The Top 10 Best Private Universities in Nigeria in 2024

Private Universities in Nigeria

In recent years, there has been a huge surge in the number of private universities in Nigeria. These privately owned institutions now make up around 40% of all approved universities in the country. This growth shows that more Nigerian students are opting for private higher education.

But with so many private options to choose from, how do you determine which are the best?Choosing where to get a quality education is an important decision that students should thoroughly research.

In this blog post, we rank the top best private universities in Nigeria for 2024. By evaluating universities on these comprehensive criteria, we aim to provide a useful guide to help prospective students make the right choice. The top private universities excel in providing high-quality teaching and research, outstanding graduate outcomes, modern facilities, and a positive student experience.

Whether you are considering undergraduate or postgraduate study as a Nigerian or international student, read on to discover the 10 top-rated private higher education institutions in Nigeria.

The Top 10 Highest-Ranked Private Universities in Nigeria

Based on our rigorous ranking methodology, these stand out as the 10 best and most prestigious private universities in Nigeria for 2024:

Rank University Location Notable Details
1 Landmark University Omu Aran, Kwara State Founded 2011, connected to Living Faith Church. Focus on agriculture, engineering.
2 American University of Nigeria Yola, Adamawa State Founded 2004, only American-style liberal arts uni in Nigeria.
3 Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State Top medical school and teaching hospital. Partnership with Johns Hopkins.
4 Redeemer’s University Ede, Osun State Founded 2005 by RCCG. Pioneering genomics and materials research.
5 Pan-Atlantic University Lekki, Lagos State Founded 1991, focus on ethical leadership and business.
6 Covenant University Ota, Ogun State Founded 2002, affiliated with Living Faith Church. Focus on Christian ethos.
7 Babcock University Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State Founded 1959, first private uni with teaching hospital. High research output.
8 Bingham University Auta Balefi, Karu, Nasarawa State Founded 2005 by ECWA church. 95% graduate employment.
9 Bells University of Technology Ota, Ogun State Founded 2004, focus on technology & engineering. Notable alumni like TY Bello.
10 Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State Founded 2009, known for law, engineering, medicine. Modern tech campus.

1. Landmark University – Omu Aran, Kwara State

  • Founded in 2011, connected to Living Faith Church
  • Pioneering programs in agriculture, engineering
  • Cutting-edge facilities – industrial labs, commercial farms
  • Remarkable graduate employment rate of 99%
  • Ranks #1 private university nationally on all major rankings

2. American University of Nigeria – Yola, Adamawa State

  • Founded in 2004, Nigeria’s only American-style liberal arts uni
  • Global affiliations – Johns Hopkins SAIS, World Bank, UN
  • Vibrant campus life with sports, arts, clubs
  • Sendaï renewable energy institute – leading research
  • Top 2% of universities globally – Times Higher Education

3. Afe Babalola University – Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State

  • Top-ranked medical school and teaching hospital
  • High-tech simulation labs with international accreditations
  • Strong focus on sciences – well-equipped labs
  • Partnerships with Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • Ranks #3 nationally overall in Webometrics

4. Redeemer’s University – Ede, Osun State

  • Founded in 2005 by Redeemed Christian Church of God
  • Pioneering research in fields like genomics, materials science
  • State-of-the-art engineering labs, library, studios
  • Global partnerships – MIT, Cambridge, IBM research
  • Ranked #1 in Nigeria for graduate employability

5. Pan-Atlantic University – Lekki, Lagos State

  • Founded in 1991, emphasis on ethical leadership
  • Renowned business and entrepreneurship programs
  • Strong ties to international companies and alumni network
  • Impressive graduate employment rate of 98%
  • Globally accredited business school, A-rated by FGN

6. Covenant University – Ota, Ogun State

  • Founded in 2002, affiliated with Living Faith Church
  • Focus on Christian ethos and character development
  • Ranked #1 private uni in Nigeria by NUC and NIS
  • World-class modern facilities inspired by Harvard
  • High graduate employment and student satisfaction

7. Babcock University – Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State

  • Founded in 1959, pioneering faith-based university
  • First private uni in Nigeria to establish teaching hospital
  • High research output – over 3,000 publications
  • Ranked Nigeria’s best private university by Webometrics
  • Facilities include labs, libraries, swimming pool, sports complex

8. Bingham University – Auta Balefi, Karu, Nasarawa State

  • Founded in 2005 by Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA)
  • High graduate employment rate of 95%
  • New modern campus with sports complex, swimming pool
  • Excellent student satisfaction scores in reviews
  • Among top 10 private unis in national rankings

9. Bells University of Technology – Ota, Ogun State

  • Founded in 2004, strong focus on technology and engineering
  • Notable alumni like artist TY Bello and AI expert Tejumade Afonja
  • Top facilities including labs, prototype workshop, VC studio
  • Over 200 research publications, strong industry ties
  • Ranks in top 15 nationally in Webometrics, NIS, NUC

10. Afe Babalola University – Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State

  • Founded in 2009, fast-rising young university
  • Known for law, engineering, sciences, medicine
  • Modern tech-enabled campus, robust e-learning
  • Ranks #10 nationally, top 1% globally in Webometrics rankings
  • Over 90% graduate employment rate

Ranking Methodology – How We Determined the Top 10

To create a robust ranking of the top 10 private universities in Nigeria, we used a careful, multi-factor methodology considering both national and global assessments.

Here are the key criteria and sources we used to rank the highest-quality private higher education institutions:

  • Global university rankings – Times Higher Education World University Rankings, QS World University Rankings, Shanghai Ranking, Webometrics
  • National university rankings – National Universities Commission (NUC) ranking, Nigerian Scholars (NIS) ranking
  • Graduate employment rates – Percentage of graduates in full-time work within 6 months after graduation, as reported by universities
  • Research output – Number of publications, citations, patents, international collaborations
  • Academic reputation – Surveys of academic peers nationally and globally
  • Facilities – Assessment of libraries, laboratories, lecture theatres, student accommodation, sports facilities, IT infrastructure
  • Student satisfaction – Student surveys evaluating teaching quality, learning resources, campus life, clubs/activities

We believe this multi-faceted evaluation approach provides a more accurate and holistic assessment of university quality compared to looking at just one or two factors. It ensures students get a full picture of each institution’s strengths.

How to Choose the Best Private University in Nigeria

With Nigeria’s top private universities identified, how do you decide which is the best option for you? Here are some key factors to consider:

Academic Programs

  • What degree programs does the university offer that align with your interests and career goals? Compare program curriculums.
  • Look for innovative programs that suit your strengths and passions.
  • Check if the programs have global accreditations that allow further studies abroad.


  • Consider convenience of commute if you plan to live at home during studies.
  • Ensure security and accessibility of the university’s surrounding community.
  • Some prefer a quiet rural setting while others thrive in a bustling city campus.

Costs and Scholarships

  • What are the annual fees? Do they offer scholarships or financial assistance?
  • Set a budget and explore all financing options available to you.

Reputation and Rankings

  • Research national and global rankings. Higher rankings signal academic excellence.
  • Look for awards, public recognition, international partnerships.
  • Check graduate employment rates and alumni reviews.

Student Experience

  • Visit campuses to get a feel for the environment and culture.
  • Talk to current students about academics, facilities, clubs, accommodation.
  • Ensure the university offers a community that enables you to thrive socially and academically.

Take time to extensively research universities and visit top choices before applying. This ensures you make the best decision for your goals and needs.


In this blog post, we’ve identified and ranked the top 10 private universities in Nigeria for 2024 based on comprehensive data and metrics. The leading institutions distinguished themselves by offering world-class education, first-rate facilities, outstanding graduate outcomes, and prestigious national and global reputations.

While the top contenders share common traits of excellence, each university has unique strengths and offerings. Pan-Atlantic University stands out for business and leadership training, Covenant University delivers a rich Christian education, and American University brings a true liberal arts experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the pros and cons of private vs public universities in Nigeria?

A: Private universities tend to have smaller class sizes, newer facilities, and more flexible programs. However, fees are much higher and admission can be competitive. Public universities have lower tuition, larger alumni networks, and prestige, but have larger classes and aging infrastructure. Choose based on academic fit, costs, and campus culture.

Q: Which private university is easiest to gain admission into?

A: Afe Babalola, Bells University and Landmark University have high acceptance rates compared to others like Covenant. Meet stated requirements and consider less selective emerging private institutions as well.

Q: Do private universities offer distance learning programs?

A: Many leading private universities like Landmark, Babcock, Pan-Atlantic now offer online degree programs alongside traditional campus learning. These provide more flexible access to higher education.

Q: Can I get a student visa to study at a private university in Nigeria?

A: Yes, international students can obtain study visas to attend accredited private universities, provided they meet admission criteria. Institutions like American University of Nigeria provide admissions assistance. Have required finances and documents ready.

Q: Which private university in Nigeria has produced the most influential graduates?

A: Covenant University has an impressive alumni network that includes pioneer engineer Ezra Olubi, Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, billionaire entrepreneur Ibukun Awosika, and more. However, all top private universities have successful alumni.

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