Top 10 Best Universities In Nigeria: NUC Ranking (2023)

This article is about the top 10 best universities in Nigeria currently in this year 2023 according to the latest NUC rankings. We have also taken into consideration the latest university rankings in Nigeria according to the leading university ranking organizations such as the Academic Ranking of World Universities, The Reuters Top 100, the US News & World Report Best Global University Ranking, as well as the Times Higher Education World University Ranking, and the World University Rankings. The universities which make up this list are outlined and discussed below.

Top 10 Best Universities In Nigeria: NUC Ranking


The following are the 10 best and most popular universities in Nigeria this 2023 according to the latest NUC rankings:


In 1947, the University of Ibadan was founded. It started out as a college affiliated with the University of London. The institution began by offering academic courses in the humanities, sciences, and medicine. Nonetheless, it was officially recognized as a separate university in 1962. Since then, the institution has expanded to provide academic programs in 13 faculties, including the following:

  • Arts
  • Science
  • Basic Medical Sciences
  • Clinical Sciences
  • Agriculture and Forestry
  • Social Sciences
  • Education
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Pharmacy
  • Technology
  • Law
  • Public Health, and
  • Dentistry

The University’s College of Medicine includes the Colleges of Basic Medical Sciences, Clinical Sciences, Public Health, and Dentistry. The school also have academic institutes which include the following:

  • 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), and
  • 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).


Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe established the University of Nigeria in 1955. But on October 7, 1960, the school was properly inaugurated. The University of Nigeria, or UNN as it is more commonly known, has four campuses: the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), the University of Nigeria Enugu Campus (UNEC), the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku-Ozalla (UNTH), and the University of Nigeria, Aba Campus (UNAC). One educational establishment connected to this outstanding bastion of learning is Alvan Ikoku College of Education, which is situated in Owerri, Imo State. UNN is the first autonomous university in the country and the University now comprises 102 academic departments and 15 faculties. The university also provides 211 postgraduate and 82 undergraduate programmes.

The initial enrolment at UNN was 220 students with 13 academic staff members. The classes commenced on the 17th of October, 1960. The 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:

  • Peter Obi
  • Dora Akunyili
  • Godwin Emefiele
  • Charles Chukwuma Soludo
  • Olisa Agbakoba
  • Oby Ezekwesili
  • Pat Utomi
  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.


The University of Lagos, founded in 1962, is regarded as one of the best universities in the nation. The university, widely known as UNILAG, has three campuses in Akoka, Yaba, and Surulere. UNILAG began with 131 students and now enrolls more than 40,000. The number of university employees is 3,365. The university is made up of the following 12 faculties and 2 centres:

  • Arts
  • Basic Medical Science
  • Business Administration
  • Clinical Sciences
  • Dental Sciences
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Science
  • Law
  • Pharmacy,
  • Science
  • Social Science
  • Centre for Human Rights
  • Centre for African Regional Integration and Borderland Studies

Moreover, the institution includes a Distance Learning Institute (DLI) that provides courses in business administration, science education, accounting, and library information services.


Obafemi Awolowo University was founded in 1962 and was formerly known as the University of Ife. In terms of area, the university is among the biggest in the nation. It spans 11,862 hectares of land and the university’s residential areas for students, staff housing, a teaching and research farm, and its central campus are all located on this ground. The University was regarded as one of the top universities in Africa in the 1970s and 1980s. The university has produced multiple National Merit Award recipients as well as a Nobel Laureate.

OAU is home to several government institutions such as:

  • 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 University’s goal is to rank among the top universities in Africa, serve as the technological leader of the West African sub-region, and provide real-world solutions to social, cultural, and economic issues. To achieve this goal, the University aims to use cutting-edge technology in its teaching, research, and community service activities.


The best private university in the country today is arguably Covenant University. The university was founded in the year 2000 with the goal of becoming the premier Christian Mission University in the world. However, the university didn’t officially launch until March 2002, when the Federal Government gave the institution the authorization it needed to function as a Private University. Among the 16 proposals for the establishment of private institutions that were submitted to the National Universities Commission (NUC), the approval was said to be the fastest in the commission’s history.

The Bishop of the Living Faith Church, also known as Winners Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo, established the University as a component of the Liberation Commission. The key values of Covenant University are: spirituality, a possibility mentality, capacity building, integrity, responsibility, diligence, and sacrifice. On the foundation of Christian ethos and principles that transform lives, the university aims to revolutionize the educational landscape. According to the university’s founder, Dr. David Oyedepo, the institution’s goal is to develop its graduates into experts in all areas of human endeavour by turning them into innovative managers, hyper-resourceful technocrats, and expert thinkers.


One of the top universities in the nation, Ahmadu Bello University, popularly known as ABU, was founded in 1962. ABU Zaria was founded as a result of the Ashby Commission on Post-School Certificate and Higher Education in Nigeria’s suggestion that a university be established in Northern Nigeria. On the former locations of the Nigerian College of Arts, Science, and Technology, the Kongo Clerical Training Center, the Samaru Agricultural Research Station, and the Shika Livestock Farm, the institution started full operation in 1962. ABU was given its name in honour of Sir Ahmadu Bello, the first and only Premier of Northern Nigeria and the Sardauna of Sokoto.

The university commenced with the following faculties:

  • Agriculture
  • Engineering
  • Law
  • Science

Presently, there are 82 academic departments spread across the University’s 2 campuses, which house 12 faculties and 1 post-graduate school. This university has 35,000 students enrolled in total, and because they come from every State in the Federation, they represent a wide range of ethnic backgrounds. ABU also contains five institutes, six specialized centres, an agricultural college division, a school for basic and remedial studies, Demonstration Secondary School, a primary school, and a consultancy outfit that offer a range of services to the university and the general public.

The institution employs around 6000 non-teaching, senior, and junior administrative professionals, as well as about 1,400 academic and research personnel. Also, the university fostered two university colleges: the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University of Technology in Bauchi and the Abdullahi Bayero College in Kano, which is now Bayero University. Moreover, it is currently linked with 27 institutions, including polytechnics, schools of foundational or introductory studies, and colleges of education.


The Federal University of Technology, Minna, was founded in 1983 with the goal of supporting the country’s push for self-reliance in science, engineering, and technology. When the university was founded, it bought the buildings from the former Government Teachers’ College Bosso, which is now the institution’s Bosso Campus. Also, in order to accommodate the anticipated unavoidable development, the University purchased 10,650 hectares of land in Gidan-Kwano along the Minna – Kataeregi – Bida Road as its permanent site.

The facilities on this main campus of the university include the following:

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

A few examples of the innovative equipment that FUTMINNA students have created over the years include solar air heaters, motorized crankshafts, gearing systems for crane hoist drives, rice de-stoning machines, maize shellers, multi-purpose grinders, irrigation models, and poultry feeders. Moreover, a professor from this esteemed university was in charge of a group that created and produced typhoid vaccinations. Unipetrol Nigeria Plc sponsored this project. Typhoid vaccinations have undergone human testing and will be made widely accessible very soon.


The University of Ilorin is regarded as one of the best in the nation today. The University of Ilorin, or UNILORIN, welcomed its first 200 students on October 23, 1976, and classes began on October 25, 1976. A section of the temporary campus of the Kwara State Polytechnic served as the foundation for the University. This location served as the academic hub for the faculties of art, science, education, engineering, business, social science, and basic clinical sciences.

Currently, UNILORIN has 15 faculties which include the following:

  • Arts
  • Agriculture
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Life Sciences
  • Management Sciences
  • Physical Sciences
  • Social Sciences
  • Communication and Information Sciences
  • Education
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Veterinary Medicine,
  • 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.

The first university in Nigeria to be ranked among the top 20 in Africa was UNILORIN in 2014. It was placed 1824th overall and 20th in Africa. The University started cultivating a 10,000-hectare oil palm plantation that year in order to generate foreign exchange. UNILORIN had the largest number of applicants between 2012 and 2016, according to the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) indicating that it was the most popular university in the nation at the time.


The University of Benin, also known as UNIBEN, is a top-tier institution of higher learning in the nation. The first female vice-Chancellor was appointed at UNIBEN and this occurred between 1985 and 1991 during Grace Alele-Williams’ tenure. Almost 40,000 full-time and part-time students are currently enrolled at the university, making up its entire student body.

The University of Benin has a reputation for working with many universities around the globe as well as national and international organizations, including USAID, Ford Foundation, UNCF (United Negro College Fund), RMRDC (Raw Materials Research & Development Council of Nigeria), among others, in the fields of engineering, public health, and agriculture.


In 1990, the University of Abuja was established. At that time, the University operated out of a temporary location that consisted of three building blocks intended for a primary school in Gwagwalada. It had the label of mini campus at inception. Nonetheless, the University received a parcel of land of over 11,800 hectares the same year to be used for the establishment of its main campus.

The Senate Chamber, the Science Laboratories, the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Management Sciences, the Faculty of Education, the Faculty of Social Sciences, the School of Remedial Studies, and the Institute of Education are only a few of the significant structures on the new University campus. The university also features a Medical Center that is furnished with cutting-edge medical equipment. The campus also has a lot of recreational amenities, such as a football field of Olympic dimensions, a volleyball court, and a lawn tennis court.

The Author

Maduawuchi Obialo

Maduawuchi Obialo is the founder of Nigerian Guide and the Editor-in-Chief at Nigerian Infopedia. He is a professional Web Content Developer and a Biochemist.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *