Top 10 Best Universities in Nigeria in 2024

Best Universities in Nigeria

Deciding where to attend university is one of the most important choices a student can make. Selecting an institution with high-caliber programs, excellent instructors, ample resources and career support can have an immense impact on future opportunities. When weighing the best university options in Nigeria, several factors should be carefully assessed to identify schools that offer the strongest learning environment and outcomes.

Global university rankings systems along with national education measures provide a starting point for comparison. Institutions achieving notable positions, such as the Times Higher Education World University Rankings or the National Universities Commission rankings, indicate broader reputability and academic rigor. However, rankings never tell the full story.

This evaluation of the top universities in Nigeria for 2024 considers the full breadth of attributes that contribute to impactful experiences and outcomes. From the highest nationally ranked schools to smaller specialized institutions, several standout as providing the country’s best higher education.

Methodology for Ranking the Best Universities in Nigeria

To identify the 10 best universities in Nigeria out of over 200 institutions, a systematic approach was used assessing multiple nationwide rankings, global rankings, accreditation status, breadth of academic programs, research output, strength of facilities, career support resources, affordability and analyses from Nigerian education experts.

The most prominent rankings used for initial evaluation include:

  • Times Higher Education World University Rankings
  • QS World University Rankings
  • Webometrics Ranking of World Universities
  • 4 International Colleges & Universities World Rankings
  • National Universities Commission Rankings

Schools achieving the highest positions on these domestic and global ranking systems indicate broader reputability. However, rankings alone don’t determine academic excellence or real-world impact.

Further assessment criteria included:

  • Number and variety of academic programs offered – with preference for wider options at undergraduate and graduate levels spanning technology, sciences, engineering, arts and humanities.
  • Career resources and employer recruitment – evaluating university career service support, partnerships that lead to graduate recruitment and employment rates after graduation.
  • Research output – measuring the number of publications in journals, conference presentations and patents filed based on annual university data.
  • Campus culture and facilities – prioritizing learning environments proven to connect students to vibrant communities, support services and state-of-the-art labs/technology.

The application of all criteria led to the top 10 universities showcased in detail next. These highest-ranked schools deliver Nigeria’s best higher education experiences judged on educational offerings, global reputability, outcomes, environment and nation-building impact.

The 10 Best Universities in Nigeria in 2024

The table summarizes key details on each top 10 university’s location, breadth of academic program options, global and national rankings achieved, websites to reference and defining traits that make them leaders in Nigerian higher education.

University Location Programs Offered Rankings Website
University of Ibadan Ibadan 7,000+ undergraduate and graduate across arts, sciences, medicine, engineering Top university in Nigeria (NUC), #651 globally (THE)
University of Nigeria, Nsukka Enugu State 5,000+ across arts, sciences, engineering, medicine, agriculture 2nd best in Nigeria (NUC), #801-1000 globally (THE)
Obafemi Awolowo University Osun State 7,000+ including law, social sciences, arts, sciences, medicine #3 in Nigeria (NUC)
Ahmadu Bello University Zaria Over 12,000 students, 300+ programs including agriculture, health sciences, engineering Top 5 in Nigeria (NUC)
University of Lagos Lagos 5 faculties, 60+ academic programs, strong accounting, engineering #1 university in Nigeria (NUC)
Covenant University Ota Ogun State Leading private Christian uni focused on ICT, Business, Engineering Top private university (#1 nationally), #801-1000 globally (THE)
FUTA – Federal University Ondo Akure Specializations in Science, Tech, Engineering, Agric High research output, top 10 nationally (NUC)
Federal University Minna Niger State Niche engineering and technology programs Significant partnerships with major brands recruiting grads
Lagos State University Lagos Diverse programs from sciences to arts to education Large university with strong job placement rates
Landmark University Omu Aran Agriculture, engineering, computer science, natural sciences Leader in agriculture and tech, Christian ethos

Important Factors When Considering Universities in Nigeria

Selecting where to attend university is a major decision that students and families must thoughtfully weigh, one that will impact future opportunities and trajectories. When researching the best university options in Nigeria, several key factors should be prioritized:

Academic Programs

Foremost, students should consider universities offering their desired program, whether in technology, engineering, sciences, arts or business. Narrowing choices by academic offerings is key.

Cost and Affordability

The cost of attending university can widely vary depending on whether a school is public or private. Reviewing tuition fees, scholarships and financial aid options will be essential.


Opting for a university nearer to one’s home can minimize costs versus attending school out-of-state. Important for some families.

Facilities and Infrastructure

Modern labs, technology resources, libraries, student housing and recreational facilities enrich learning. Assessing campus infrastructure is advised.

Class Sizes

Some universities have lecture halls of 300+ students while others foster intimate classroom cohorts. Consider optimal learning environments.

Career Guidance

Robust career services departments with recruiter connections, interview prep and resume advice can prove invaluable for employability.

Evaluating choices across these aspects will help students discover the best university match for their budget, field of study and career ambitions. Consult admissions counselors early when comparing top picks.


The 10 universities showcased as the best in Nigeria have each earned national and global recognition for advancing impactful research, producing talented graduates and delivering academic excellence.

Leading the pack is the University of Ibadan, the top ranked school nationally and only Nigerian university in the Times Higher Education top 1000 globally. Beyond the accolades, it stands out for its high research output, over 7,000 students in its postgraduate school and partnerships with major organizations recruiting graduates.

However, academic prowess extends far beyond Ibadan within the nation. From the engineering and tech focal strengths of Covenant University and the Federal University of Technology Akure to the sciences and agriculture leadership of Obafemi Awolowo and Ahmadu Bello University, students have promising options at renowned public and private institutions.

Nigeria is home to over 200 universities, but those excelling shine based on global rankings achievements, nation-progressing research solving local challenges, modern facilities and other attributes correlating with both academic excellence and real-world impact.

Frequently Asked Questions About Universities in Nigeria

Q: What are the most important ranking systems for universities in Nigeria?

A: The two most prominent national rankings are from the National Universities Commission and the Nigeria Universities Ranking. Globally, Times Higher Education, QS and Shanghai provide the most visibility.

Q: How do Nigerian universities compare globally?

A: The University of Ibadan leads globally at #651 and eight other Nigerian universities are ranked among the top 1000 worldwide, showing select institutions compete internationally.

Q: Are private or public universities considered better academically?

A: Leading private universities like Covenant University achieve high rankings, but both public and private institutions are represented among the best academically.

Q: What GPA is required to get into top universities in Nigeria?

A: Minimum GPA requirements vary based on exam scores and university but competitive options generally require above a 4.0 or 5.0 GPA in addition to meeting testing benchmarks.

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