If you have been asking the question, “which university is the most populated in Nigeria?” note that your question will be answered explicitly in this article. Today, I will be making a list of the most populated universities in Nigeria. Thus, before you apply for admission in any Nigerian university, it will be wise that you, first of all, go through this work to ascertain which university has more cumbersome admission process. More so, it is imperative to note the most populated Nigerian universities as a student in Nigeria for knowledge sake.
Without any ado, lets quickly see the top 10 most populated universities in Nigeria this 2022. To make this raking credible, I will be making reference to some authority websites to corroborate the population figures stated in this work. Here we go!
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Top 12 Most Populated Universities In Nigeria 2023
1. University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) – 36,000: The University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) is probably the most populated university in Nigeria as it stands now. The university was established in 1960 as the one and only indigenous university of Nigeria.
For this reason, the University of Nigeria, Nsukka is loved and respected by thousands of students in Nigeria. In 2019, UNN was recorded as the most sorted university in Nigeria by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (Popularly known as JAMB). Today, you cannot mention the best 5 universities in Nigeria without mentioning this university. That is why UNN is very populated.
According to Wikipedia, UNN has an estimated population of 36,000 undergraduate students in 2019. No doubt, this university is one of the most populated universities in Nigeria as it stands now. To corroborate this information, you can search on Wikipedia about the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN). See UNN departmental cutoff marks for 2019/2020
2. University of Ibadan (UI) – 35,000: Another popular school in Nigeria is the University of Ibadan (UI). It will surprise you to know that the University of Ibadan was the first university established in Nigeria. It is also the current best university on Nigeria.
This is apparently because the university of Ibadan is well recognizes outside and inside Nigeria. UI was one of the tools used by the nationalists of Nigeria in fighting colonialism in Nigeria. In 2016, the University of Ibadan was recorded as one of the top 1000 universities in the world. This clearly shows how significant this prestigious university is.
University of Ibadan (UI) has an about 35,000 undergraduate students currently studying in it. No doubt, UI is also one of the most sorted universities in Nigeria. It is the dream of every student in the western part of Nigeria.
3. Amadu Bello University (ABU) – 32,000: If you are in the Northern part of Nigeria and you have not heard of Amadu Bello University (Also known as ABU Zaria) then you don’t know anything. Amadu Bello University (ABU) is the best and most popular university in the North. It is also among the top 5 universities in Nigeria currently.
ABU is located at Zaria, Kaduna state. It was established there to foster education among students in that region. ABU allow the study of different courses including top courses like law, medicine etc.
At the time this article was written, Amadu Bello University (ABU) has about 32,000 students who are studying in it. This was reported by Wikipedia in its article about the Amadu Bello University. Trust me; this university is one of the most populated universities in Nigeria.
4. University of Lagos (UNILAG) – 44,183: University of Lagos (UNILAG) is apparently one of the most populated universities in Nigeria now. It is a federal university established (in 1962) in the southwestern part of Nigeria to help in fostering education among students and to achieve rapid industrialization and development after independence.
Currently, UNILAG is the best university to study law in Nigeria. The university is also a good place to study many other courses. This is probably why the university is one of the most populated in Nigeria today.
Wikipedia records that UNILAG has about 44,183 undergraduate students and about 12,581 postgraduate students who are studying in the university. In total, UNILAG should have about 57,183 students.
This clearly attests to the fact that UNILAG is also one of the most sorted universities in Nigeria. Well, as you can see, the figures here were not fabricated by me. They have been corroborated by Wikipedia.
5. University of Calabar (UNICAL) – 29,000: Evidently, the University Of Calabar (UNICAL) is one of the most beautiful universities in Nigeria toady. It is equally one of the most populated in Nigeria too. It will surprise you to know that University of Calabar (UNICAL) was formerly a campus of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN).
The universities parted in 1975 and UNICAL became a full-fledged university in Nigeria. Today, UNICAL is one of the most respected universities in Nigeria. Male students in UNICAL call themselves Malabites while female students call themselves Malabresses. These names signify the challenges faced by students in the school.
It is reported that the University of Calabar (UNICAL) has about 29,000 students who are currently schooling there. The university is apparently one of the most populated universities in Nigeria.
6. Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) – 35,000: Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) is located at Ile-Ife, Osun state, Nigeria. It is another wonderful university in the southwestern. OAU was established one year after the University of Nigeria, Nsukka was established (that is, one year after Nigeria got her independence). Research has shown that OAU was established to help in rapid development of education in Nigeria. After Nigeria was given independence in 1960, Chief Samuel Akintola initiated a proposal that this university should be established. It was further renamed Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in 1987.
As at the time this article was written (2019), Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) was populated with about 35,000 students. Over the years, OAU has significantly contributed to the development of education in Nigeria. Trust me; it is one of the most populated universities in Nigeria now.
7. University of Benin (UNIBEN) – 75,000: University of Benin (UNIBEN) is one of the fascinating universities in Nigeria. It was established in the early 1970s at Benin city, Edo state.
According to research, UNIBEN is one of Nigeria’s first generation federal universities. Currently, UNIBEN allows the study of different courses. The courses offered in UNIBEN are not so restricted since they have been accredited and recognized by the Nigerian University Commission (NUC).
Consequent upon this, University of Benin (UNIBEN) is one of the most populated universities in Nigeria with about 75,000 students. This includes both post graduate and undergraduate students in the university. Indeed, you cannot make a list of the most populated universities in Nigeria without this prestigious university.
8. University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) – 44,500: If you have been to Port Harcourt before you will attest to the fact that the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) is one of the most popular universities in Nigeria too. However, it is also one of the expensive universities in Nigeria. The University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) started its activities in 1975.
After NUC recognized it as a full-fledge university. It will also surprise you to know that UNIPORT was in 2005, ranked top 6 universities in Africa by the Times Higher Education (THE). Currently the university has about 7 faculties also called schools. They equally allow the study of different courses.
According to researchers, the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) has about 44,500 undergraduate students attending it in 2019. Accordingly, they have about 10,000 post graduate students. Note that I am not fabricating these figures myself. If you really want to verify them Wikipedia will help.
9. Ambrose Ali University (AAU) – 24,000: Ambrose Ali University (AAU) is one of the universities created recently in Nigeria. It was established in 1981 by the then governor of Bendel state (which is now Edo and Delta state). After much research, I found out that Ambrose Ali University (AAU) is rapidly working towards making the institution the best state-owned university in Nigeria.
No doubt, AAU is one of the well respected universities in Nigeria. AAU has an estimated number of 24,000 students currently studying in it. According to the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), AAU is among the top 10 most populated universities in Nigeria.
10. Lagos State University (LASU) – 35,000: Lastly on my list of the most populated universities in Nigeria is Lagos State University (LASU). It is probably the most populated state university in Nigeria. For me, Lagos State University (LASU) is the second best university in the western part of Nigeria. After its establishment in 1983, LASU has been helping in bringing up great personalities in Nigeria. This has been proven to be true as even Oluranti Adebule (Deputy Governor of Lagos state) was a graduate of this prestigious university.
According to Wikipedia, Lagos State University (LASU) has about 35,000 students. This figure has also been confirmed by academicians in Nigeria. No doubt, Lagos State University (LASU) is also among the most populated universities in Nigeria.
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13. University of Jos UNIJOS: The University of Ibadan founded UNIJOS as a satellite campus in 1971. It is situated in Jos, Plateau State, along Bauchi Road. According to the study, there are 37,430 students. There were 2123 non-academic employees and 1001 academic employees.
Professor Tanko Ishaya, who earlier served as the institution’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), is the vice chancellor at the moment.
12. The National Open University of Nigeria NOUN: This institution, sometimes known as NOUN, was established in 1983 but was closed down by the government in 1984. It was reopened in 2001 by former president Olusegun Obasanjo. It had its permanent headquarters in Victoria Island in Lagos before Vice Chancellor Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu moved it to Jabi, Abuja, in 2016. Vice chancellor at the moment is Prof. Olufemi Peters. Across the country, there are more than 75 study centers. More than 50 programs are offered, together with 750 courses.
NOUN is home to 515 759 students. There are 954 non-academic employees compared to 159 academic employees.
These are the most populated universities in Nigeria as at the time this article was written (2022). It is worthwhile to know that the universities mention above do not restrict students from any geopolitical zone in Nigeria from applying for admission. If you really want to attend one of the most populated and prestigious university in Nigeria, this article has the best. Nevertheless, you must note that most of the populated universities in Nigeria are also very competitive. Hope this was helpful?
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.