10 Best Federal Universities in Nigeria

It is no news that sound education is the bed rock of any stable society. Any society that seeks to progress must take formal education seriously, especially a developing country like Nigeria. That’s probably why varsities spring up around the nation at an exponential rate, making it hard for fresh school leavers to identify and settle on the best of the best.

Moreover, apart from these teens a host of other people are interested in knowing the best federal universities in Nigeria. The issue has generated, and will continue to generate heated arguments between Nigerian students and graduates.

best federal universities in nigeria

Without much ado, these universities are (in no specific order):

University of Ibadan

Popularly called UI, the University of Ibadan was established in 1948 in Oyo state. Being the first of its kind in Nigeria at that time, it’s regarded as the premier university. It ranks first among federal universities in the country.

UI offers pre-degrees, Bachelor degrees, Masters degrees and doctorate degrees. International applications are also recognized.

Apart from academics, University of Ibadan offers other services such as financial aids, exchange programs, online courses/distance learning, library services, etc. UI has a host of alumni who are ever present in many sectors of the country’s economy.

University of Lagos

UNILAG was founded in 1962, in an urban setting called Yaba/Akoka in Lagos state. It is a non- profit coeducational organization with about 34,000- 39,999 students. The University of Lagos also offers pre- degree and degree programs, i.e. diplomas, bachelors, masters, doctorate degrees, and so on just like the University of Ibadan.

Other services UNILAG offers includes exchange programs, online courses and distance learning, administrative service, etc. international application are also welcome in the University.

Obafemi Awolowo University

The Obafemi Awolowo Univerisity was initially known as University of Ife but is now fondly called OAU. Students of this institution for some reason call themselves and the institution “Great Ife.”

OAU was founded in 1962 as a coeducational institution on a vast expanse of land in Ile- Ife in Osun state, Nigeria and boasts of eye-catching architectural structures. This is probably how it got the “Africa’s most beautiful campus” title.

Over the years, OAU has proved her mettle as an institution per excellence. For learning and culture, the school structure is divided into central campus area, staff quarters, student residential area and a teaching and research farm. OAU also runs pre-degree programs as well as bachelors, masters and doctorate programs.

There’s also an expansive sports complex at OAU as well as a library, student exchange programs, etc., the university recognizes International applicants.

Ahmadu Bello University

This varsity is named after the first and only premier of the Northern Nigeria region, Sir Ahmadu Bello. The university was founded on 4th October, 1962 on the soil of Zaria, Kaduna state.

ABU for short, Ahmadu Bello University, is acknowledged as the largest University in West Africa. With 82 academic departments, it offers several programs in sciences, arts, environmental design and engineering and has a renowned reputation for architecture and agricultural research.

Beside all these, ABU is known to have fostered two University colleges-Abdullahi Bayero College ( Bayero University, Kano) and Abubakar Tafawa Balea College (Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University of Technology, Bauchi).

University of Ilorin

The University of Ilorin was founded in 1975 in Ilorin, Kwara state. It is the first University to detach itself from the Academic Staff Universities Union (ASUU), but is accredited by the National Universities Commission, Nigeria.

Since its detachment from ASUU, Unilorin is known to have an accelerated academic program which enables its students to graduate in time ahead of their counterparts in other varsities.

Unilorin, as it is fondly called offers bachelor degrees, master degrees and doctorate degrees like every other federal university in the nation. It also entertains application from international applicants and offers services like student exchange program, library services, financial aids and scholarships, distance learning opportunities, etc.

University of Nigeria, Nsukka

The University of Nsukka was established in 1960 in Nsukka, Enugu state. Called UNN for short, it attracts the majority of aspiring graduates in the eastern part of the nation where it is held with the highest esteem.

UNN says it aims to support learning, teaching, research and scholarship geared towards the restoration of the dignity of man. In its bid to fulfil this vision, this institution has spread its tentacles to other locations in Enugu and Aba. It offers accredited and certificated courses and programs alongside non- academic services such as housing, financial aids, scholarships, etc. International applications are also welcome.

University of Benin

The University of Benin was founded in 1970 as an Institute of Technology. It became accredited as a full University by the National Universities Commission in 1971 and was made a federal University in 1975.

Since then, the University has not relented as it progresses to the fore front of academic excellence in the country. UNIBEN boasts of about 40,000- 44,000 students spanning across several countries and races.

University of Abuja

The University of Abuja, UNIABUJA, was established in 1988 as a non- profit institution. The University offers conventional distance learning academic programs as well as postgraduate studies.

UNIABUJA is located on a vast expanse of land in the nation’s capital. It also has a huge student body and boasts of a vibrant social life.

University of Port Harcourt

The University of Port Harcourt University was established in 1975 as a coeducational institution and currently has an enrolment in the range of 35,000- 39,000 students. UNIPORT is located in the south eastern part of Nigeria and is an educational hub for the region, attracting students from near and far.

The varsity offers pre- degree programs, bachelors, masters as well as doctorate degree programs.  There’s a school library where students can read in silence as well.

Federal University of Technology, Minna

Federal University of Technology, Minna was founded in 1982 as a profit making public higher institution. Called FUTMINNA by its citizens, the varsity is one of the few universities of technologies in Nigeria.

Almost all of its graduates are engineers as they are awarded Bachelor of Technology. There are pre-degree programs to gain entrance to the university’s numerous departments. Post-graduate courses in  the form of masters and doctorates are also run in the school.

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Abass Toriola is the founder and chief content strategist of NigerianFacts.com. He's a seasoned blogger, Internet marketer, and online business coach.

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