Most Competitive Universities In Nigeria: It is correct to say that the system of education is structured according to the degree of toughness, in that the higher one goes the tougher the process. Admission into secondary school after one has completed the primary education is not much of a big deal. You can apply as much schools as you can afford their application forms, and you can always get many admission offers. The competitiveness is more relaxed even as you go through the schooling process. School tension increases by more than 100% the moment the thoughts of university education are nurtured.
The tension subsists right from the struggle for an admission up till the struggle for graduation. Now, there are quite numerous universities in Nigeria. This includes private, state and federal universities. The difference between these types of universities is just about who is responsible for its funding. Private individuals establish and fund private universities, state government establish and fund the state universities while the federal government does the same for federal universities. This also goes to dictate the affordability of the schools. The cost of private universities is exorbitant.
The federal universities are meant to be the most affordable in Nigeria, and they are, actually. This factor coupled with other factors contributes to the competitive nature of federal universities in Nigeria. A greater population of the country applies to a federal university. Of course there are some state universities in Nigeria that are that competitive as well, such as Lagos State University and Delta State University. This makes the admission process very competitive, because the school cannot admit more than its capacity.
So when we talk of competitiveness, the first measuring threshold is the admission capacity. Another factor is the quality output of the school. Universities that perform so well in academics and otherwise are most likely to be getting more applications. The graduation capacity is also a factor that may sometimes translate to how competitive a school is.
But then, the centerpiece boils down to the standard of academics. The list is topped mostly by Nigerian federal universities. See the most competitive universities in Nigeria:
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Top 12 Most Competitive Universities In Nigeria
1. University of Lagos (UNILAG): Here is a top competitive university in Nigeria. The school gets many thousands of application for admission every year, and the number of applicants keeps increasing as the years go by. University of Lagos is a public research university in Lagos established in 1962. The university has three campuses and offers courses that are competitive.
UNILAG has been ranked consistently by various education rankings as one of the top universities in Africa and in the world. UNILAG admits more than 9, 000 students every year and has over 60, 000 overall students. UNILAG is a highly reputable and popular institution. Three Nigerian universities cannot be mentioned without UNILAG.
The school represents itself and its standard through the quality of the students it produces. Students from UNILAG are so drilled that they become outstanding in all sectors. They are always at the top of every game, academically. In the life outside school, they also represent full time.
2. University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN): University of Nigeria, Nsukka is a renowned and dignified public university established by Nnamdi Azikiwe in 1955 and was officially opened ion 7th October, 1960. It is the University of Nigeria properly called, and has played significant role in the history of Nigeria. University of Nigeria has three major campuses: one in Nsukka, another in the heart of Enugu and the other in Ituzu-Ozalla. University of Nigeria is known for academic excellence.
People wonder what UNN students are fed with intellectually, because the school keeps featuring at the top of academic games. UNN being the first indigenous Nigerian university was established to model the American education system. Its students are proudly nicknamed Lions and Lionesses. So much glory and honour inheres in the University of Nigeria. It is a highly competitive school in all facts.
When it comes to admission, the applicants are too numerous all the years. Even, all the courses offers in UNN are competitive due to the standard, although some are more competitive than others. When it comes to survival, it is a win for the fittest. The standard of academics is very high, and the graduation capacity is tough as well. Being the University of Nigeria properly called, admission into the school is made more difficult by the catchment area system where merit admission quota is given in a manner that all states must be represented equally.
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3. University of Ilorin (UNILORIN): University of Ilorin is a public university in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria. The university was established in 1975 by the Federal Military Government decree. UNILORIN occupies very large acres of land making the school one of the largest in land areas. UNILORIN is one of the most competitive universities in Nigeria.
In 2023, JAMB recorded that the university was the most sought-after in Nigeria. This makes the admission standard demanding. The institution is reputable for its academic standard.
4. University of Ibadan (UI): If the University of Ibadan is not on the list then you are probably not talking about Nigerian universities. University of Ibadan is a Nigerian public located in Ibadan, Oyo, Nigeria. University of Ibadan was founded in 1948 as an affiliate of University of London until it became an independent institution in 1962.
The institution was formerly University College Ibadan. UI is a highly noble university which has contributed positively and historically to developments in Nigeria. The university made the list of the most prestigious African universities. The admission process is competitive. The school has the best learning facilities in Nigeria, standardized academic system, top-notch lecturers and brilliant students. Being a student of University of Ibadan is a real big deal.
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5. Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU): Obafemi Awolowo University is a public university in Ile-Ife, Osun State. The university was established in 1961. It was formerly University of Ife until 1987. The university was renamed in honour of the first premier of the Western Region, Obafemi Awolowo, who initiated the idea of establishing the university.
OAU is a very competitive school with numerous applicants every year. The school’s competitive nature extends to the standard of its input and output. Everybody wants to have a taste of being in the best schools. The numerous applications have made all the courses in the school one to competitively struggle for.
6. University of Benin: University of Benin is a competitive public university in Benin City, Edo State. The university was established in 1970. It was formerly an Institute of Technology. The school offers competitive courses and their students represent within the school and beyond.
7. Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO): FUTO is the first federal university of technology in the South-East and South-South. The university was established in 1980. It has its location in Owerri, Imo State.
Since the 1980, the school has recorded a long history of academic excellence and competitiveness. The fact that it is a specialized university of technology makes it more attractive and more like an option of first instance for applicants.
8. Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU or UNIZIK): Nnamdi Azikiwe University has two major campuses: one is Awka and one in Nnewi. It is a federal university established in 1991. The university was formerly ASUTECH. UNIZIK is a highly competitive school. The school has had its heads up in competition for academic excellence with other schools. The admission process is equally competitive as numerous applicants do apply to be considered. It is the UNIZIK post UTME that ultimately determines your chances of admission, because their questions even cut across areas that does not relate to your preferred course of study.
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9. Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA): The public university of technology was established in 1981 and has its location at Akure, Ondo State. It is a specialized school of technology and a highly competitive one. You must be a top student to even nurture the thoughts of applying for the school and that is still not conclusive of your chances.
10. Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (ABU): Ahmadu Bello University was formerly University of Northern Nigeria. It is a public university located at Zaria, Kaduna State and was established on 4th October, 1962. It was the very first university in the Northern Nigeria. The school has recorded academic and systematic fame and has become utterly competitive over the years.
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11. Bayero University Kano (BUK): Within the Nigerian educational system, Bayero University Kano (BUK) has distinguished itself as a beacon of academic quality and a spirit of competition. Strict admissions requirements are one of the ways BUK demonstrates its commitment to provide a life-changing educational experience and drawing in the best students in the nation. The broad and varied academic offerings of the institution, which include a wide range of subject areas, provide students with a thorough education that encourages critical thinking and intellectual development.
BUK’s commitment to cutting-edge research and innovation contributes to its standing as one of Nigeria’s most prestigious institutions. Academic endeavours are not only encouraged but also celebrated at the institution’s cutting-edge facilities and among its famous teachers for their intellectual achievements.
12. University of Calabar (UNICAL): The University of Calabar (UNICAL), which is located in Calabar’s tranquil surroundings, is a strong contender in Nigeria’s academic scene. A comprehensive education is reflected in the university’s wide choice of programmes in the social sciences, arts, and sciences.
UNICAL’s reputation as a highly competitive university in Nigeria is derived not just from its rigorous academic programme but also from its significant investment in research and innovation. Students are not only consumers of information but also active participants in the academic discourse thanks to the institution’s state-of-the-art facilities and esteemed teachers. The University of Calabar is a sign of intellectual vitality, cultivating a student body that is not only academically proficient but also socially and internationally aware.
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The list is obviously made up of public universities because there are factors that make public universities most desirable. The list is not exhaustive of the competitive universities in Nigeria. Of course, all universities are competitive since education is summed up by competitions, but the afore-listed universities are visibly considered the most competitive.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka, ACMC, is a lawyer and a certified mediator/conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a developer with knowledge in various programming languages. Samuel is determined to leverage his skills in technology, SEO, and legal practice to revolutionize the legal profession worldwide by creating web and mobile applications that simplify legal research. Sam is also passionate about educating and providing valuable information to people.