What Are The Top Universities In Nigeria?
In this article, we will be looking at the top universities in Nigeria, starting from the first.
University Of Lagos
The University of Lagos, popularly known as UNILAG, is a public research university located in Lagos, Nigeria, and was founded in 1962.
UNILAG is one of the first-generation universities in Nigeria and is ranked among the top universities in the world in major education publications.
University of Lagos: Image Source
The university presently has three campuses in the mainland of Lagos.
Whereas two of its campuses are located at Yaba (the main campus in Akoka and the recently created campus at the former school of radiography), its college of medicine is located at Idi-Araba, Surulere.
Its main campus is largely surrounded by the Lagos Lagoon and has 802 acres of land.
The University of Lagos currently admits over 9,000 undergraduate students annually and enrolls over 57,000 students.
On 29 May 2012, the then President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, proposed to rename the University of Lagos to Moshood Abiola University in honor of Moshood Abiola, who died in jail as a political prisoner in 1998.
The proposed name change became a subject of protests from students and alumni.
The proposal was consequently jettisoned as the Nigerian federal government gave in to the protests incited by the proposed name change.
Folasade Ogunsola is the current vice-chancellor, she was appointed on 7 October 2022 and assumed office on 12 November 2022.
The University of Lagos is a leading institution dedicated to quality teaching, learning, research, and community service.
They have over the past few years developed leaders in many disciplines through our various programs.
As the University of First Choice and the Nation’s Pride, they place a great premium on the development and welfare of taff and students both at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Since its establishment in 1962, the institution has continued to play a key role in nation-building by molding the teeming youth population through its teaching, research and community services.
Covenant University is a private Pentecostal Christian University, which has been operating with official status since 2002 in Ota, Nigeria.
Covenant University is one of the leading universities in Africa founded on Christian mission ethos.
It drives a vision to raise a new generation of leaders and reinstate the black race’s dignity.
The University prioritizes cutting-edge learning to make the Total Man.
The university has four colleges which include: The College of Business and Social Sciences; the College of Leadership and Development Studies; the College of Engineering, and the College of Science and Technology.
Covenant University has had a rapid rise in nearly two decades of its existence.
The webometric ranking named Covenant University the best Private University in Nigeria in its 2021 ranking and the second-best university overall.
The drive to establish CU emerged in October of 1999, one month after the dedication of Faith Tabernacle, the largest church auditorium in the world constructed in one year with local resources.
Bishop Oyedepo immediately kindled the fire to accomplish the new tasks as with all segments of the central vision.
By November 27, 1999, an in-house consortium on the university’s take-off was inaugurated.
By December 1999, the application form for a private university operating license was issued by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
Covenant University: Image Source
As the consortium wrapped up its activities early in 2001, an advisory council materialized on February 17, 2001, to develop the appropriate structures for the take-off of the University.
By July 15, 2001, the verification team of the NUC came for the final inspection of facilities and programs.
The outcome of that visit was the Federal Government’s approval of CU on January 16, 2002.
The NUC sealed the approval with the presentation of the operating license on February 12, 2002, by which CU, Ota, Ogun State, was authorized to operate as a private university in Nigeria.
The approval was the fastest among the 16 applications filed for the establishment of private universities with the NUC at the time, while Covenant University’s assessment score was also the highest.
The foundation stone of the permanent site was laid on Sunday, January 27, 2002, and construction began diligently in March of the same year.
Thus, the first phase of development was completed eight months later.
The first batch of about 1500 students was ushered into an ultra-modern university campus after an early morning inauguration in October 2002.
With the motto- Raising a New Generation of Leaders, the University was founded on a profound philosophical departure platform of moving Nigeria’s education from form to skill, from knowledge to empowerment, from figures to future-building, from legalism to realism, from points to facts and from mathematics to “life-matics.”
Under his visionary leadership and mentorship and within nearly a decade of existence, Covenant University has challenged the old records, dazed the doubting Thomases, and blazed the trail in Nigeria’s tertiary education system.
Covenant University is the first private University in Nigeria to have the fastest approval of its application for an operating license by the National Universities Commission(NUC).
It is the first to start full academic and administrative activities at its permanent site at take-off, with all facilities in place.
Furthermore, it is also the first University to have all of its 16 programs presented for accreditation approved by the NUC.
Covenant University, today, has become a center of excellence – like nectar attracting the best brains in the land.
University Of Benin
University of Benin (UNIBEN) is a public research university located in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.
It is among the universities owned by the Federal Government of Nigeria and was founded in 1970.
The School currently has two campuses with fifteen faculties including a central library called the John Harris Library.
University of Benin: Image Source
The buildings in UNIBEN are sparsely built, they are not close to each other.
UNIBEN has a teaching hospital called the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH).
The University of Benin was founded in 1970.
It first started as an Institute of Technology until it was recognized as a full-fledged university and accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC) on 1 July 1971.
University Of Ibadan
Established in 1948, the 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.
The Faculties of the Basic Medical Sciences, Clinical Sciences, Public Health, and Dentistry are organized as a College of Medicine.
University of Ibadan: Image Source
The University has other academic units among which are: Institute of Child Health, Institute of Education, Institute of African Studies, Centre for Child Adolescent and Mental Health, Centre for Educational Media Resource Studies, African Regional Centre for Information Science (ARCIS), Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CEPACS), Centre for Petroleum, Energy, Economics and Law (CPEEL), Centre for Sustainable Development (CESDEV), and Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI), Institute for Advanced Medical Research and Training (IAMRAT), Centre for Drug Discovery, Development & Production (CDDDP), Centre for Control & Prevention of Zoonosis (CCPZ).
A new National Institute for Maternal Child & Neonatal Health (NIMCNH) & Institute for Infectious Diseases are under construction.
A new School of Business (UISB) is expected to take off later this year.
The University, as part of efforts to fulfill a God-given mandate of promoting Nigeria’s development, established a Research Foundation (UIRF).
In response to emerging threats to peace and peaceful co-existence in Africa, the University established the Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies (IPSS) to provide actionable studies and solutions.
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, 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.
On 11th June 1970, an Edict known as the University of Ife Edict, 1970 was promulgated by the Government of the Western State to replace the Provisional Council Law of 8th June 1961.
This Edict has since been amended by the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife (Amended) Edict No. 112 of 1975 (Transitional Provisions) Decree No.23 of 1975.
This new Decree effected a takeover of the Obafemi Awolowo University by the Federal Military Government and established a Provisional Council as an interim governing body of the University which shall subject to the general direction of the Head of the Federal Government, control the policies and finances of the University and manage its affairs.
This Provisional Council has since been replaced by a Governing Council.
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 Faculties of 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).
Obafemi Awolowo University: Image Source
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 following other Institutes and major units exist in the University:
- The Adeyemi College of Education located in Ondo
- The Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Ibadan The Natural History Museum
- The Institute of Ecology and Environmental Studies The Centre for Gender and Social Policy Studies
- The Centre for Industrial Research and Development The Institute of Public Health
- The Institute of Cultural Studies
- The Technology Planning and Development Unit The Computer Centre
- The Drug Research and Production Unit
- The Equipment Maintenance and Development Centre The Central Technological Laboratory Workshop
- The Central Science Laboratory The Distance Learning Centre
University Of Ilorin
The University of Ilorin, also known as Unilorin, is a federal government-owned university in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria.
It was established by a decree of the federal military government in August 1975.
The establishment aimed to implement one of the educational directives of the Third National Development Plan which was aimed at providing more opportunities for Nigerians aspiring to acquire university education and to generate high-level manpower, so vital for the rapidly expanding economy.
Compared to other higher institutions of learning in the country, the institution has one of the largest land areas, covering approximately 15,000 hectares of land.
It is reported by JAMB to be the most sought-after Nigerian university in 2021.
University of Ilorin: Image Source
The university began in 1975 as a university college affiliated with the University of Ibadan.
Dr. T. N. Tamuno who was a professor and Head of the History Department at the University of Ibadan was appointed the first principal of the college in September 1975.
By December 1975, Tamuno was appointed the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan.
As a result, Professor O. O. Akinkugbe was appointed as the new Principal for the University of Ilorin (then, a University College) in 1975.
Akinkugbe was the former Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ibadan.
The University of Nigeria Nsukka
The University of Nigeria Nsukka is a federal university in Enugu State, Nigeria.
Known as UNN, it was founded by Nnamdi Azikiwe (Governor General of Nigeria from 1960 to 1963 and first President of Nigeria from 1963 to 1966) in 1955 and formally opened in 1960.
UNN operates 102 academic departments across 15 faculties and offers 82 undergraduate programmes and 211 postgraduate programmes for a student population of over 36,000.
It does so across four campuses: Nsukka; Enugu campus (UNEC); the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), in Ituku-Ozalla, and the University of Nigeria Aba campus (UNAC).
There is also a UNN Business School.
The Nsukka campus houses the faculties of agriculture, arts, biological sciences, education, engineering, pharmaceutical sciences, physical sciences, social sciences, and veterinary medicine.
University of Nigeria, Nsukka: Image Source
The former Nigerian College of Arts, Science, and Technology (UNEC), Enugu, comprises of the faculties of business administration, environmental studies, law, and medical sciences.
The teaching hospital (UNTH) hosts the faculty of dentistry and health sciences and technology.
Finally, the Aba campus (UNAC) is the site of the Institute of Nigerian Languages.
Research activity is undertaken across institutes for African studies, education, developmental studies, postgraduate studies, and herbal medicine and drugs research and development.
There are also centers established to look at climate change, space science, and energy research.
UNN also has the Roar Nigeria Hub within its main site.
The Hub is a private sector initiative from two of the university’s engineering students.
Its aim is to encourage entrepreneurial activity among students and faculty, invest in viable student-led ideas, and help link academia, the public, and industry.
UNN alumni include numerous politicians, such as state governors as well as senators and ministers in the Nigerian and other African governments, academics, business people, artists, and actors.
Ahmadu Bello University
The Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) is an internationally recognized Nigerian university and is located in Zaria, Kaduna State.
Consisting of eighty-two (82) Academic Departments, twelve (12) Faculties, and twelve (12) Research Institutes and Specialized Centres, the University offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in such diverse fields as Agriculture, Public and Business Administration, Engineering, Environmental Design, Education, Biological and Physical Sciences, Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, the Humanities, Law and Social Sciences.
Ahmadu Bello University has been officially accredited and recognized by the National Universities Commission (NUC), Nigeria.
Ahmadu Bello University: Image Source
Founded on October 4th, 1962, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) is West Africa’s largest university with 82 academic departments, 49,954 students, and 500,000 alumni.
The University is also identified as a first-class Architecture School and innovator in Agricultural research.
Under the administration of current Vice-Chancellor Professor Ibrahim Garba, ABU now specializes in several programs including Sciences, Social Sciences, Arts, Environmental Design, and Engineering.
The University is ranked as the best for its unmatched expertise in Architecture and research in Agriculture.
Over the course of its history, the University has nurtured two University Colleges- Abdullahi Bayero College (now Bayero University, Kano) and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa College (now Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University of Technology, Bauchi).
ABU has a large medical program with its own A.B.U Teaching Hospital recognized as one of the largest training hospitals in Nigeria and indeed Africa.
There are currently 27 institutions, made up of Colleges of Education, Polytechnics, and Schools of Basic or Preliminary Studies affiliated with Ahmadu Bello University (ABU).
Some of ABU’s notable alumni include the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido; Pro-Chancellor of Plateau University, Professor Muhammadu Attahiru Jega who was honored at the 2015 NHEF Awards Gala; Former President of Nigeria, Late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, GCFR; Former Executive Director of World Bank, Mansur Mukhtar; and numerous Nigerian State Governors and Federal Ministers.
Federal University Of Technology, Akure
This is a technology-intensive university located in Akure, Ondo state southwest Nigeria.
The university since its establishment in 1981 has been training graduates with specialized knowledge in science and technology.
FUTA as it is often called has no religious affiliation and has a large student body, one of the largest in the country.
Federal University of Technology, Akure: Image Source
FUTA school fees are quite affordable and the university provides hostels and all other facilities that are needed to help students learn and be creative in technology.
The university offers various degrees at different levels in engineering, science and technology, and agriculture.
Federal University Of Technology, Minna
The Federal University of Technology Minna is a top choice school for students seeking quality education.
It attracts over 20,000 students because of its innovative technology, depth of staff expertise, and capacity to help students reach their full potential.
Federal University of Technology, Minna: Image Source
It has proved over time to produce industry-ready graduates who are preferred choices for employers.
Nigeria is a country that is developing, especially in its educational sector.
The country is home to over 130 federal universities.
Most of these are government-owned universities and some are privately owned.
I hope you found this article interesting and educational.