Top 10 best state universities in Nigeria 2021

Emeh Joy
By Emeh Joy

Surely, you would want to gain admission into one of the best high institutions in Nigeria. Check out this list of the top 10 best state universities in Nigeria to start with.

Building complex of Olabisi Onabanjo University, one of the top 10 best universities in Nigeria

If you have looked up the top 10 best universities in Nigeria, you will find out that most of the universities on the list are federal universities. This begs the question, "what about the state universities in Nigeria"? Does it mean they are not doing well?

There are quite a several state universities in Nigeria that do well and offer quality education to their students. It is not fair that some of these state universities are underrated, especially when compared to their federal counterparts.

The fact that federal universities have backings from the federal government makes it easier for them to make it to Nigeria's top ten high institutions. However, Nigerian state universities are not left out; they also produce great intellectuals.

In fact, some state universities in Nigeria have proven their worth and are doing better than some federal universities. So let's check the top 10 best state universities in Nigeria in 2021.

What are the top 10 best state universities in Nigeria?

The top 10 best state universities in Nigeria in 2021 include:

  1. Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST)
  2. Lagos State University (LASU)
  3. Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma (AAU Ekpoma)
  4. Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT)
  5. Ekiti State University (EKSU)
  6. Plateau State University (PLASU)
  7. Delta State University (DELSU)
  8. Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU)
  9. Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU)
  10. Ondo State University of Science and Technology (OSUSTECH)

This list of the top 10 best state universities in Nigeria is according to the National Universities Commission (NUC) and other high institution academic bodies in Nigeria. Other criteria for that has been used to rate these universities include:

  • School records in terms of quality of education offered
  • Intellectuals graduating each year
  • Status of lecturers in the school, e.g. number of professors and PhD holders
  • Availability of adequate learning facilities like public address systems, lecture halls and library and a conducive learning environment
  • Size of school and popularity of school

Let's check out each of these state universities rated the top 10 best in Nigeria.

1. Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST)

Building complex of Rivers State University of Science and Technology

Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST) is undoubtedly one of Nigeria's top 10 best state universities. The school focuses mainly on courses related to science and engineering,

RSUST was founded in 1972 as 'Rivers State College of Science and Technology.' In 1980, the university's name was changed to Rivers State University of Science and Technology.

RSUST, located in Nkpolu-Oroworukwo, Port Harcourt, is the first university of technology in Nigeria and the first state university established in the Niger Delta region of the country.

The National Universities Commission, NUC, has accredited the school. The school was rated Nigeria's best E-learning institution in 2014.

RSUST boasts of up to 1,870 staff and has up to 30,000 students enrolled in the institution. It is among the best 20 universities in Nigeria and the top 10 best state universities in Nigeria.

Rivers State University of Science and Technology might also be regarded as the best Nigerian state university for engineering and science courses. In fact, it is among the two universities in the country offering a bachelor degree in Marine Engineering.

Some popular faculties in the school include:

  • Faculty of Engineering
  • Sciences and Sciences
  • Faculty of Environmental Sciences
  • Faculty of Agriculture
  • Faculty of Law
  • Faculty of Management Sciences
  • Technical and Science Education faculty
  • College of Medicine

School fees for Rivers State University of Science and Technology

RSUST school fees for returning students as of 2021 fall within the range of N50,000-N55,000 for indigenous students (depending on course of study) and double that amount for students from other states.

School fees for fresh students are usually higher for all schools. School fees for indigenous new students range between N65,0000 to N85,000 (also depending on course of study and goes as high as N145,000 for non-indigen freshers.

2. Lagos State University (LASU)

Front gate of Lagos State University

Lagos State University (LASU) takes the number 2 spot in our list of top 10 best state universities in Nigeria. The university was founded in 1983 by the Lagos State Government. It now has over 50,000 students, with more than 35,000 students applying for admission every year.

The university operates via 4 campuses located in Ojo (main campus), Surulere, Ikeja and Epe. It also has other affiliated/external campuses.

LASU' s alumni list features lots of notable and prominent Nigerian men and women. The school is well-equipped and offers different undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses, including an MBA program.

Aside from being one of the top 10 best state universities in Nigeria, LASU is particularly regarded as one of Nigeria's best universities to study law.

LASU has nine campuses which include:

  • Faculty of Arts
  • Business Administration
  • Social Sciences
  • Sciences
  • Law
  • School of Basic Medical Sciences
  • School of Clinical Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Education

School fees for Lagos State University

The tuition fees for LASU is currently in the range of N113,250 to N116,000, while its acceptance fee is about N20,000 for both indigenes and non-indigenes. Refer to the LASU website to view all accredited courses offered by the school.

3. Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma (AAU Ekpoma)

Sign board of Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma

Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma (AAU) is located in Edo state. It is one of the top 10 best state universities in Nigeria in 2021. It was established by Professor Ambrose Folorunsho Alli, the then governor of the old Bendel State.

Initially, the university was named Bendel State University but then changed to Edo State University when Edo State was created. After a while, it was renamed Ambrose Alli University to honour the governor that established the institution.

Initially, the school was ravaged by activities of cultists, but thanks to a change of VC, which saw the overhaul of a system that was pulling the school back.

Today, AAU is known and rated as one of the top 10 best state universities to study in Nigeria. It has one of the best academic facilities for research and learning. NUC has also accredited the school.

Currently, AAU is working towards digitalization to bring it up to the level of the best state-owned university in Nigeria.

AAU has eight colleges which include:

  • Natural Sciences
  • Arts and Social Sciences
  • Agriculture and Natural Sciences
  • Engineering and technology
  • Education
  • Legal Studies
  • Environmental design
  • Medical Science

School fees for Ambrose Ali University

The school fees for AAU is quite affordable compared to most other state universities. School fees range between 40,000 to 50,000 for old students and N97,000 to N162,000 for new students depending on your course of study.

AAU allows you to pay school fees in instalments (twice). However, every new student must first pay an acceptance fee (N75,000 for medical students and N60,000 for other students).

4. Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT)

Entrance to Enugu State University of Science and Technology

Enugu State University (ESUT) is one of the top 10 best state universities in Nigeria and has obtained accreditation from the NUC.

ESUT has been established as far back as 1980 and was initially called Anambra State University of Science and Technology (ASUSTECH). It has over 50,000 active students and is located in a large hectare of land within the Enugu metropolis.

ESUT is known to run speedy academic sessions. They also offer both undergraduate and post-graduate programs in a well-equipped school environment.

There are nine faculties with over 50 courses being offered in the school. Although the school fees for ESUT is a bit on the high side, it is no doubt one of the top 10 best state-owned universities in Nigeria.

Faculties in ESUT include:

  • Faculty of Agricultural and Natural Resources Management
  • Applied Natural Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Education
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Management Sciences
  • Law
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Social Sciences

School fees for Enugu State University

School fees for ESUT is about N125,000 for all level except 100 level students who are to pay an estimated #130,000 plus an additional N25,000 acceptance fee. Students who pay late are mandated to pay an additional N10,500 for late payment.

5. Ekiti State University (EKSU)

Ekiti State University is located in Ado-Ekiti and is a highly rated Nigerian university

This list of the top 10 best state universities in Nigeria will hardly be complete without adding Ekiti State University (EKSU). Located in Ado Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti State, EKSU is one of the best state-owned universities in Nigeria.

The school was established in 1982 by late Chief Micheal Adekunle Ajasin's administration and was initially named Obafemi Awolowo University, Ado Ekiti.

It was changed to Ondo State University in 1985 and later, the University of Ado-Ekiti in 1999. However, its current name was given in September 2011.

The university has well-experienced lecturers with a student population of over 50,000. It also offers a conducive environment for learning.

EKSU has been accredited by NUC and offers various degree and diploma courses. Asides from running on a swift academic calendar, the school is known for having the highest professors in Nigerian state universities.

The school has the following faculties as well:

  • Faculty of Agricultural Science
  • Basic Medical Sciences
  • Arts
  • Clinical Sciences
  • Law
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Science
  • Management Science
  • Social Sciences

School fees for Ekiti State University

The school fees for EKSU is estimated at N140,600 for full-time undergraduate studies and about N135,000 for postgraduate studies.

6. Plateau State University (PLASU)

PLASU is also a top-rated state-owned university in the country

A school in the middle belt also made it to our list of the top 10 best state universities in Nigeria. Plateau State University (PLASU) was established in 2005 and got NUC accreditation about a decade later.

The school further approved 18 courses immediately after the accreditation. Today, the school is fully equipped to run both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

PLASU is also a good place to study for those interested in part-time and diploma programmes. The university has some of the best lecturers in various fields of study, and this has helped the school gain recognition as a reputable state university in the country.

School fees for Plateau State University

PLASU school fees for indigenous students is about N50,000, while non-indigenous students pay about N100,000 tuition fee. The acceptance fee for this school is N5,000. It is definitely one of the most affordable state-owned universities in Nigeria.

7. Delta State University (DELSU)

A view of the beautiful entrance to Delta State University

Also in our list of top 10 best state universities in Nigeria is the Delta State University (DELSU), located in Abraka. DELSU was founded in 1992 by the Delta State Government.

The school has three campuses located about 200km apart from each other. The school has a student population of about 36,000.

When it comes to quality of education, DELSU can compete with other top universities in the country. The school offers a conducive environment and state of the art facilities suitable for studying.

Faculties you will find at Delta State University include:

  • Faculty of Arts
  • Education
  • Science
  • Pharmacy
  • Law
  • Agriculture
  • Engineering
  • Management studies
  • Environmental Studies
  • Basic Medical Science

School fees for Delta State University

DELSU school fees vary depending on faculty and whether you are an indigene of the state or not. For indigenes, school fees range between N31,000 (faculty of education) to N64,500, while non-indigenes have to pay N84,500.

However, fresh intakes first have to pay an acceptance fee. The acceptance fee for indigenes is N30,000, while non-indigenes have to pay N40,000.

8. Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU)

Ooy has a beautiful, serene environment, conducive for learning

Number eight on our list of top 10 best state universities in Nigeria is Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU). This university was founded in 1982.

OOU was initially called Ogun State University and is undoubtedly ranked one of the best universities in Nigeria. It was renamed OOU in 2001 in honour of Dr Olabisi Onabanjo, who was the governor that made the efforts to establish the university.

OOU offers different undergraduate, postgraduate and diploma course and has been fully accredited by the National Universities Commission. The school has a large number of students (over 60,000) enrolled in its institution.

OOU has different campuses, with the main campus situated in Ago Iwoye. There are currently 9 faculties and over 87 courses offered in OOU.

The faculties in the school include:

  • Science
  • Art
  • Law
  • Education
  • Basic Medical Sciences
  • The Obafemi Awolowo College of Medicine
  • Social and Management Science
  • Engineering and Environmental Science

School fees for Olabisi Onabanjo University

School fees for OOU returning students is within the range of N80,000 to N104,000. New students are to pay an acceptance fee of N60,000.

9. Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU)

COOU is also one of the best state universities in Nigeria

Chukuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University remains one of the best state universities in Nigeria. The school was established in 2000. Even after a name change, some people still refer to the school by its former name- Anambra State University.

COOU can also be said to be one of the most popular universities, especially in Nigeria. The school offers diploma, par time and full-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

COOU has always been the school of choice for students, especially those in the southeast, because of the quality of education offered in the school.

COOU has been fully accredited by NUC and has the following faculties:

  • Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Faculty of Natural Science
  • Faculty of management science
  • Faculty of Education
  • Faculty of Physical Sciences
  • Faculty of Environmental Sciences
  • Faculty of Engineering
  • Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences

School fees for Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University

Even though ANSU school fees are a bit on the high side, it is still ranked one of Nigeria's top 10 best state universities. So, at least you are sure of getting something good for your money.

School fees depend on the level. For instance, while 100 level students are expected to pay an estimated N137,000-N252,000, 400 level and 500 level students will be expected to pay about N108,000.

10. Ondo State University of Science and Technology (OSUSTECH)

Gate leading to Ondo State University of Science and Technology

Ondo State University of Science and Technology makes it lastly to our list of top 10 best state universities in Nigeria. The National Universities Commission has long accredited the school.

OSUSTECH was founded in 2010 by Governor Olusegun Mimiko and is located in Okitipupa in Ondo state. Faculties present at OSUSTECH include:

  • Faculty of Engineering and Engineering Technology
  • Earth Sciences
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
  • Faculty of Science

School fees for Ondo State University of Science and Technology

There seems to be a wide gap between school fees for old and new students in OSUSTECH. While new students are expected to pay fees between N100,000 to N150,000 (indigenous students) and N150,000 to N200,000 (non-indigenous students), returning students are expected to pay an estimated N70,000 for both indigenes and non-indigenes.