In your quest to further your education in any tertiary institution in Nigeria, I am quite sure you intend going for the best. The Nigerian University Commission (NUC) normally release report of current rankings of various Universities in Nigeria, and this is measured based on certain criteria and standards. So before making your choice, you should try and try and know the current rankings of Universities in Nigeria. In this post, you will get to see the top 10 Universities in Nigeria according to NUC ranking in 2018.

Must read: Complete List of Undergraduate Scholarships for Nigerian Students

This current ranking that listed out the top 10 Universities in Nigeria was also coined from latest rankings from bodies like Times Higher Education World University Rankings, US News and World Report Best Global University Ranking, Academic Ranking of World Universities and The Reuters Top 100. So let me sure you the current top 10 Universities in Nigeria based on the rankings of the various bodies mentioned.

Top 10 Universities in Nigeria According to NUC Ranking 2018

Top 10 Universities in Nigeria 2018

  1. University of Ibadan

The University of Ibadan is the first University in Nigeria. It was established in the year 1947, and it was formerly a College under the University of London. The College initially started with academic programmes in Science, Arts, and Medicine. However, the college became a full-fledged independent University in the year 1962. Ever since then, the institution has grown and they now offer various programmes in 13 different faculties.

Faculties in the University of Ibadan

  1. Arts
  2. Science
  3. Basic Medical Sciences
  4. Clinical Sciences
  5. Agriculture and Forestry
  6. Social Sciences
  7. Education
  8. Veterinary Medicine
  9. Pharmacy
  10. Technology
  11. Law
  12. Public Health and

DentistryThe Faculties of the Basic Medical Sciences, Clinical Sciences, Public Health and Dentistry are a part of the University’s College of Medicine.

The University of Ibadan also have academic units which includes:

  • Institute of Child Health
  • Institute of Education
  • Institute of African Studies
  • Centre for Child Adolescent and Mental Health
  • Centre for Educational Media Resource Studies
  • African Regional Centre for Information Science (ARCIS)
  • Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CEPACS)
  • Centre for Petroleum, Energy, Economics and Law (CPEEL)
  • Centre for Sustainable Development (CESDEV)
  • Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI)
  • Institute for Advanced Medical Research and Training (IAMRAT)
  • Centre for Drug Discovery, Development & Production (CDDDP)
  • Centre for Control & Prevention of Zoonosis (CCPZ)
  1. University of Nigeria, Nsukka

The University of Nigeria, Nsukka, was founded by Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe in the year 1955. However, the university was opened formally on the 7th of October, 1960. The University of Nigeria, Nsukka is popularly known as UNN and it is made up of 4 campuses, which are:

  1. Nsukka (University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN)
  2. Enugu (University of Nigeria Enugu campus, UNEC)
  3. Ituku-Ozalla (University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, UNTH) and
  4. Aba (University of Nigeria Aba campus, UNAC).

UNN is the first autonomous university in the country. Currently, the University has 15 Faculties and 102 academic departments. Also, the University offers 82 undergraduate and 211 postgraduate programmes. The initial enrolment at UNN was 220 students with 13 academic staff members. The classes commenced on the 17th of October, 1960.

The current vice Chancellor of UNN has a burning desire to create a smart university and this led to the Roar Nigeria Hub which is one of the full-fledged universities embedded ICT Hub in West Africa. The hub is a private sector initiative which is been supervised by two engineering graduates of the university.

Some of the notable alumni from UNN include:

  • Godwin Emefiele
  • Okechukwu Enelamah
  • Charles Soludo (CBN Governor, 2004 -2009)
  • Herbert Wigwe (CEO, Access Bank)
  • Dora Akunyili
  • Pat Utomi
  • Peter Odili
  • Peter Obi
  1. University of Lagos

The University of Lagos was established in 1962, and it is the 3rd among the list of top 10 Universities in Nigeria in 2018. Popularly known as UNILAG, the University is made up of three campuses located in Akoka, Surulere, and Yaba. The University of Lagos started with 131 students and has grown to over 40,000 students. The university staff strength is 3,365.

Faculties in The University of Lagos

The University of Lagos have 12 faculties, which includes;

  1. Arts
  2. Basic Medical Science
  3. Business Administration
  4. Clinical Sciences
  5. Dental Sciences
  6. Education
  7. Engineering
  8. Environmental Science
  9. Law
  10. Pharmacy,
  11. Science
  12. Social Science

The University of Lagos also have two centres, which are:  :

  1. Centre for Human Rights
  2. Centre for African Regional Integration and Borderland Studies

UNLAG also has a Distance Learning Institute which offers courses in Accounting, Science Education, Business Administration, and Library Information Services.

  1. Obafemi Awolowo University

Obafemi Awolowo University ws established in the year 1962, and it was formerly known as the University of Ife. The University is one of the largest in Nigeria when it comes to landmass, as it covers a land mass area of 11,862 hectares. Due to its huge landmass area, the University has just one central campus which houses students hostels, staff quarters, as well as teaching and research farm.

During the 70s and 80s, OAU was known as one of the foremost Universities in Africa. The has produced a Nobel Laureate as well as several National Merit Award winners.

OAU also houses several government parastatals which include:

  • The Centre for Energy Research and Development(CERD)
  • The National Centre for Technology Management (NACETEM)
  • The African Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology Education- English (ARC SSTE-E)
  • The United Nations Regional Centre for Training in Aerospace Survey(RECTAS)

The vision of Obafemi Awolowo University is to be one of the top rated universities in Africa, that is, the technological flagship of the West African sub-region, as evidenced by its application of modern technology to teaching, research and community service, and its provision of practical solutions to social, cultural and economic problems. Little wonder, it made the list of top 10 Universities in Nigeria.

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  1. Covenant University

Covenant University is for sure the best private university in Nigeria. The university was established in the year 2000, with the vision to become a leading world-class Christian Mission University. The University did not open formally until March 2002, when the Federal Government of Nigeria presented the institution with the licensing certificate to operate as a private University in the country. The approval by the National Universities Commission (NUC) was reputed to be the fastest in the history of the 16 applications for the establishment of private universities filed with the NUC.

Covenant University was founded by the Bishop David Oyedepo, of the Living Faith Church as a part of the Liberation Commission. Covenant University is built around the following core-values: Spirituality, Possibility Mentality, Capacity Building, Integrity, Responsibility, Diligence and Sacrifice. The University intends to revolutionize the educational landscape using the platform of Christian ethos and life transforming values

According to the founder, Bishop David Oyedepo, the objective of the University is to transform her products, that is, her graduates as, into expert thinkers, unusual managers, and hyper-resourceful technocrats in all fields of human endeavour.

  1. Ahmadu Bello University

Ahmadu Bello University, popularly known as ABU, was established in the year 1962. It is currently among the list of top 10 Universities in Nigeria. Prior to the establishment of ABU, the Ashby Commission on Post-School Certificate and Higher Education in Nigeria recommended that a University be set up in Northern Nigeria and the product of this recommendation was ABU.

ABU began full operation in 1962 on the sites of the defunct Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology; the Clerical Training Centre, Kongo; the Samaru Agricultural Research Station and the Shika Livestock Farm.

Ahmadu Bello University was named after the Sardauna of Sokoto and the Premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello.

ABU began with the following faculties:

  1. Agriculture,
  2. Engineering
  3. Law
  4. Science

There were 15 faculties and 426 inaugural students.

Currently, Ahmadu Bello University is made up of 2 campuses with 12 Faculties, 1 Post-Graduate School and 82 academic departments. The total student enrolment in this university is 35,000 and they represent a diversity of ethnic background because they are drawn from every state of the country.

ABU also has 5 Institutes, 6 Specialized Centers, a Division of Agricultural Colleges, a School of Basic and Remedial Studies, a Demonstration Secondary School, a Primary School and a Consultancy Outfit providing a variety of services to the University and the wider society.

The university has about 1,400 academic and research staff and over 6000 non-teaching, senior and junior administrative staff.

Additionally, Ahmadu Bello University has nurtured 2 University Colleges which include the AbdullahiBayero College (now Bayero University), Kano and the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa College (now Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University of Technology), Bauchi. Also, 27 institutions comprising Colleges of Education, Polytechnics and Schools of Basic or Preliminary Studies are currently affiliated to it.

  1. Federal University of Technology, Minna

The origin of the Federal University of Technology, Minna dated as far back as 1983 when the university was established with the objective of promoting the Nation’s drive for self-reliance in Science, Engineering and Technology.

When the university was established, it acquired the facilities of the former Government Teachers’ College Bosso which is currently the Bosso Campus of the University. Also, the University acquired 10,650 hectares of land at Gidan-Kwano along the Minna – Kataeregi – Bida Road as its permanent site, to cater for the necessary inevitable expansion envisaged.

Facilities in Federal University of Technology, Minna Main Campus

The facilities on this main campus include:

  • School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology (SAAT)
  • School of Environmental Technology (SET)
  • School of Engineering and Engineering Technology (SEET) Buildings
  • Students Hostels
  • Students Center
  • University Library
  • Senate Building
  • Staff houses
  • Computer Centre as well as
  • Industrial Development Centre.

Over the years, the students of FUTMINNA have produced innovative equipments, some of which include Solar air heater, Motor-car crankshaft, Gearing system for crane hoist drives, Rice de-stoning machine, Maize sheller, Multi-purpose grinder, Irrigation models, Poultry feeder etc. These achievements made it to be among the top 10 Universities in Nigeria.

Also, one of the professors from this prestigious university was involved in leading a team that developed and produced typhoid vaccines. This project was sponsored by Unipetrol Nigeria Plc. The typhoid vaccines have been tested on humans and would be made available to the public very soon.

  1. University of Ilorin

The University of Ilorin is one of the best Universities in Nigeria. UNILORIN as it is popularly called, enrolled its first set of 200 students on the 23rd of October, 1976 and academic work started on the 25th of October, 1976.

The University started on a portion of the temporary campus of the Kwara State Polytechnic. It was on this site that the academic programmes of the Faculties of Art, Science, Education, Engineering, Business, Social Science and Basic Clinic Sciences

Faculties in The University of Ilorin

  • Arts
  • Agriculture
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Life Sciences
  • Management Sciences
  • Physical Sciences
  • Social Sciences
  • Communication and Information Sciences
  • Education
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Veterinary Medicine, and Law
  • College of Health Sciences (with 2 Faculties-Basic Medical and Clinical Sciences)
  • Institute of Education and Unilorin Sugar Research Institute); and
  • The Postgraduate School.

In 2014, the University of Ilorin became the first University in Nigeria to be ranked among the top 20 universities in Africa. It was ranked 20th in Africa and 1824th in the world. That same year, the University embarked on growing a 10,000 hectare oil palm plantation which is expected to serve as a source of foreign exchange when completed.

Between 2012 and 2016, JAMB (the body in charge of admission into the university in Nigeria) revealed that UNILORIN had the highest number of applicants which implied that it was the most preferred university in the country during this period.

  1. University of Benin

The University of Benin, popularly known as UNIBEN is one of the highly rated universities in the Nigeria. The University is known to have produced the first female vice-Chancellor. This happened when Grace Alele-Williams was appointed the Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin in 1985, and she served in that capacity until 1991.

Currently, the total student enrollment at the university stands at over 40,000 comprising both full-time and part-time students.

The University of Benin is known to collaborate with several universities across the world and with both local and international bodies such as USAID, Ford Foundation, UNCF (United Negro College Fund), RMRDC (Raw Materials Research & Development Council of Nigeria) amongst others in the areas of Agriculture, Public Health and Engineering.

  1. University of Abuja

The University of Abuja occupied the 10th position is this list of top 10 Universities in Nigeria. The University was established in the year 1990. At that time, the University used a temporary site, made up of three blocks of building meant for a primary school in Gwagwalada. It was tagged the “mini – campus”.

However, that same year, the University was allocated an expanse of land covering over 11,800 hectares along the Abuja – Abuja road for the development of its main campus.

Some of the important landmarks on the new University campus include the Senate Chamber, the Science Laboratories, Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Management Sciences, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Remedial Studies and the Institute of Education. Also, the university has a Medical Centre which has been equipped with modern medical facilities. Additionally, the campus hosts a number of recreational facilities including an Olympic size football field, a volleyball pitch and a long-tennis court.


As it stands at the moment, these are the Universities that made the list of top 10 Universities in Nigeria in 2018. You can easily make your choice from any of them depending on your interest, and apply to further your education in tertiary institutions in Nigeria.