Bukki Bello

Content Lead

24 October, 2021

9 min read


The best universities in Nigeria in 2021

This article looks at the best universities in Nigeria in 2021.

1. University of Ibadan

2. Lagos State University

3. University of Lagos

4. Covenant University, Ota

5. University of Nigeria Nsukka

6. Obafemi Awolow Univerisity, Ile-Ife

7. University of Ilorin

8. Ahmadu Bello University Zaria

9. Federal University of Technology,


10. Federal Unviersity of Technology, Minna

11. Others

As of 2020, there were 79 private universities in Nigeria, 43 federal universities, and 48 state universities. With a population of over 200 million, the number of universities existing in Nigeria is still a far cry from what should be obtainable.

However, with the increasing establishment of more private universities across the country, there seems to be some hope that students would be able to have a wide range of options of universities to choose from based on their course of choice.

One of the implications of the establishment of more private schools in Nigeria is that the private universities in Nigeria are raising the bar for education.

Nowadays, with their money in pocket, students in Nigeria do not necessarily have to travel outside of the country to access good education; there are indeed some good schools in Nigeria where students can learn seamlessly and favourably compete with their counterparts in other parts of the world.

In this list, we will look at some of the best universities in Nigeria in 2021– both private and public universities.

If you are a parent or potential student looking for a good university to enroll in 2021 here in Nigeria, please go through this list thoroughly and make your choice.

Top 11 Best Universities in Nigeria in 2021.

This list of the best 10 universities in Nigeria in 2021 is based partly on the listing of the World University Rankings.

University of Ibadan

The University of Ibadan is the best university in Nigeria in 2021.

Established in 1948, the University of Ibadan, UI as it is fondly referred to, is the first University in Nigeria. Until 1962 when it became a full-fledged independent University, it was a College of the University of London in a special relationship scheme.

The University, which took off with academic programmes in Arts, Science, and Medicine, is now a comprehensive citadel of learning with academic programmes in sixteen Faculties.

The faculties include: Arts, Science, Basic Medical Sciences, Clinical Sciences, Agriculture, the Social Sciences, Education, Veterinary Medicine, Pharmacy, Technology, Law, Public Health, Dentistry, Economics, Renewable Natural Resources, and Environmental Design and Management.

Lagos State University

Lagos State University is also known as LASU, was established in 1983 by the enabling Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, for the advancement of learning and establishment of academic excellence.

The university caters to a population of over 35,000 students enrolled full-time. The university also offers courses at Diploma, Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels.

Lagos State University is located in Ojo, a town in Lagos State, Nigeria.

LASU is the only state university in the former British colony. Lagos State University offers diploma, degree, and post-graduate programmes including an MBA programme.

LASU was ranked among the top 600 universities in the world by Times Higher Magazine for the year 2020 and the second-best university in Nigeria in 2021 by the World University Rankings.

University of Lagos

The University of Lagos is undoubtedly one of the best universities in Nigeria.

Though a public and federal government-owned school in Nigeria, the school has done very well for itself and has produced some of the most successful entrepreneurs in Africa and successful people in other fields.

The University of Lagos, popularly known as UNILAG, is a public research university in Lagos, Nigeria. It is one of the five first-generation universities in Nigeria and was founded in 1962.

It is ranked among the top universities in the world in major education publications. The University presently has three Campuses in the Mainland of Lagos.

Whereas two of its Campuses are located in Yaba (the main campus in Akoka and the recently created campus at the former School of Radiography), its College of Medicine is located in Idi-Araba, Surulere.

Its main campus is largely surrounded by the Lagos lagoon and has 802 acres of land. The University of Lagos currently admits over 9,000 Undergraduate students annually and enrolls over 57,000 students.

Covenant University, Otta

Arguably the best private university in Nigeria and the top 5 best universities in Nigeria overall. Covenant University is one of the best universities in Nigeria in 2021.

CU has proven to be a true institution of learning that sets students on the path of success in a globally competitive world.

Covenant University is a growing, dynamic vision-birthed, vision-driven University, founded on a Christian mission ethos and committed to pioneering excellence at the cutting edge of learning.

The school is driven by the compelling vision of raising a new generation of leaders for the African Continent on the platform of a Holistic, Human Development and integrated learning curriculum, in order to raise Total Men who will go out to develop their world.

Their Core Values of Spirituality, Possibility Mentality, Capacity Building, Integrity, Responsibility, Diligence, and Sacrifice are what defines our commitment to excellence.

University of Nigeria, Nsukka

The University of Nigeria, Nsukka is one of the best universities in Nigeria in 2021.

The University of Nigeria, commonly referred to as UNN, is a federal university located in Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria.

Founded by Nnamdi Azikiwe in 1955 and formally opened on 7 October 1960, the University of Nigeria has three campuses in Enugu State– Nsukka, Enugu, and Ituku-Ozalla – and the Aba campus in Abia State.

The University of Nigeria is the first full-fledged indigenous and first autonomous university in Nigeria, modelled upon the American educational system.

It is the first land-grant university in Africa and one of the five most reputed universities in Nigeria. The university has 15 Faculties and 102 academic departments.

The University offers 108 undergraduate programs and 211 postgraduate programmes.

Obafemi Awolowo University

Obafemi Awolowo University formerly known as the University of Ife maintains its reputation as one of the most prestigious and best universities in Nigeria. The school is one of the best universities in Nigeria in 2021.

Obafemi Awolowo University commonly known as OAU was established in 1961 and commenced classes in October 1962. The university is located in the ancient city of Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria.

The school was founded by the regional government of Western Nigeria, which was then led by late Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola.

On May 12, 1987, the university was renamed Obafemi Awolowo University in honour of Chief Obafemi Awolowo (1909–1987), the first premier of the Western Region of Nigeria.

Obafemi Awolowo University offers undergraduate and post-graduate programmes in fields of specialization spanning the humanities, the arts, the natural sciences, the social sciences, the medical sciences, engineering, and technology.

University of Ilorin, Ilorin

The University of Ilorin, particularly known for its speedy academic calendar is a top University in Nigeria 2021. The University of Ilorin, better known as Unilorin was established it was established in August 1975 in Ilorin, Kwara State.

In 1975 when the University of Ilorin was established, it was a University College affiliated with the University of Ibadan. In October 1977, the institution attained full autonomous status with the appointment of Professor O.O Akinkugbe as first Vice-Chancellor of the University.

The first set of 200 students were admitted on the 23rd of October, 1976. The University now has fifteen Faculties and dozens of (over 60) Academic Departments with about 50,000 students.

Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria

Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) is a federal government research university in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria. ABU, founded on 4 October 1962, as the University of Northern Nigeria is one of the best universities in Nigeria in 2021.

The university operates two campuses: Samaru (main) and Kongo in Zaria. There is a pre-degree school in Funtua a few kilometres from the main campus owned by the university.

The Samaru campus houses the administrative offices and the faculties of physical sciences, life sciences, social sciences, arts and languages, education, environmental design, engineering, medical sciences, agricultural sciences, and research facilities.

The Kongo campus hosts the faculties of Law and Administration. The university runs a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate programmes (and offers associate degrees and vocational and remedial programmes).

It has a large medical programme with its own ABU Teaching Hospital, one of the largest teaching hospitals in Nigeria and Africa.

Federal University of Technology, Akure

The Federal University of Technology Akure (FFUTA) was founded in 1981 under a drive by the government of Nigeria to create universities that specialised in producing graduates with practical as well as theoretical knowledge of technologies.

It is located in Akure, the capital city of Ondo State. Futa is one of the best universities in Nigeria in 2021.

Other universities of technology established around the same time were the Federal University of Technology Owerri, the Federal University of Technology, Abeokuta (FUTAB), which later metamorphosed to the present University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), the Federal University of Technology Minna, the Federal University of Technology Yola, and the Federal University of Technology Bauchi (now Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University.

Federal University of Technology, Minna

Federal University of Technology Minna (FUTMINNA) is a Federal Government owned University located in Minna, Nigeria. FUTMINNA specializes in technological education.

The University is a designated Centre of Excellence in Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering and has a core competence in the development of vaccines and drugs.

FUTMINNA was founded in 1983, and the first Vice-Chancellor was Professor J.O. Ndagi who served from 1983 to 1990. The governing bodies are the Council and the Senate.

In the beginning, the University took over the facilities of the former Government Teachers' College Bosso, for use on a permanent basis. This site now serves as the Bosso Campus of the University.

The main campus gidan kwano which is sited on 10,650 hectares of land is located along the Minna - Kataeregi - Bida Road. The institution is listed in the Guide to Higher Education in Africa, Association of African Universities and the International Association of Universities, 1999.

11. Others

Here is where you get to add your suggestions and recommendations of the best universities in Nigeria based on your opinion or experience.

Kindly share your thoughts with us in the comment section and who knows, we might review and add your recommended school as one of the best in Nigeria in 2021.  

Bukki Bello

Content Lead



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