Top 10 Universities in Nigeria – Best University Ranking 2018

Top 10 Universities in Nigeria – Best University Ranking 2018

The primary aim of listing these top 10 universities in Nigeria is to help students seeking for admission make informed decision.  This listing is based on some performance indicators.

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With the deteriorating situation of Nigeria education, it’s wise to make due diligence research on best university in Nigeria before applying.

NUC is the body with the responsibility of regulating and ranking Nigerian universities. Therefore, these top 10 universities in Nigeria are based on NUC ranking terms.

Top 10 Universities in Nigeria-NUC Ranking Indicators

There are basically 6 factors NUC consider in ranking universities in Nigeria. They are:

  • Quality of instructions
  • Quality of faculty
  • Infrastructure
  • Publications
  • Employers perspective

Let’s look briefly into these ranking indicators as it affect universities in Nigeria

Quality of Education

This is measure of the overall performance of the university Alumni. The higher the number of CEOs’, Noble prize winners and medals a university produces over a period determine the quality of education the university produces.

Quality of Faculty

The number of professors, Doctors, senior lectures and assistant lectures determines the quality of the faculty. In addition, the number of award winning academics also determines the strength of the faculty. Therefore, all these top 10 universities in Nigeria have minimum required academic man power for making the list.


In ranking universities in Nigeria, NUC considers infrastructure as one of the most important. Basically, they consider the learning environment such as the size of the lecture theaters. in addition, Hostels and basic facilities such as pipe borne water and students’ security are also in the list of infrastructures.


This indicator aims at knowing the number of publications both internationally and locally a university has produced. It is obvious that researches lead to publication. Therefore, clear evidence show that these top 10 universities in Nigeria are the best when it comes to producing of quality publications.

Employers Perspectives

How employers view universities matters a lot. For instance, some organization may vow not to accept students from a particular university because of the bitter experience they have. This means at any given time, graduates needs to be of good behaviors because it helps those coming behind .

To get employers perspective right, NUC usually conduct survey among employers from which they assign positions to each university in Nigeria.

Below is a brief on the top 10 universities in Nigeria in reverse order:

10. University of Port Harcourt

Last on the list of top 10 universities in Nigeria is University of Port Harcourt. it came into  existence as a university college in 1975. By 1977 the university achieved the status of a full university. This prestigious university is located in Choba/Aluu town, Rivers State. On inception the university had a total of 7 schools which are:

  • Social sciences
  • Humanities
  • Biological sciences
  • Physical sciences
  • Chemical sciences
  • Educational studies
  • Science Laboratory Technology

Currently the university has 7 schools, 12 faculties and 1 college.

9. University of Abuja

This is one of the youngest universities based on year of establishment to grace this list. The university came into existence in 1988 but commenced academic operations in 1990. It runs several programmes including diploma, remedial, undergraduate degree programmes, and postgraduate programmes. Furthermore the university has two campuses, the Mini campus where the university started from in Gwagwalada, and the Main campus on Airport road, Abuja.

8. University of Benin

This university is commonly referred to as UNIBEN. It is one of the oldest universities in the country as it came into existence 1970 as an Institute of Technology. By 1971 the University was fully accredited and gained university status.

From this period the university has grown in strength and popularity. It offers certificates at different levels like diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate studies. The university offers several courses of study with a reputation for high standards.

7. University of Nigeria, Nsukka

University of Nsukka is one of the best universities in Nigeria because it meet high score of NUC performance indicators. In fact, it was the first university in the Eastern Region of the country. It was established in 1955 but became a full-fledged university on the 7th of October, 1960.

The establishment of this university set a new record as it was the first Nigerian autonomous university at the time. It was the first full-fledged indigenous university and it operated on the American educational model.

The university was came into existence upon a vision of being in the forefront of research and development, innovation, human resource development and knowledge impartation. While doing this it aimed at restoring the dignity of man while following the core values laid down on inception.

6. Covenant University, Ota

This university is regarded by several schools of thought as the best private university in Nigeria. It has established itself on that list as well as the list of top 10 universities in Nigeria for the last 5 years.

The university is an offshoot of the Living Faith Church Worldwide. Despite being of Christian origin and ownership several non-religious courses are run by the school at different levels of difficulty. The university is committed to developing excellence right at the cutting edge of learning.

The university’s vision is  to raise leaders on the African continent who have the ability to develop their world. Moreover, their ability is based on what they have been able to learn within the 4 walls of the university.

5. University of Ilorin, Kwara

it is popular known as the better by far university because of its academic performance.  University  of Ilorin came into existence in 1975 along with 6 other universities

The university offers several courses at different levels of difficulty. For a couple of years it has been the most sought after institution in the JAMB/UTME exams.

A major reason for this is that the Academic Staff Union of the school is not in fellowship with the national body so they never go on strike. Several top notch graduates have graduated from this university.

4. University of Ibadan, Oyo

This is without doubt the oldest university in Nigeria as it was established in 1948. The institution didn’t however gain full status till around 1960. Prior to this period it was an affiliate college of the University of London.The university offer several courses and it is  one of the best universities for medicine 2018

3,  Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife

The list of top 10 universities in Nigeria would not be complete with Obafemi Awolowo university, Ife. The  university was the second university  in the Western Region of Nigeria.

It was established with a major aim of fixing the flaws of the foremost University in the Region, University of Ibadan. The comprehensive Federal institution gained top position among the universities in the country in the early 1970s/80s.

Having produced several students and lecturers of international repute, one of whom is a Nobel Laureate, the university has developed a rich pedigree and tradition of excellence.

2. University of Lagos

The popular UNILAG came into existence in the year 1962, and rose very fast in comparison  to other universities already existing at its time of inception. in addition, the reason for its fast growth is because Lagos was the country’s capital  back then. The university was built on a tradition of excellence which is recognized for till date.

1.  Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria

This was the first university of the Northern region and came into existence in 1961. By the next year the university had begun operations with a crop of foreign lecturers and only 2 locals. Today, the university is one of the best universities for medicine in Nigeria. furthermore, It is also among the best universities in Africa. The university teaching hospital is among the largest and best equipped in Nigeria and indeed Africa.

Top 10 Universities in Nigeria- Conclusion

No university is 100% perfect, which means some are better than others in some areas. The fact is that all the top 10 universities in Nigeria listed above have high score of performance indicators. Therefore, you’re free to apply to any of the universities.

[You May Also Read] Best Private Universities in Nigeria

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