Top 10 Universities In Nigeria

Top 10 Universities In Nigeria

Lofty Scholars has compiled a list of the top 10 universities in Nigeria. This list includes the most popular higher education institutions that meet various criteria such as accreditation by relevant Nigerian higher education organizations, teaching methods, and educational standards.

Despite the challenges facing the Nigerian educational system, some excellent schools within the sector are highly recommended.

University education stakeholders prioritize the quality of student and staff health services, student dormitories, the overall institution atmosphere, teaching and learning quality, and non-academic support services.

In order to consider the top 10 universities in Nigeria, it is essential to examine some key points beforehand.”

Why study in Nigeria?

Nigeria is widely recognized as a major power in both the African continent and the world as a whole. It is a highly sought-after destination for those seeking to explore the country’s diverse culture. International students who choose to study in Nigeria will have the unique opportunity to develop a more global perspective on the world, one that they may not have otherwise obtained by studying solely in their home country.

Can a foreigner study in Nigeria?

Foreign students who wish to study in Nigeria are required to obtain either a visa or a study permit in order to do so.

What is the best age to enter university?

Generally, the minimum age requirement for students is 18 years old, but this can vary depending on the specific requirements of the educational institution and program.

How much is federal school fees in Nigeria?

In 2019, the average annual tuition fee for bachelor’s degree programs in Nigeria was 81.5 thousand Naira, which is approximately equivalent to 198 U.S. dollars.

Here are the top 10 Universities in Nigeria

  1. Covenant University

Covenant University (CU) is a Christian-based private university located in Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria. The institution is affiliated with Living Faith Church Worldwide and is a member of several reputable academic organizations, such as the Association of Commonwealth Universities, Association of African Universities, and National Universities Commission. In 2019, Covenant University was recognized as the first Nigerian university to be ranked within the top 401-500 category of world universities by Times Higher Education.

CU offers academic programs through its four colleges: the College of Business and Social Sciences (CBSS), the College of Leadership Development Studies (CLDS), the College of Engineering (COE), and the College of Science and Technology (CST). The university also offers postgraduate programs across its entire curriculum.

The university boasts a stadium equipped with various sporting facilities, including a swimming pool, lawn tennis, table tennis, basketball, and volleyball courts. As one of the affiliated universities of the Nigeria Private University Games Association, Covenant University takes pride in promoting sports and encouraging students to participate in various athletic events.

  1. The University of Ibadan

The University of Ibadan, located in Ibadan, Nigeria, is a public research university. Originally established in 1948 as University College Ibadan, it was one of several colleges within the University of London. It gained independence in 1962 and is the oldest degree-awarding institution in Nigeria. The University of Ibadan has played a significant role in Nigeria’s political, industrial, economic, and cultural development through its graduate network. Its history and influence have earned it a reputation as one of the most prestigious universities in Africa.

The University of Ibadan comprises 17 faculties, which are further divided into 92 academic departments. These faculties include Arts, Science, Basic Medical Sciences, Clinical Sciences, Agriculture, Social Sciences, Education, Veterinary Medicine, Pharmacy, Technology, Law, Public Health, Dentistry, Economics and Management Sciences, Renewable Natural Resources, Environmental Design and Management, and Multidisciplinary Studies. The Faculties of Basic Medical Sciences, Clinical Sciences, Public Health, and Dentistry are organized as the College of Medicine.

The university also has several other academic units, such as the Institute of Child Health, Institute of Education, Institute of African Studies, Centre for Child Adolescent and Mental Health, Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI), Institute for Advanced Medical Research and Training (IAMRAT), Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Centre for Drug Discovery, Development & Production (CDDDP), and Centre for Control & Prevention of Zoonosis (CCPZ). The Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI), School of Business (UISB), and National Institute for Maternal, Child & Neonatal Health (NIMCNH) are new additions that have started operating recently.

  1. Ahmadu Bello University

Ahmadu Bello University is a research university owned by the Nigerian Federal Government and located in Zaria, Kaduna State. Established on October 4, 1962, ABU was the first university in Northern Nigeria and was named after the first premier of Northern Nigeria, Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello, also known as the Sardauna of Sokoto.

The university operates two campuses: Samaru (main) and Kongo, both located in Zaria. In addition, there is a pre-degree school in Funtua, which is about 85 kilometers away from the main campus. The Samaru campus houses the administrative offices and faculties of physical sciences, life sciences, social sciences, arts and languages, education, environmental design, engineering, medical sciences, agricultural sciences, and research centers.

On the other hand, the Kongo campus is home to the faculties of Law and Administration, which includes Accounting, Business Administration, Local Government and Development Studies, and Public Administration. Moreover, ABU is responsible for other institutions and programs situated in other locations.

  1. University of Ilorin

The University of Ilorin, also referred to as Unilorin, is a federal government-owned institution located in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria. In August 1975, the federal military government established the university through a decree. The establishment was aimed at implementing the educational directive of the Third National Development Plan, which sought to create more opportunities for Nigerians to acquire university education and generate high-level manpower essential for the rapidly expanding economy.

Unilorin has one of the largest land areas compared to other higher institutions of learning in Nigeria, covering approximately 15,000 hectares of land. According to JAMB, the university was the most sought-after Nigerian institution in 2021.

  1. University of Lagos

The University of Lagos, popularly referred to as UNILAG, is a public research institution located in Lagos, Nigeria. It was established in 1962 and is considered one of the first-generation universities in Nigeria. UNILAG is ranked among the top universities in the world by major education publications.

The university has three campuses in the mainland of Lagos, with two located at Yaba (the main campus in Akoka and a recently created campus at the former School of Radiography) and its College of Medicine located at Idi-Araba, Surulere. The main campus is situated close to the Lagos lagoon and spans 802 acres of land. UNILAG admits over 9,000 undergraduate students annually and enrolls over 57,000 students.

In 2020, a visitation panel was created to investigate the affairs of the university from 2016 to 2020, which revealed cases of financial abuse by top officials. Consequently, the university was ordered to close accounts with commercial banks. On 7 October 2022, Folasade Ogunsola became the first female vice-chancellor of the University of Lagos.

  1. Obafemi Awolowo University

Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), located in the ancient city of Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria, is a federal government-owned university that was founded in 1961. Classes commenced in October 1962 under the name “University of Ife,” by the regional government of Western Nigeria led by Samuel Ladoke Akintola. In honor of Obafemi Awolowo (1909–1987), the first premier of the Western Region of Nigeria, whose idea the university was, it was renamed “Obafemi Awolowo University” on 12 May 1987.

The university has 13 faculties and two colleges, the Postgraduate College and the College of Health Sciences, which together administer more than 60 departments. OAU offers undergraduate and post-graduate programs in various fields of specialization spanning the humanities, arts, natural sciences, social sciences, medical sciences, engineering, and technology. Previously, OAU was affiliated with Loma Linda University in California, US.

  1. University of Nigeria

The University of Nigeria, also known as UNN, is a federal university located in the Eastern part of Nigeria, specifically in Nsukka, Enugu State. It was founded by Nnamdi Azikiwe in 1955 and officially opened on October 7th, 1960. The university has four campuses, namely Nsukka, Enugu, Ituku-Ozalla, and Aba in Abia State.

Being the first fully indigenous and autonomous university in Nigeria, the University of Nigeria was established based on the American educational system. It is renowned as the first land-grant university in Africa and one of the top five reputable universities in Nigeria. The institution consists of 15 faculties and 102 academic departments, providing 108 undergraduate programs and 211 postgraduate programs.

In October 2010, the university celebrated its 50th anniversary, and it would have celebrated its 60th anniversary in October 2020, but the event was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. Federal University Of Technology Minna

The Federal University of Technology Minna (FUTMINNA) is a university owned by the Federal Government of Nigeria, located in Minna.

The primary focus of FUT MINNA is technological education. The university has been recognized as a Centre of Excellence in Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, and it has extensive experience in developing vaccines and drugs.

FUT MINNA was established in 1983, and the first Vice-Chancellor, Professor J.O. Ndagi, served from 1983 to 1990. The university is governed by two bodies, the Council and the Senate. Initially, the university took over the facilities of the former Government Teachers’ College Bosso on a permanent basis. Currently, the Bosso Campus serves as the site for the university.

The university’s primary campus, Gidan Kwano, is located along the Minna – Kataeregi – Bida Road and spans 10,650 hectares of land. The institution is listed in the Guide to Higher Education in Africa, Association of African Universities, and the International Association of Universities from 1999.

  1. University of Benin

The University of Benin, located in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria, is a public research university owned by the Federal Government of Nigeria. It was founded in 1970 and currently comprises two campuses and fifteen faculties, including a central library known as the John Harris Library. However, the buildings in UNIBEN are widely spaced and not close to one another.

In addition, UNIBEN boasts a teaching hospital, the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), which is a large facility that offers specialized medical services in various fields. It also features different units such as SERVICOM, Medical Records, Nurses and Doctors’ quarters, laundry services, catering, among others.

  1. The Federal University of Technology, Akure

The Federal University of Technology Akure, also known as FUT Akure or FUTA, is a federal government-owned university situated in Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria. It was established in 1981 as part of the Nigerian government’s initiative to establish universities that specialize in producing graduates with practical and theoretical knowledge of technology.

FUTA has a college of medicine and nine schools, which are: College of Health Sciences, School of Basic Medical Sciences (SBMS), School of Basic Clinical Sciences (SBCS), School of Clinical Sciences (SCS), School of Computing (SOC), School of Life Science (SLS), School of Physical Science (SPS), School of Earth and Mineral Sciences (SEMS), School of Environmental Technology (SET), School of Engineering and Engineering Technology (SEET), School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology (SAAT), School of Logistics and Innovation Technology (SLIT), School of Postgraduate Studies (SPGS)

The university offers pre-degree science programs, short-term courses, and university advanced basic science programs.


To gain admission into these prestigious Nigerian institutions, you must successfully take and pass your O’Level exams and meet the JAMB cut-off mark. During the process of filling out your JAMB forms, you should indicate your preferred schools. It is important to note that the cut-off marks may differ depending on the type of institution, such as federal, state, polytechnic, or college of education.

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