top 100 best universities in Nigeria at the moment. Pick anyone, check out their admission requirements, and apply for any one of your choice.
|University of Ibadan||Ibadan|
|University of Ilorin||Ilorin|
|University of Lagos||Lagos|
|University of Nigeria||Nsukka|
|Obafemi Awolowo University||Ile-Ife|
|Ahmadu Bello University||Zaria|
|Federal University of Technology, Akure||Akure|
|University of Benin||Ugbowo|
|Federal University of Technology, Minna||Minna|
|Federal University of Technology, Owerri||Owerri|
|Lagos State University||Ojo|
|Federal University, Oye-Ekiti||Oye|
|University of Port Harcourt||Port Harcourt|
|Nnamdi Azikiwe University||Awka|
|University of Abuja||Abuja|
|Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University||Uli|
|University of Maiduguri||Maiduguri|
|Imo State University||Owerri|
|Ambrose Alli University||Ekpoma|
|University of Calabar||Calabar|
|University of Jos||Jos|
|University of Uyo||Uyo|
|Abia State University||Uturu|
|Kwara State University||Ilorin|
|Afe Babalola University||Ado-Ekiti|
|University of Agriculture, Abeokuta||Abeokuta|
|Olabisi Onabanjo University||Ago Iwoye|
|Bayero University Kano||Kano|
|Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti||Ado-Ekiti|
|Delta State University, Abraka||Abraka|
|Enugu State University of Science and Technology||Enugu|
|Michael Okpara University of Agriculture||Umuahia|
|Ladoke Akintola University of Technology||Ogbomoso|
|Tai Solarin University of Education||Ijebu-Ode|
|Kaduna State University||Kaduna|
|American University of Nigeria||Yola|
|Rivers State University of Science and Technology||Port Harcourt|
|Federal University, Dutsin-Ma||Dutsin-Ma|
|Pan African University||Lagos|
|Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University||Lapai|
|Adekunle Ajasin University||Akungba Akoko|
|Usmanu Danfodio University||Sokoto|
|African University of Science and Technology||Abuja|
|Federal University of Petroleum Resources||Effurun|
|Ebonyi State University||Abakaliki|
|Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University||Bauchi|
|Osun State University||Oshogbo|
|Igbinedion University Okada||Okada|
|Lead City University||Ibadan|
|Ajayi Crowther University||Oyo Town|
|University of Agriculture, Makurdi||Makurdi|
|Bells University of Technology||Ota|
|Nasarawa State University||Keffi|
|Niger Delta University||Wilberforce Island Yenagoa|
|Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University||Katsina|
|Bingham University||Auta Balifi|
|Benson Idahosa University||Benin City|
|Nigerian Turkish Nile University||Abuja|
|Benue State University||Makurdi|
|Modibbo Adama University of Technology||Yola|
|Federal University, Ndufu-Alike||Ndufu-Alike|
|Ondo State University of Science and Technology||Okitipupa|
|Federal University, Otuoke||Otuoke|
|Crawford University||Faith City|
|Achievers University, Owo||Owo|
|Oduduwa University||Ile Ife|
|Joseph Ayo Babalola University||Ikeji-Arakeji|
|Kano University of Science and Technology||Wudil|
|Federal University, Dutse||Dutse|
|Wellspring University||Benin City|
|Kogi State University||Anyigba|
|University of Mkar||Mkar|
|Crescent University, Abeokuta||Abeokuta|
|Cross River University of Technology||Calabar|
|Yobe State University||Damaturu|
|Federal University, Lokoja||Lokoja|
|Akwa Ibom State University||Uyo|
|Western Delta University||Oghara|
|Federal University, Lafia||Lafia|
|Obong University||Obong Ntak|
|Federal University, Wukari||Wukari|
|Bauchi State University||Gadau|
|Gombe State University||Gombe|
|Wesley University of Science and Technology||Ondo City|
|Kebbi State University of Science and Technology||Aliero|
|Adamawa State University||Mubi|
|Federal University, Kashere||Kashere|
|Sokoto State University||Sokoto|
|Kwararafa University Wukari||Wukari|
|Samuel Adegboyega University||Ogwa|
|Taraba State University||Jalingo|
|Godfrey Okoye University||Ugwuomu-Nike|
|Al-Qalam University, Katsina||Katsina|
So that’s our ranking. Do a little bit of personal research into the ten schools above, and you’re sure going to know the one to pick as an undergraduate or a postgraduate student.