Top 10 Best Universities in Nigeria: 2023 Rankings

Top 10 Best Universities in Nigeria
Written by Robin Okwanma

According to the latest Times Higher Education 2023 World University Rankings made public on October 12, 2022, out of a total of 1,799 universities worldwide, a number of Nigerian universities rose even higher in global evaluation of standards compared to previous years, to the great joy of the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC). Five key performance indicators are considered in the selection, which include: the efficiency of teaching; relevant research; citation of the university’s published works by outsiders; relevance to the international community; and contribution of industries to relevant research by that university. And that in spite of local challenges faced by these institutions (particularly the federal and state universities) with poor funding by the government, unpaid salaries, infrastructural deficits amongst others; but the determination of key stakeholders to uphold education as a key factor in the nation’s quest for economic and socio-cultural advancement is very clear.

Here we present a curated list of the 10 best Nigerian universities in the Times Higher Education University World Rankings currently. State universities are conspicuously missing from the list for now.

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TIMES 2023 Global Ranking

University of Ibadan


University of Lagos


Covenant University Ota


Bayero University Kano


Federal University of Technology Akure 


University of Benin

1201 - 1500

University of Ilorin

1201 - 1500

University of Nigeria Nsukka

1201 - 1500

Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife

1201 - 1500

Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta


Top 10 Best Universities in Nigeria: 2023 Rankings

1. University of Ibadan (UI)

The first-ever university in Nigeria and established as an affiliate of the University of London in 1932, it received full independent status in 1962. So far, University of Ibadan has expanded from its initial three departments (Science, Medicine, Arts) to having thirteen Faculties at present. University of Ibadan boasts of the following facilities as now:

  • Well-grounded Distance Learning Center
  • The largest Post Graduate school in Africa
  • Halls of residence that can accommodate at least one-third of the student population, and with modern facilities (common room, cafes, gyms)
  • Zoological and Botanical gardens
  • A media resource center for reading, library services, educational workshops, and consultancy services
  • Plans to set up an Institute for Infectious Diseases, and a Business school.
  • Staff to Student ratio of 17.6
  • Male to Female student ratio of 51:49

2. University of Lagos (UNILAG)

This notable institution of learning came into being in the year 1962. While pursuing intense research-driven education, UNILAG is blessed with sponsors and stakeholders from over 50 countries around the globe. At present, UNILAG boasts of:

  • 12 faculties
  • 5 institutes
  • 10 research centers
  • An extensive library
  • Over 86 undergraduate programmes
  • 140 postgraduate programmes
  • A Distance Learning Institute.
  • The main campus has extensions that include the College of Medicine, Idi-Araba Surulere, and School of Radiography in Yaba.
  • A staff to student ratio of 21.5
  • A male to female student ratio of 52:48

3. Covenant University Ota (CU)

Covenant University is a private Christian University established by the Living Faith Church in 2002, with a vision to raise a new generation of leaders that would transform the fortunes of Nigeria and Africa while firmly instilling Christian and godly living. It has remained at the forefront of quality scientific and social impact research projects ever since. The school presently boasts of:

  • 10 halls of residence for more than 9,000 students on campus
  • 8 major faculties offering both undergraduate and postgraduate courses, as well as admission for foreign students.
  • The Centre for Learning Resources, large 3-storey library
  • A entrepreneurship program for all students
  • A radio broadcasting station
  • Well-developed indoor and outdoor recreational facilities
  • Well-equipped Medical centre and trained staff
  • Impressive cafeteria, bakery, central shopping centre, shopping mall, water production outfit, and butteries for students
  • A staff to student ratio of 15.5
  • A male to female student ratio of 40:60

4. Bayero University Kano (BUK)

This eminent institution was established at first as Bayero University College in 1975 but later upgraded to full university status. The school has two large colleges (College of Health Science, College of Natural & Pharmaceutical Sciences) and a total of 11 faculties operating under its establishment. It has a strong research culture and runs a good number of active research centres. It also boasts of:

  • A library with multimedia facilities and ebooks.
  • Staff to student ratio of 25.9
  • Male to female student ratio of 67:33

5. Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA)

Established in 1981, FUTA was created to impart both practical and theoretical knowledge of technologies that are ultimately useful for the real world into more graduates. The school comprises of 10 schools of learning based on Science and Technology courses (including school of postgraduate studies). In addition, it has:

  • A staff to student ratio of 21.1
  • A male to female ratio of 72:28

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6. University of Benin (UNIBEN)

The institution started out as an Institute of Technology in 1970 and became a full federal University in 1975. At present, the school has two campuses at Ugbowo and Ekehuen respectively. In addition, the school boasts of:

  • A library in each of its faculties
  • A major library (John Harris Library) at Ugbowo campus
  • 15 faculties and over 80 courses of study,
  • A very large University of Benin Teaching Hospital.
  • Staff to student ratio of 25.2
  • Male to female student ratio of 50:50

7. University of Ilorin (UNILORIN)

Established in 1975, UNILORIN started out with just a few courses but has expanded to 15 faculties and at least 90 programmes of study. The school is notable for its collaborations with other universities both in Nigeria and across the world, especially in the areas of scientific research cooperation and student exchange programs. The school boasts of the following facilities:

  • On-campus hostels for students
  • Multipurpose auditorium
  • An extensive library
  • Printing press
  • Information Technology labs
  • Bookshop
  • Health centre
  • Post office
  • Banking outlets
  • Staff to student ratio of 34.8
  • Male to female student ratio of 52:48

8. University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN)

Established in 1955 in Enugu, UNN at present runs four campuses (Nsukka, Enugu, Teaching Hospital in Ituku-Ozalla, and Aba). UNN comprises of 15 faculties, 82 undergraduates programmes, and 211 postgraduate programmes. It also operates a Business School.  The institution is active in a notable range of research studies which include space research, energy and climate studies, herbal medicine and education. Also it has:

  • Staff to student ratio of 11.4
  • Male to female student ratio of 54:46

9. Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife (OAU)

Originally established as University of Ife in 1962, OAU at present has 13 faculties, a College of Health Medicines, and a Postgraduate College. It.offers undergraduate, postgraduate and a collaborative A-level programme (leading to direct entry into the Federal University of Technology, Owerri). The school boasts of the following:

  • A large central library, the Hezekiah Oluwasanmi library with seating capacity of 2500 people and internet access
  • A well set-up ICT system and access to the internet from every building on site
  • A medical and health centre with 24-hour service
  • A large University teaching hospitals cluster, with three of these hospitals established outside the main campus
  • 9 halls of residence for students
  • A well-equipped sports centre
  • A staff to students ratio of 23.3
  • Male to female student ratio of 59:41

10. Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB)

This notable institution was established by the government as one of the three federal universities of agriculture in Nigeria, in the year 1988; after which it was relocated to its permanent site in Abeokuta nine years later. The school comprises of 9 university colleges, 44 undergraduate programmes, and 135 postgraduate programmes. The school can boast of the following facilities at the moment:

  • A Veterinary school in Isale-Igbein
  • A 1000-seater central library
  • A radio station
  • Zoo park
  • Sports centre
  • Biotechnology centre
  • Health centre
  • Staff to student ratio of 25.9
  • Male to female ratio of 50:50


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About the author

Robin Okwanma

Hi, I'm Robin Okwanma. Software Engineer || Django, Python || React, React Native || Blogger. Technical Writer.

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