Here is some useful advice: if you want to graduate on time without ASUU wahala and other problems, enrol in a private university. Private universities in Nigeria are widely known to have fast calendars and none of those setbacks that public universities usually have. Many of these universities were established by individuals and organisations such as the church.
Private universities in Nigeria have promoted tertiary education to a higher level, whereas public universities have somehow dwindled. Although they are expensive compared to public schools, many well-to-do parents prefer to enrol their children in them instead of sending them abroad, thus promoting education in Nigeria.
Top 10 private universities in Nigeria
Without wasting more time, this piece shall take a look at the top 10 private universities in Nigeria and their locations. Note that the ranking is based on data from the National Universities Commission (NUC).
10. American University of Nigeria
The American University of Nigeria (AUN) is a private university located in Yola, the capital of Adamawa State. The university is owned by Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president of Nigeria and a presidential candidate in the upcoming 2023 general election. AUN is the only American-styled tertiary education in sub-Saharan Africa and currently has over 1,500 students. It is one of the most expensive private universities in Nigeria and has only three faculties or schools – the School of Information Technology, the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Business and Entrepreneurship.
9. Afe Babalola University
Afe Babalola University (ABUAD) was founded by renowned Lawyer Afe Babalola in 2009. The university is located in Ado-Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti State. It operates a college system with several colleges such as the College of Engineering, College of Social Management, College of Medicine and Health Sciences and College of Law. Its College of Engineering is reputed to be one of the biggest in Africa.
8. Bells University of Technology
The Bells University of Technology is located in Ota, Ogun State. The university was established in 2004 and it is owned by a former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo. There are three colleges – the College of Engineering and Environmental Sciences, the College of Natural and Applied Sciences and the College of Management Sciences.
7. Ajayi Crowther University
The Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo was established by the Supra Diocesan Board (West) of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion). The university was originally a CMS Training Institution in Abeokuta in 1853 from where it was relocated to Lagos (1868 to 1896). It returned to Oyo State in 1920 as St. Andrews College and produced holders of Grade II Teachers Certificate. In 1999, the Church of Nigeria granted the St. Andrews College Old Boys Association (SACOBA) permission to establish the Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo. The license to operate as a private university was granted in 2005. The Ajayi Crowther University was named after the late Samuel Ajayi Crowther, the first African Bishop who first translated the bible into Yoruba.
6. Igbinedion University, Okada
The Igbinedion University, Okada (IUO), is located in Edo State. IUO is the first licenced private university in Nigeria and was established in 1999. The university is also said to be the private University to produce medical doctors in sub-Saharan Africa. With a student capacity of 5,000, IUO offers courses in Law, Engineering, Arts and Social Science, Medicine, Business and Management Studies, Pharmacy, Medicine and Natural and Applied Sciences. The university has produced over 10,000 graduates from undergraduate and post-graduate since its inception in 1999.
5. Redeemers University
The Redeemers University was established in the year 2005 by the Redeemed Christian Church of God. The university is located in Ogun State and offers degree programs in engineering, sciences, arts, management and social sciences. It also has a student population of 2,000.
4. Bowen University
Bowen University is located in Iwo, Osun State. The university was established by the Baptist Convention. Bowen University is renowned to have some of the best lecturers in Nigeria. The institution has a staff population of an estimated 5,000 and a student population of about 20,000. There are five colleges in the university namely: Faculty of Health Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Faculty of Science and Education, Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, Faculty of Law and Faculty of Humanities.
3. Joseph Ayo Babalola University
Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU) was established in 2006 and is presently located in Ikeji-Arakeji, Osun State. JABU is owned by the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) and has a student population of about 4,000. The university has up to seven faculties which include Natural Sciences and Social Sciences, Management Sciences, Humanities, Law, Agricultural Sciences, and Environmental Sciences.
2. Babcock University
Babcock University is located in Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State. The university is owned by the Seventh-day Adventist church and has a student population of more than 10,000. It was initially established in 1959 as the Adventist College of West Africa (ACWA) and became a full-fledged university on September 13, 1999. The University has nine schools and one college. They are the School of Agriculture and Industrial Technology, School of Basic and Applied Science, School of Education and Humanities, Babcock Business School, School of Computing and Engineering, School of Public and Applied Health, School of Post-graduate Studies, School of Law and Security Studies, College of Health and Medical Sciences.
1. Covenant University
Covenant University has been ranked the best private university in Nigeria for several years. With a lot of modern facilities, the university has a student population of 15,000 and also a staff strength of 1,000. Located in Ota, Ogun State, the university is owned by Living Faith Church (Winners Chapel). It was established in 2002 and has four colleges – the College of Leadership Development, the College of Science and Technology and the College of Engineering. Covenant University once became the first Nigerian university to be ranked in the 401-500 category of world universities by Times Higher Education.
There are currently 111 private universities in the country. These universities are doing their best to make up for the limitations of public universities. Where the public universities fail, the private universities become powerhouses. Nigeria indeed has a long way to go in terms of education, but we should give credit to whom credit is due. Private universities in Nigeria have done well in most parts. More is expected and there is no doubt that they will deliver in due time.
Meanwhile, what is your favourite private university in Nigeria? Is it on the list? Let us know in the comment section.