15 Best Universities in Nigeria as Per 2023 Ranking

Nigeria is a country that is rapidly rising, both in terms of population and economy. Its youth population is among the largest in the world, proportionately, and its higher education system is thriving. The 15 best universities in Nigeria 2023, according to the Times Higher Education Ranking, are outlined in this article.

About Times Higher Education:

One of the top international platforms for higher education is Times Higher Education (THE). It offers unmatched perspectives, analysis, and data-driven rankings that influence the global conversation around universities and schools.

THE was founded with the goal of assisting academic institutions in making well-informed decisions. It provides a wide variety of information, such as news, features, opinion articles, and specialized reports. THE’s rankings are highly valued by academic institutions, students, and policymakers for their comprehensive approach and thorough methodology. They provide essential standards for assessing institutional performance and academic achievement. Times Higher Education is dedicated to promoting innovation and discourse in higher education, and as such, it remains a vital resource for academic stakeholders.

This statistical graph presents how THE does its university ranking:

Source: Times Higher Education

The Best Universities in Nigeria in 2023, According to the Times Higher Education:

These are the 15 best universities in Nigeria, as per the Times Higher Education Ranking.

#1. Covenant University 

Located in Ota, Nigeria, Covenant University is a private Pentecostal Christian institution that has been in official operation since 2002. According to THE , Covenant University is among the best universities in Africa.

The university is dedicated to staying at the forefront of knowledge that is predicated on illuminating the total man. It was founded with the purpose of cultivating a new generation of leaders and restoring the dignity of the black race. The university comprises four colleges: the College of Business and Social Sciences, the College of Leadership and Development Studies, the College of Engineering, and the College of Science and Technology. The majority of these colleges are devoted to vocational education. Over the past fifteen years, Covenant University’s reputation has quickly increased. In its 2018 rankings, the Nigerian Universities Commission ranked it as the sixth best university overall and the best private university in Nigeria.

Study areas offered by Covenant University:

Engineering

Engineering and technology

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • General Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Business and Economics

  • Business and Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Accounting and finance

Physical Sciences

  • Geology, Environmental, Earth, and Marine Sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Mathematics and Statistics

Social Sciences

  • Politics and International Studies (including Development Studies)
  • Communication and media studies
  • Sociology

Computer Science

  • Computer Science

Clinical, pre-clinical, and health

  • Other Health

Life Sciences

  • Biological Sciences

Arts and Humanities

  • Languages, Literature, and Linguistics
  • Architecture
  • Psychology

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#2. Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta

One of the three federal institutions of agriculture established by the Nigerian government in 1988 is the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. In 1997, it relocated to its current site, which is a 10,000 hectare plot 10 miles outside of Abeokuta, the state capital of Ogun. The colleges of biological science, food science and human ecology, engineering, physical science, veterinary medicine, agricultural management and rural development, animal science and livestock production, plant science and crop production, and environmental research management are its divisions. To facilitate local access, the Veterinary School was established in 2005 on the Isale-Igbein mini-campus. In 2014, the veterinary hospital opened, expanding the school’s reach.

Today, Federal University of Agriculture sits in the second position in the list of the best universities in Nigeria. There are plans for two more rural satellite veterinary clinics. A variety of amenities are available. on campus, including a sports center, a health center, a biotechnology center, a radio station, a bank, and a zoo park.

Study areas offered by Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta:

sciences, life sciences

  • Veterinarian Science
  • Agricultural and Forestry
  • Biological Sciences

Technology and engineering

  • General Engineering Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • civil engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

physical sciences

  • chemistry
  • Statistics and Mathematics
  • Earth and Marine Sciences, Geology, and Environment
  • Physics and Astronomy

Computer science

  • Computer Science

Economics and Business

  • Management and business
  • Econometrics and Economics
  • Finance and Accounting

social sciences

  • Media Studies and Communication

#3. BENSON IDAHOSA UNIVERSITY

Originally established as a Christian faith university in 1993, Benson Idahosa University provides management and foundational scientific courses and one of the best universities in Nigeria. Subsequently, in 1999, the institution changed its name to honor Pentecostal evangelist Benson Idahosa, who founded it.

In 2002, the National Universities Commission granted it a private university license. The Benin City campus houses the faculties of arts and education, science, law, social and management science, and basic medical and health sciences. In 2020, the Legacy campus in the Okha district will open to house the faculties of engineering and agriculture. The university has a long history of athletics. Marvelous Asemota won both of the women’s sprint events at the Nigerian University Games, while Ifeomi Onyekwere won a bronze medal in the men’s super-heavyweight boxing at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Study areas offered:

Social Sciences

  • Politics and International Studies (including Development Studies)
  • Communication and Media Studies
  • Sociology

Arts & Humanities

  • Languages, Literature, and Linguistics

Engineering and Technology

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • Civil Engineering

Business and Economics

  • Business and Management
  • Accounting and Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics

Physical Sciences

  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Geology, Environmental, Earth, and Marine Sciences
  • Chemistry

Computer Science

  • Computer Science

Education

  • Education

Law

  • Law

Clinical, pre-clinical, and health

  • Medicine and Dentistry

Life Sciences

  • Biological Sciences
  • Agriculture and Forestry

#4. Nnamdi Azikiwe University

The Nigerian state of Anambra State’s capital, Awka, is home to Nnamdi Azikiwe University. The university was founded in 1991 and is spread across several campuses in the Ayamelum local government area, including Awka, Nnewi, Agulu, and Ifite-Ogwuari. It is a federal institution bearing the name of Nnamdi Azikiwe, a distinguished statesman and political figure from Nigeria who presided as the country’s first president until 1966 and was authorized by the National Universities Commission.

The university comprises 14 faculties, which include the faculties of agriculture, arts, biosciences, education, engineering, environmental sciences, health sciences and technology, law, management sciences, medicine, pharmaceutical sciences, physical sciences, and social sciences. In total, there are 57 departments within the university. The institution also houses other research centers, such as the Center for Oncology Research.

Social Sciences

  • Geography
  • Sociology
  • Communication and Media Studies
  • Politics and International Studies (including Development Studies)

Life Sciences

  • Agriculture and Forestry
  • Sport Science
  • Biological Sciences

Engineering and Technology

  • General Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • Civil Engineering

Arts & Humanities

  • Languages, Literature, and Linguistics
  • Art, Performing Arts, and Design
  • History, Philosophy, and Theology
  • Architecture

Law

  • Law

Business and Economics

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Business and Management
  • Accounting and Finance

Physical Sciences

  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Chemistry
  • Geology, Environmental, Earth, and Marine Sciences

Computer Science

  • Computer Science

Clinical, pre-clinical, and health

  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Other Health
  • Psychology

Education

  • Education

#5. REDEEMER’S UNIVERSITY

Redeemer’s University is a private institution that was established in 2005 and is headquartered in Ede, Osun State. Basic medical science, engineering, the built environment, humanities, law, management science, natural science, and social science are among the faculties in which students can study.

In addition, the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases, which was established in 2013 and received the Nigeria Academy of Sciences gold medal for work on infectious diseases in 2021, is one of the university’s research centers. On its 812-acre campus, it provides housing for both of the residence halls for undergraduate students. Numerous sports are available for students to participate in, such as volleyball, basketball, football, lawn tennis, table tennis, athletics, and indoor games. Former Student Union President Dedo Adedayo, an actor, is among the alumni.

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#6. UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN

The University of Ibadan (UI), which was founded in 1932, was Nigeria’s first university. In 1962, the college that was once linked with the University of London was granted complete independence and becomes one of the best universities in Nigeria.

Through its 16 faculties—which include the arts, sciences, clinical and basic medical sciences, agriculture, social sciences, education, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, technology, law, public health, dentistry, economics, renewable natural resources, and environmental design and management—the university provides a wide range of academic programs.

With a 50/50 balance of undergraduate and graduate students, UI’s Postgraduate School is the biggest in Africa. Approximately one-third of the students dwell in the state-provided residence halls, which are contemporary buildings with common rooms, cafes, and gyms. Students who are unable to attend classes in person can study the same courses as full-time students at the university’s Distance Learning Center.

In addition, UI manages other public spaces, such as a media resource center that provides reading programs, educational workshops, and consultations for educational institutions and children’s libraries. The institution operates conservation programs aimed at assisting environmental requirements and maintains its own zoological and botanical gardens, home to species and animals that are threatened. The authors Wole Soyinka, who won the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, and Chinua Achebe, whose book Things Fall Apart is the most widely read work of contemporary African literature, are among the university’s alumni.A significant economic hub in southwest Nigeria, Ibadan is situated inland, around 70 miles from Lagos.

Study areas offered:

Arts & Humanities

  • History, Philosophy, and Theology
  • Architecture
  • Art, Performing Arts, and Design
  • Archaeology
  • Languages, Literature, and Linguistics

Life Sciences

  • Agriculture and Forestry
  • Biological Sciences
  • Sport Science
  • Veterinary Science

Clinical, pre-clinical, and health

  • Other Health
  • Medicine and Dentistry

Law

  • Law

Engineering and Technology

  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • General Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering

Physical Sciences

  • Chemistry
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Geology, Environmental, Earth, and Marine Sciences

Social Sciences

  • Politics and International Studies (including Development Studies)
  • Sociology
  • Communication and Media Studies
  • Geography

Business and Economics

  • Business and Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Accounting and Finance

Computer Science

  • Computer Science

Education

  • Education

Psychology

  • Psychology

#7. UNIVERSITY OF CROSS RIVER STATE

Cross River University is the #7 in the list of the best universities in Nigeria. The inception of the Cross River University of Technology dates back to August 2022, marking the consolidation of three erstwhile educational entities: the Polytechnic, Calabar; the College of Education, Akamkpa; and the Ibrahim Babangida College of Agriculture, Ovonum, Obubra.

Comprising four distinct campuses, namely Calabar, Ogoja, Okuku, and Obubra, the university’s divisions are delineated. The Calabar campus hosts five faculties encompassing engineering, science, environmental sciences, communication technology, and education. Meanwhile, the Ogoja Campus accommodates the faculty of management science, the Okuku Campus is dedicated to the faculty of basic medical sciences, and the Obubra Campus is designated for the faculty of agriculture and forestry.

Situated within Cross River State in southeastern Nigeria, the university’s locales are embedded within a region formerly identified as the South-Eastern State before its renaming in 1976. The nomenclature is derived from the Cross River, a prominent watercourse that intersects the state and constitutes much of its western boundary. Addressing Nigeria’s energy exigencies, the university established the Renewable Energy Centre, which endeavors to disseminate awareness regarding renewable energy resources such as biomass, biodiesel, hydro, wind, and solar power among schools and communities.

The university’s emblem comprises a shield enclosing a blue and white checkered board, with the institution’s acronym emblazoned above. The academic departments encompass a broad spectrum of disciplines.

Study areas offered

Engineering & Technology

  • Civil Engineering
  • Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Education

  • Education

Business and Economics

  • Business and Management
  • Accounting and Finance

Social Sciences

  • Communication and Media Studies

Clinical, pre-clinical, and health:

  • Other Health

Life Sciences

  • Agriculture and Forestry
  • Biological Sciences

Physical Sciences

  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Geology, Environmental, Earth, and Marine Sciences
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Chemistry

Computer Science

  • Computer Science

Arts & Humanities

  • Art, Performing Arts, and Design
  • Architecture

#8. OBAFEMI AWOLOWO UNIVERSITY

Obafemi Awolowo University, initially established in 1962 as the University of Ife, is a federal government-owned Nigerian institution. In 1987, it underwent a name change to Obafemi Awolowo University in honor of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, a distinguished lawyer, nationalist, and politician who was among its founding figures. Today, the university is recognized as one of the best universities in Nigeria.

Structured into 13 faculties, the university offers a wide array of undergraduate programs alongside a postgraduate college and the College of Health Sciences. It also houses various institutes, including the Institute of Cultural Studies, the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, and the Institute of Public Health. Moreover, the university hosts several research centers, such as the Atmospheric Research and Information Analysis Lab and the Drug Research and Production Unit. Additionally, it operates teaching hospitals that serve as hubs for medical research conducted by both students and faculty members. For student support and campus event coordination, the Student Affairs Division plays a pivotal role. Situated in Ife-Ife, an ancient Yoruba city within Osun State, southwestern Nigeria, the university is deeply rooted in a culturally rich environment.

The university’s academic departments span across various disciplines:

Engineering & Technology

  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Life Sciences

  • Agriculture and Forestry
  • Biological Sciences

Social Sciences

  • Geography
  • Sociology
  • Communication and Media Studies
  • Politics and International Studies (including Development Studies)

Arts & Humanities

  • Languages, Literature, and Linguistics
  • Architecture
  • Art, Performing Arts, and Design
  • History, Philosophy, and Theology

Business and Economics

  • Business and Management
  • Accounting and Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics

Clinical, pre-clinical, and health

  • Other Health
  • Medicine and Dentistry

Physical Sciences

  • Chemistry
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Geology, Environmental, Earth, and Marine Sciences
  • Mathematics and Statistics

Computer Science

  • Computer Science

Law

  • Law

Education

  • Education
  • Psychology

#9. UMARU MUSA YAR’ADUA UNIVERSITY


Established in 2006 by the state government under the name Katsina University, Umaru Musa Yar’adua University underwent a significant renaming in 2010 to honor the late former state governor, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, who later served as Nigeria’s president. Initially offering 26 courses across faculties of education, humanities, and natural and applied sciences, the university has since expanded its scope to include law, social and management sciences, medicine, and a postgraduate school. Plans are underway to further broaden its academic offerings with additional faculties in veterinary medicine, pharmaceutical sciences, agriculture, social science, engineering, and environmental studies.
Situated just outside Katsina, It is one of the best universities in Nigeria. The university’s main campus is complemented by a dairy and poultry farm located at Ministra in the Malumfashi district. The academic community produces six scholarly journals, including the Al-Hikma Journal of Islamic Studies.

Study Areas:

Arts and humanities

  • Languages, Literature, and Linguistics
  • History, Philosophy, and Theology

Clinical, pre-clinical, and health

  • Medicine and Dentistry

Social sciences

  • Geography
  • Sociology
  • Politics and International Studies (incl. Development Studies)

Physical sciences

  • Chemistry
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Geology, Environmental, Earth, and Marine Sciences

Business and economics

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Business and Management
  • Economics and Econometrics

Law

  • Law

Life sciences

  • Agriculture and Forestry
  • Biological Sciences

Education

  • Education

Computer science

  • Computer Science

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#10 ADELEKE UNIVERSITY

Named after its founder and pro-chancellor, Chief Adedeji Adeleke, Adeleke University stands as a testament to his vision. It is the #10 in the list of the best universities in Nigeria. Established in 2011 by Adeleke’s Springtime Development Foundation, this private faith-based institution is nestled in Ede, Osun State, Nigeria. With a focus on integrating religious practices into academic life, the university mandates attendance at religious services and adherence to a corporate dress code, particularly for first-year students residing in on-campus accommodations.

Despite its relatively modest size, with fewer than 1,000 students, Adeleke University offers a diverse array of faculties spanning arts, basic medical science, business and social science, engineering, law, and science. The university library, equipped with both online and offline resources, supports students in their academic pursuits.

#11 AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY

Established in 1962 as the University of Northern Nigeria in Zaria, Ahmadu Bello University holds the distinction of being Nigeria’s second oldest university and among the best universities in Nigeria. Named after its founder, the first premier of Northern Nigeria, it has evolved into one of sub-Saharan Africa’s largest educational institutions, sprawling across a 7,000-hectare site. Offering a multitude of faculties, including physical sciences, social sciences, education, environmental design, medical sciences, and law, the university caters to a diverse student body hailing from every state in Nigeria.

Ahmadu Bello University boasts three campuses: the main Samaru campus; the Kongo campus, housing faculties of law and public administration; and Funtua, hosting the School of Basic Studies. Notable research initiatives such as the Africa Centre for Neglected Tropical Diseases and Forensic Biotechnology underscore the university’s commitment to academic excellence and innovation.

#12. UNIVERSITY OF BENIN

Founded in 1970 as an Institute of Technology, the University of Benin in Edo State, Nigeria, transitioned into a full-fledged university in 1971 and become among the best universities in Nigeria. Renamed in 1972, it attained federal status in 1975. With campuses at Ekehuen and Ugbowo, the university boasts 16 faculties offering an extensive array of undergraduate and postgraduate programs spanning arts, agriculture, dentistry, education, engineering, law, medicine, veterinary medicine, and more.

The University of Benin is also home to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, which provides comprehensive medical services and research opportunities. The John Harris Library, located on the Ugbowo campus, supplements faculty-specific libraries, enriching students’ academic experiences.

Study Areas:

Social sciences

  • Sociology
  • Geography
  • Politics and International Studies (incl. Development Studies)
  • Communication and Media Studies

Physical sciences

  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Chemistry
  • Geology, Environmental, Earth, and Marine Sciences
  • Mathematics and Statistics

Business and economics

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Business and Management
  • Economics and Econometrics

Engineering and technology

  • Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering

Psychology

  • Psychology

Life sciences

  • Agriculture and Forestry
  • Veterinary Science
  • Biological Sciences
  • Sport Science

Computer science

  • Computer Science

Education

  • Education

Clinical, pre-clinical, and health

  • Other Health
  • Medicine and Dentistry

Arts and humanities

  • Art, Performing Arts, and Design
  • Architecture
  • Languages, Literature, and Linguistics
  • History, Philosophy, and Theology

Law

  • Law

#13. LANDMARK UNIVERSITY

Established in 2011 under the auspices of the Living Faith Church Worldwide, Landmark University stands as a beacon of private Christian education in Kwara State, western Nigeria. Comprising four colleges—agricultural sciences, engineering, pure and applied science, and business and social sciences—the university offers a diverse range of undergraduate and graduate programs through various departments. It is positioned on #13 on the list of the best universities in Nigeria.

Beyond academics, Landmark University fosters a vibrant campus life with an array of clubs and societies encompassing athletics, football, volleyball, tennis, and basketball. Collaborations with leading agricultural institutions, such as the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture and the National Space Research and Development Agency, underscore the university’s commitment to interdisciplinary research and development. With spirituality at its core, Landmark University embraces the values of possibility mentality, capacity building, integrity, responsibility, diligence, and sacrifice.

Study Areas:

Engineering and technology

  • General Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • Civil Engineering

Social sciences

  • Communication and Media Studies
  • Sociology
  • Politics and International Studies (incl. Development Studies)

Physical sciences

  • Chemistry
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Mathematics and Statistics

Business and economics

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Business and Management
  • Accounting and Finance

Computer science

  • Computer Science

Life sciences

  • Biological Sciences
  • Agriculture and Forestry

Clinical, pre-clinical, and health

  • Other Health

#14. BABCOCK UNIVERSITY

With roots tracing back to the Adventist College of West Africa established in 1959, Babcock University gained university status in 1999, named in honor of American missionary David C. Babcock. It is the #14 best university in Nigeria, offering programs across six faculties—including computing and engineering sciences, education and humanities, law and security studies, management sciences, public and allied health, and science and technology—the university boasts a comprehensive academic portfolio catering to both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Home to the Benjamin Carson College of Medicine, the university provides medical education alongside schools of nursing sciences and social sciences. The College of Postgraduate Studies offers a spectrum of programs ranging from postgraduate diplomas to doctoral degrees. Located in Ikenne, Ogun State, southwestern Nigeria, Babcock University embodies a rich tradition of academic excellence and service.

Study areas:

Social sciences

  • Politics and International Studies (incl. Development Studies)
  • Communication and Media Studies

Law

  • Law

Arts and humanities

  • Architecture
  • History, Philosophy, and Theology
  • Languages, Literature, and Linguistics
  • Art, Performing Arts, and Design

Business and economics

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Business and Management

Engineering and technology

  • Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • General Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Education

  • Education

Physical sciences

  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics and Statistics

Computer science

  • Computer Science

Life sciences

  • Agriculture and Forestry
  • Biological Sciences

Clinical, pre-clinical, and health

  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Other Health

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#15. AJAYI CROWTHER UNIVERSITY

Named in honor of Samuel Ajayi Crowther, the first African bishop renowned for translating the Bible into Yoruba, Ajayi Crowther University traces its origins to the CMS Training Institution and St Andrews College. Granted university status in 1999 and transitioning to a private institution in 2005, the university boasts 11 faculties offering a diverse range of degree programs in agriculture, basic medical sciences, communication and media studies, education, engineering, environmental studies, natural sciences, management sciences, social sciences, humanities, and law. It is the #15 best university in Nigeria 2023.

With campuses located in Oyo State, Nigeria, the university offers both undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Reflecting its commitment to holistic education, Ajayi Crowther University nurtures a vibrant campus community centered around academic excellence, spiritual growth, and societal impact.

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