It always pays to attend one of the top universities in Nigeria. Your university says a lot about who you are, and this is a universal fact accepted all over the world.
In Nigeria it’s more than that, a lot of importance is attached to the university you graduated from. It determines how you walk, talk, behave and your overall self-perception, composure, and behavior. Some people say it also determines your employability after graduation.
So if your institution isn’t amongst the top rated ones by the National Universities Commission (NUC), you risk being held in contempt by your peers. That’s why the my-alma-mater-trumps-yours arguments are prevalent amongst Nigerian undergraduates and graduates.
Top Universities in Nigeria
Here’s NUC’s 2018 ranking for top universities in Nigeria:
1. University of Ibadan
This is the highest ranked university in Nigeria at the moment. U.I, as it’s fondly called, is a non-profit higher institution of learning in Ibadan. It was established in 1948 and is the first institution of higher learning in Nigeria.
Officially accredited by the NUC, University of Ibadan offers courses and programs such as pre-bachelor degrees (which comprises of certificates, diplomas, associate or foundation degrees), bachelor degrees, master degrees, doctorate degrees in several areas of study.
The probability of getting admitted into this 69-year-old institution is 40-50%, making it one of the most selective universities in Nigeria. Nevertheless, UI is a large coeducational higher education institution with an enrollment range of 20,000- 24,999 students.
International applicants are also eligible for admission. Apart from this, the university boasts of academic and non-academic facilities and services to students which include: library, sports facilities/activities, housing, financial aids/and or scholarships, study abroad and exchange programs, online courses and distance learning opportunities plus administrative services.
2. University of Lagos
Popularly known as UNILAG, University of Lagos is a federal government research university established in 1962 and it’s located in Lagos State. With approximately 57,000 students as of 2013, UNILAG has one of the largest student populations of any university in Nigeria and has remained one of the most competitive in terms of admission.
Due to its research activity, the university was adjudged the best in Nigeria at the Nigerian University System Annual Merit Award (NUSAMA) in 2008 and is presently the second in the ranking of top universities in Nigeria.
With its main campus located at Akoka, Yaba, and its Medical Campus of The College of Medicine located at Idi-Araba, Surulere, the university has many residential services and facilities for both staff and students. The academic bodies of The University of Lagos consists of full-time undergraduate programs, the Distance Learning Institute (DLI) and the School of Post-Graduate Studies (full-time& part-time programs).
3. Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife
Claiming third position in the rankings is OAU. Located in the ancient city of Ile-Ife, Osun State, OAU is a federal government owned and operated varsity.
Established in 1961, the Great Ife as it is fondly called offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs in fields of specialization which consists of the humanities, the arts, the natural sciences, the social sciences, the medical sciences, engineering and technology.
The university has 13 faculties and 2 colleges- the Postgraduate College and the College of Health Sciences- administered in over 60 departments. Since its establishment, OAU has over 82 departments.
4. Ahmadu Bello University Zaria
One of the top universities in Nigeria, ABU, is a federal government research university founded on October 4, 1962 and is located in Zaria, Kaduna State. Named after the Sardauna of Sokoto and the first premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello, the university runs a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate programs plus associate degrees and vocational and remedial programs. Boasting of a large medical program with its own A.B.U Teaching Hospital, it is not surprising that it is listed as one of the largest teaching hospitals in Nigeria and Africa.
5. University of Ilorin
Located in the ancient city of Ilorin, the capital of Kwara State, UNILORIN, as it is popularly called was established in 1975. Ranking 5th on NUC’s list of top universities in Nigeria for 2017, the university presently has 15 faculties, a College of Health Sciences (with 2 faculties-Basic Medical and Clinical Sciences), 2 institutes (Institute of Education& Unilorin Sugar Research Institute), and the Postgraduate School. These faculties have over 60 academic departments with undergraduate programs running for 3-6 years depending on entry qualifications and discipline.
6. Covenant University Ota
This is the only private university to make it to the list of top 10 universities in Nigeria. Covenant University is a Private Christian University established on the 21st of October, 2002. It was established by the World Mission Agency and the Living Faith Church Worldwide.
Located in Cannan Land, CU academic programs run in 4 colleges namely: College of Business and Social Sciences, College of Leadership Development Studies, College of Engineering and College of Science and Technology. It also runs postgraduate studies.
7. University of Nigeria Nsukka
Formerly known as the University of Biafra and now referred to as UNN, the University Of Nigeria was the first full-fledged indigenous and autonomous university in Nigeria. UNN is very prominent in South Eastern Nigeria, so it’s no wonder ninety percent of secondary students in the region set their eyes on gaining admission there.
It is modeled upon the American educational system. Located at Nsukka, the varsity is renowned for its academics, and was founded by Nnamdi Azikiwe in 1955.
UNN is also the first land-grant university in Africa. It is 7th on NUC’s current ranking for top universities in Nigeria and has 15 faculties and 102 academic departments. It runs 82 undergraduate programs and an impressive 211 postgraduate programs.
8. University of Benin
Clinching the 8th position in the list of top universities in Nigeria is the University of Benin in Edo state. Fondly known as UNIBEN by its students, the Great University of Benin is one of Nigeria’s first generation federal universities. The varsity started out as an Institute of Technology in 1970 and was accorded the status of a full-fledged university by NUC on July 1, 1971.
UNIBEN offers programs spanning postgraduate, undergraduate, diploma and certificate levels. Presently, the total student enrollment is estimated at over 40,000 which is made up of both full-time and part-time students distributed among the various faculties.
9. University of Abuja
UNIABUJA was established on January 1, 1988 and mostly offers the regular degree, diploma and postgraduate programs. The university also has a Centre for Distance Learning School which provides education for those unable to acquire education through the regular university system and those interested in acquiring new knowledge and specialized skills.
UNIABUJA’s Law Faculty is its pride. This faculty is known for having one of the most organized Student Representatives Councils (LAWSAN) in Nigeria. The Law Students Association of the institution has won the university many National and International competitions and it’s therefore not surprising that the university made it to the list of the top universities in Nigeria.
10. University of Port Harcourt
UNIPORT was Established in 1975 as the University College, Port Harcourt, and granted university status in 1977. It had six schools in 1977 and changed from a school system to a faculty system in 1982. Presently, the university has 12 faculties.
Don’t feel downtrodden if your varsity isn’t among those ten up there. The list changes from year to year, so it’s not fixed. Here are other universities that made it to the list of top ranking universities in Nigeria:
11. Federal University of Technology, Minna
12. Federal University of Technology, Owerri
14. Federal University, Oye-Ekiti
15. Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto
16. Lagos State University Ojo
17. Federal University of Technology, Akure
18. Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo
19. Bayero University, Kano
20. American University of Nigeria, Yola
21. Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho
22. Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti
23. University of Jos
24. Landmark University, Omu-Aran
25. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka
26. University of Uyo
27. Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi
28. Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umuahia
29. Enugu State University of Science and Technology Enugu
30. Rivers State University of Science and Technology Port Harcourt
31. Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, Akoko
32. Benue State University ,Makurdi
33. Redeemer’s University Mowe
34. Kwara State University, Ilorin
35. Veritas University, Abuja
36. Osun State University, Oshogbo
37. University of Agriculture, Makurdi
38. Nassarawa State University, Keffi
39. African University of Science and Technology, Abuja
40. Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti
41. University of Calabar
42. Kogi State University, Anyigba
43. Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijebu-Ode
44. Federal University, Dutsin-Ma
45. Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki
46. Federal University, Ndufu-Alike
47. University of Maiduguri
48. Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University, Katsina
49. Nile University of Nigeria, Abuja
50. Bowen University, Iwo
51. Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin
52. Delta State University, Abraka
53. Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Yenagoa
54. Abia State University, Uturu
55. Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma
56. Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola
57. Federal University, Otuoke
58. Imo State University Owerri
59. Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago- Iwoye
60. Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun
61. Kaduna State University
62. Federal University, Lokoja
63. Akwa Ibom State University, Uyo
64. Benson Idahosa University, Benin City
65. Paul University, Awka
66. Federal University, Dutse
67. Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo Town
68. Lead City University, Ibadan
69. Bingham University, Auta Balifi
70. Baze University, Abuja
71. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai
72. Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Uli
73. Joseph Ayo Babalola University, Ikeji-Arakeji
74. Madonna University, Okija
75. Crawford University, Faith City
76. Cross River University of Technology, Calabar
77. Caritas University, Enugu
78. Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa
79. Bells University of Technology Ota
80. Igbinedion University, Okada
81. Elizade University, Ilara-Mokin
82. Achievers University, Owo
83. Caleb University, Imota
84. Kano University of Science and Technology, Wudil
85. Federal University, Lafia
86. Sokoto State University
87. Fountain University, Oshogbo
88. Adeleke University, Ede
89. Federal University, Kashere
90. Federal University, Wukari
91. University of Mkar, Mkar
92. Oduduwa University, Ile Ife
93. Godfrey Okoye University, Ugwuomu-Nike
94. Taraba State University, Jalingo
95. Obong University, Obong Ntak
96. Yobe State University, Damaturu
97. Renaissance University Enugu
98. Salem University Lokoja
99. Wellspring University, Benin City
100. Al-Qalam University, Katsina
101. Novena University, Ogume
102. Western Delta University, Oghara
103. Gombe State University
104. Kwararafa University, Wukari
105. Bauchi State University
106. Kebbi State University of Science and Technology, Aliero
107. Tansian University, Umunya
108. Crescent University, Abeokuta
109. Rhema University, Aba
110. Wesley University of Science and Technology, Ondo City
111. Samuel Adegboyega University, Ogwa
Unranked Adamawa State University, Mubi
Unranked Pan African University, Lagos
Unranked Plateau State University, Bokkos