List of The Top 10 Best Universities In Nigeria 2023 – RANKED

List of the Top 10 Best Universities In Nigeria

Here’s the latest list and rankings of the top 10 best universities in Nigeria in 2023.

There is this perception we get of universities in the United States, which is that there are two universities in America: Harvard and others. Well, the same is almost true in Nigeria, as there are premium universities and others.

In Nigeria, every youth is considered a student at one of the top universities in Nigeria, especially when it has been a while since their neighborhood elders have seen them.

Trust me, it can be quite embarrassing for singles that are no longer in any of the top universities, when asked some unexpected questions, but guess what? Most of us smile and respond.

Mama Aduke be like “ba wo ni school?” (How is school?)…lol…better than being asked “when will you marry?”

This article will be focused on the top 10 best universities in Nigeria. But wait, which is the best university in Nigeria? Well, you’ll have to check out the following rankings:

Related: Top 10 Best Distance Learning Universities in Nigeria

List of the Top 10 Best Universities In Nigeria 2023

RankBest Universities In NigeriaYear Founded
#10Covenant University (CU)2002
#9University of Abuja (UNIABUJA)1988
#8University of Benin (UNIBEN)1970
#7Ahmadu Bello University (ABUZARIA)1962
#6Federal University of Technology, MINNA1983
#5University of Ilorin (UNILORIN)1975
#4Obafemi Awolowo University1961
#3University of Lagos1962
#2University of NSUKKA1955
#1University of Ibadan1948

NOTE: All the universities on this list have been fully accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC)

10. Covenant University (CU)

Best Universities In Nigeria - Covenant University

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Covenant University – the first and only private university on our list of top 10 best universities in Nigeria.

Bishop Oyedepo received a liberation commission in May 1981 during a supernatural encounter and this has propelled the establishment of this university.

October 1999 watched the scenes of the physical enactment of covenant university which later opened officially on the 21st of October 2002.

The founder, Bishop David Oyedepo is the chancellor of the university. Today, this university makes it to the top list of the top 10 best private universities in Nigeria. Learn more about Covenant University School Fees, and their admission processs.

Official website: Covenant University

9. University of Abuja (UNIABUJA)

Best Universities In Nigeria - University of Abuja

Despite Abuja being the capital of Nigeria, becoming the FCT 1991, it never had a federal university until 1988, three years after it replaced Lagos as the capital of the country..

I got you there, right? It was not until year 1990 it matriculated it’s first set of students.

This university boasts of impacting knowledge in actor Kanayo .O. Kanayo.

University of Abuja offers courses and programs leading to officially recognized higher education degrees such as pre-bachelor degrees (certificates, diplomas) bachelor degrees, master degrees, doctorate degrees in different areas of study.

Official Website: UniAbuja

8. University of Benin (UNIBEN)

Next on the list of the best universities in Nigeria is the University of Benin, popularly known as UNIBEN.

Best Universities In Nigeria - University of Benin

The institute of technology was established in 1970 before it was approved by the national universities commission on the 1st of July, 1971.

On the 1st of April, 1975, Col. Ogbemudia Osaigbovo Samuel renamed it university of Benin after which it became a federal university three years later.

Grace Alele Williams, an alumni of university of ibadan, became the first female vice chancellor of the prestigious university in 1985.

Despite in-country gusts of the brutal fraternity activities surrounding the school, it has not stopped it from entering the list of top 10 best universities in Nigeria with 13 faculties. I mean don’t you “want to bambam, you want to chill with the big boys?”

The chancellor of university of Benin is Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. Alumni of the school include Lota Chukwu, Ovie Omo-Agege, Bright “basketmouth” Okpocha, Babatunde Fashola, Richard Mofe- Damijo, Omoni Oboli, and many more.

Offcial Website: Uniben

Related: Top Twenty Cheapest Private Universities in Nigeria

7. Ahmadu Bello University (ABUZARIA)

The university of the northern region – Ahmadu Bello University, is one of the top ten best universities in Nigeria founded based on the Ashby commission recommendation.

Ahmadu Bello University Zaria

It was ceremoniously opened on the 4th of October, 1962 with 426 students; out of which only 147 were from the north.

Unlike other universities, it’s first vice chancellor, Dr. Norman Alexander, was a British with only two Nigerians holding higher position in faculty of mathematics, Dr. Iya Abubakar and faculty of education, Adamu Baikie.

The first Nigerian vice chancellor of the university was Dr Ishaya Shuaibu Audu in year 1966.

It has been reported to be the most welcoming and inclusive university of different ethnic groups than any other universities in Nigeria.

In year 1975, Ahmadu Bello University was said to be Nigeria’s largest university. It has 12 faculties, 1 post graduate school, and 82 academic departments.

The university boasts of public figures such as Atiku Abubakar, Yahaya Bello, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Dino Melaye, and many others.

Official Website: Abuzaria

Related: List of Universities in Alberta for International Students

6. Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUTMINNA)

Top Universities In Nigeria - FUTMINNA

The federal university of technology, minna; popularly known as FUTMINNA is a federal university that was established in 1983.

The school houses 10 faculties and is renowned for its technology education. It’s pioneer vice chancellor was Professor J. O. Ndagi.

Ranked as one of the top 10 best universities in Nigeria, it is also has bagged several awards. For example, in 2017, FUTMINNA was conferred with a Certificate of Credence and enlisted among the 50 ethically sound institutions in Nigeria.

Today, the citadel of learning has is known to be one of the top universities in Nigeria.

5. University of Ilorin (UNILORIN)

Top Nigerian Universities - Unilorin

The university of Ilorin has its roots deep within university college, Ibadan as it started out as an annex of the latter in 1975.

It started with 3 faculties but currently boasts of 15 faculties with over its initial 200 students.

Although there were controversies surrounding the university and ASUU over the years before Professor Sulyman Abdulkareem prompted its entry back into ASUU.

The university is ranked the 5th best university in Nigeria and the 4126th university in the world.

Official webiste: Unilorin

4. Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU)

When we were colonized by the British, we forcefully welcomed their presence into our lands and they lived amongst us by their rules.

Obafemi Awolowo University OAU

Despite how “bully” this sounds, their way of life robbed us of many benefits, and one of those benefits was education.

Prior to independence, the initial plan implied an educational institution for each region in the country, with the University of Ibadan located in the south west.

The Ashby commission felt there was no need to create more but this was vehemently protested by the western government that had encouraged education and had beautiful results and reports of its acceptance in the region that university of ibadan couldn’t handle the numbers anymore.

The Ashby commission favored more universities in the north and east but none in the knowledge hungry and seeking region of the western region.

Despite all odds not being their favor, the university of Ife was stubbornly established (and you wonder why the SUG of the school stand so firm? Even the foundation of the school had a firm decision) with funds from the western regional government.

Today, Obafemi Awolowo University OAU is one the best universities in Nigeria.

The school was officially opened on the 22nd of September, 1962 with an intake of 244 students into 5 faculties. All these happened at its temporary site in Ibadan.

In February, 1966 the late Lt. Col. Adekunle Fajuyi was not having anymore of the political shenanigans shrouding the relocation of the university of Ife to its permanent site and gave money backed orders which effected the long awaited relocation in October, 1966.

Unfortunately, Col. Adekunle Fajuyi did not anticipate the great sacrifice he was to make, which was his life, as he did not witness the continuation of a beautiful thing on new grounds, a hall named after him in perpetuity.

By January 1967, not a pin of the University of Ife was still in Ibadan. The indigenous university, with 13 faculties and 2 colleges, is not just known for its Odua origin but also for the following:

  • first department of chemical engineering.
  • first faculty of pharmacy in west Africa.

In 1975, it became a federal university. It was renamed OBAFEMI Awolowo University in 1987. Did you also know this university is called Oba Awon University? Let’s have your comments in the box provided below.

3. University of Lagos (UNILAG)

Great Akokites! I remember thinking the University of Lagos was the only university there was. Hmm.. such a limited thinking!

Best Universities In Nigeria - University of Lagos

There’s also the popular comparison between university of ibadan and university of Lagos on igi – iwe (book gurus)… Now I want to hear that argument in the comment section.

The University of Lagos was established in 1962 with 131 founding students, and the university can boast of alumni like Yemi Osinbajo, Tony Elumelu, Akinwunmi Ambrose, and many more. You should check out the list of all Universities in Lagos State.

Unilag is no doubt one of the best universities in Nigeria, and one of the tetiary institutions with the highest number of celebrity graduates.

Official Website: Unilag

2. University of Nigeria (NSUKKA)

It would almost seem like an ethnic thing, I do not know if I am to assure you it is not when its origins state otherwise. Just as the University of Ibadan is popular in the west, so is the University of Nigeria popular in the east.

second best University in Nigeria

The free universal primary education was not the only news headline in the year 1955 as the law mandating the presence of university in the east, following Ashby commission recommendation, was passed; shedding the petals that concealed the bud nurtured by Dr Nnamdi Azikwe.

On October 7th, 1960, was documented as the official birthdate of the University of Nigeria, NSUKKA, but it wasn’t until 10 days later that lectures began with 220 students.

Now similar to university of ibadan, UNN had exclusive rights to award its own degrees to its students but it was not a university of London labeled thing but the indigenous award earning UNN the title of first of its kind from the giant of Africa: “First fully-fledged university of Nigeria”.

No doubt, the University of Nigeria NSUKKA is worthy of this list of the top 10 best universities in Nigeria.

Following the civil war that happened between July 6th, 1967 and January 15th, 1970, the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, was renamed the University of Biafra, but renamed to its original birth name after the federal government took it back.

The University of Nigeria is the second-best on this list. Nsukka boasts of 15 faculties, 82 undergraduate programs, and 211 post graduate programs and alumni like Charles Soludo, Godwin Emefiele, and many more.

Related: List of Approved School of Nursing In Nigeria

1. University of Ibadan (UI)

The University of Ibadan is currently the best university in Nigeria according to NUC National Universities Commission.

The University College, Ibadan, was well acquainted with the area of Eleyele in Ibadan in the nineties, 1948 to be precise.

Ibadan had this and was not letting go even if university college, Ibadan had its license operating as a college of the University of London for 19 years.

The approval of the first lecture held at one of the top 10 best universities in Nigeria operating as an annex of the University of London came from the Asquith and Elliot commissions on higher education during the colonization era, five years before independence.

As with normal procedure, staff with prior knowledge/experience in the field are first considered to start up an organization, and this concluded the relocation of some families, individuals, and 104 students from Lagos to Ibadan, with their addresses changed from Yaba College to University College, Ibadan.

The university boasted 104 foundation students as of January 18th, 1948, when the floor plan of the school was physically etched out.

It was not until 6 days to the end of the month of March in the year 1948 that the bow tied around the school building was cut with scissors.

Ever wondered why the University of Ibadan would have such a presence both online, offline, locally, and internationally?

Records have the undisputed fact that the great university college, Ibadan, handed out scrolls which had names of graduating students on them with bachelor’s degrees awarded.

Please note that these awarded degrees were labeled University of London degrees. This earned the prestigious university the bragging rights of being the FIRST DEGREE AWARDING INSTITUTION IN NIGERIA. (Could you write this somewhere because you would need to remember this later on in the article – lol)

The same year Nigeria celebrated its independence, University College, Ibadan, showed all 32 sets of teeth as it celebrated the graduation of its first batch of medical students.

Well, more celebrations came along as expected as the Instagram feeling of over “1k students”, “2k students” came subsequently in years 1963 – 1964 and 1968 – 1969.

It awarded its first postgraduate degree in 1952 and, after two years of independence, University College, Ibadan also became independent as the University of Ibadan.

The school is proud to house 10 undergraduate halls and 2 postgraduate halls, 13 faculties. Ever since The University of Ibadan had held its spot as the Best University in Nigeria to date.

The “financially dependent on government and other organizations” university has tutored many prominent figures in society, amongst which are Miriam Olusanya, Ken Saro Wiwa, Grace Alele Williams, Abdulganiyu Abdulrasaq, Wole Soyinka, and many more.

The late Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa is the first ancestor of chancellors in the school, with its current chancellor, Alhaji Ado Bayero (CFR, Hon. L L. D).

Did you know that there was a federal government directive to federal universities in 1984 to cease hall catering services to students, which led to paid catering services to students in the future?

Official Website: University of Ibadan

You know what? Visit this website ( for informative articles about schools in Nigeria, news updates, and more.

Summary of the Best Universities In Nigeria

While this list represents the top 10 best universities in Nigeria, it does not nullify other universities that have produced remarkable individuals in society.

As you can see, Covenant University, one of the 16 universities in Ogun State, is the only private university on the list.

Thank you for reading. How about sharing your views in the comment section.

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