School in Nigeria: 10 best universities in Nigeria

The National Universities Commission complex
Emeh Joy

With the instability of the Nigerian government and lack of a well-structured system in the country, would one still expect a high standard of education?

Of course, our schools have been severely affected as maintaining a high standard of learning has proven to be difficult.

The rate at which academic unions go on strikes has increased recently. It is sad that even in this current time when the whole world is uniting to fight the coronavirus pandemic, the Academic Staff Union of Universities deem it fit to go on strike. The state of education in the nation seems to be crumbling more and more.

I see lots of aspiring university applicants confused on which university to apply for, and I understand that confusion and the dilemma that comes with it.

Indeed, the Nigerian educational system has gone through challenges; however, there are still some good schools within the sector that are recommendable.

Let's see a list of the top 10 universities in the country.

University of Ibadan

The prestigious University of Ibadan (UI)

The National Universities Commission (NUC) listed the University of Ibadan as the best Federal University in the country. It was also featured in the Reuters Top 100 in their latest 2020 rankings of world universities.

UI is an excellent academic institution founded in 1947. It was formerly affiliated with the University of London and has been running courses in Arts, Science and Medicine. The school which is fully accredited offers different academic programmes. It has 13 faculties which include:

  • Faculty of Arts
  • Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry
  • Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences
  • Faculty of Clinical Sciences
  • Faculty of Science
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Faculty of Education
  • Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
  • Faculty of Pharmacy
  • Faculty of Technology
  • Faculty of Law
  • Faculty of Public Health
  • Faculty of Dentistry

UI's College of Medicine is still regarded as the best in Nigeria as the institution itself has churned out numerous graduates who are doing the nation proud in various parts of the world.

University of Nigeria Nsukka

University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN)

UNN, which was established in 1955, was ranked the second-best university by the NUC. The institution is the first indigenous/autonomous university which commenced formally on 17th December 1960. It has 15 faculties which are all accredited and 102 departments.

The University offers research activities in areas of education, African studies, developmental studies and herbal medicine and drugs. They also have centres built to explore space science, climate change and energy research.

UNN has four campuses:

  • Nsukka (University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN)
  • Enugu (University of Nigeria Enugu campus, UNEC)
  • Ituku-Ozalla (University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, UNTH)
  • Aba (University of Nigeria Aba campus, UNAC)

The school has hosted numerous regional events such as the NUGA games and is one of the universities that can boast of an ICT Hub in West Africa.

The school has produced prominent figures in the society such as Prof Doral Akunyili, Godwin Emefiele, Peter Obi, Charles Soludo, Herbert Wigwe etc.

University of Lagos

The senate building complex at the University of Lagos (UNILAG)

UNILAG is one of the famous in the country and among the top best in the country. Established in 1962, it has three campuses situated in 3 different locations in Lagos. While the main campus is at Akoka, the other two are at Yaba and Surulere respectively.

UNILAG, which started up with only 131 students, has grown rapidly over the years to become one of the most populated universities in Nigeria.

It also boasts of one of the best Distance Learning Institute offering professional courses in Accounting, Business Administration, Science Education etc.

It has 12 accredited faculties with different departments which include:

  • Arts
  • Basic Medical Science
  • Business Administration
  • Clinical Sciences
  • Dental Sciences
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Science
  • Law
  • Pharmacy
  • Science
  • Social Science

Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU

A view of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife (OAU)

When it comes to land mass., OAU is the largest university in the country as it covers as much as 11,862 hectares of land. The university was established in 1962 and was formerly known as the University of Ife.

According to international ranking, which is based on the quality of education, the university has been ranked among the top 100 in the country. Hence, It is not surprising to see lots of university applicants entering the school as their first choice in JAMB application forms.

It is among the first academic institutions in Africa established in the 1970s. Since its establishment, it has produced top-class graduates who have done well to win numerous prestigious awards such as the National Merit Awards.

The university aims at using cutting-edge technology in providing teaching research and community services to its students and the nation at large.

Covenant University

A view of the Covenant University, Ota

Covenant University has always been rated among the topmost in the country, and so far, it is regarded as the best private university in the nation.

Indeed, the school is expensive when it comes to tuition and miscellaneous fees, but it is apparent the costs are being channelled into making the best out of the students as the university is classified as one of the world-leading Christian Mission Universities in Africa.

The founder of the University, Dr David Oyedepo, is one of the most respected spiritual figures in the country and is also the Bishop and General Overseer of the Living Faith Church a.ka. Winners Chapel.

The institution started full operation in June 2002 after it received license approval from the Federal Government to operate as an independent private entity. It was established on the core values of: Spirituality, Capacity Building, Positive Mentality, Integrity, Diligence and Sacrifice.

Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria

The Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (ABU)

The Northern part of Nigeria is not left out in the academic quest as Ahmadu Bello University has always emerged to represent this region as one of the top-rated universities in the country.

ABU was established in 1962 after the Asby Commission suggested that a higher institution of learning be established in the North of Nigeria. The school was named after Sir Ahmadu Bello who was the then Premier of Northern Nigeria.

The school has two campuses and 15 approved faculties. It also has over 1400 academic and research staff with 6000 non-teaching and administrative staff.

Reports also have it that ABU pioneered the establishment of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa College (now the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University of Technology) and the Abdullahi Bayero College (which is now Bayero University), Kano.

Federal University of Technology, Minna

The senate building at Federal University of Technology, Minna (Futminna)

Futminna, Minna makes it to the 7th position in NUC's recent ranking list. It was established in 1983 with the aim of promoting academic excellence.

The state occupies as much as 10,650 hectares of land and is located in the capital city of Niger State, Minna. It is also among the largest universities in the country in terms of size.

Some structures and centres found within the school include:

  • School of Agriculture and Technology (SAAT)
  • School of Engineering and Engineering Technology (SEET)
  • School of Environmental Technology (SET)
  • Students Centre
  • Students Hostels
  • The University Library
  • Staff houses
  • Senate building
  • Computer Centre
  • Industrial Developmental Centre

University of Ilorin

University of Ilorin (UNILORIN)

UNILORIN is a famous NUC-accredited university. UNILORIN, which was once ranked the best academic high institution in the country, is today ranked the 8th best according to NUC standards. The university was the first Nigerian University to ranked among the top 20 African Universities in 2014.

JAMB once reported that the school had the highest number of applicants in the nation. With 15 accredited faculties, colleges and postgraduate schools, the university offers various academic programs in multiple fields. There is the faculty of:

  • Arts
  • Agriculture
  • Environmental Science
  • Life Sciences
  • Management Sciences
  • Physical Sciences
  • Social Sciences
  • Communication and Information Sciences
  • Education
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Veterinary Medicine and Law

It also has two faculties in its College of Health Sciences (Basic Medical and Clinical Sciences), The Postgraduate School and Institute of Education and Unilorin Sugar Research Institute.

University of Benin

University of Benin (UNIBEN) building complex

UNIBEN is one of the best schools known for offering quality education in the country. One of the achievements the school has always been known for the fact that it is the first to appoint a female vice-Chancellor in the country in the person of Dr Grace Alele-Williams.

The school today comprises of a large number of applicants and students, both full-time and part-time. The prestigious institution has formed collaborations with many world-class universities as well as international and local bodies such as FORD Foundation, USAID and United Negro College Fund (UNCF).

University of Abuja

University of Abuja

The University of Abuja was established in 1990 and is rated top in the country. Since its establishment, it has produced prominent figures who have made the nation proud. With over 11,800 hectares of land, it is among the largest in the country.

You will find within the walls of the university campus:

  • Faculty of Education
  • Faculty of Law
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Faculty of Management Sciences
  • Science Laboratories
  • School of Remedial Studies
  • Institute of Education
  • Senate Chamber

It also has a well-equipped Medical Centre with cutting-edge facilities. Its medical school is also one of the best in the country.

Entry into these institutions demands that you sit and pass your O'Level exams and also make it through the JAmb cut off mark.

While filling your JAMB forms, you have to enter your schools of choice. Note that Jamb cut off usually varies based on the level of institution ( i.e. Federal, State, Polytechnic, Colleges of Education).

Once the Jamb results are out, you can simply log into your account using the internet to check your result. Check out the step by step guide on how to do that here.

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