Aerial View of a Private University in Nigeria

Over the years, Nigeria has witnessed proliferation of private universities. The increase began in the late 1990s, where universities such as Covenant, Igbinedion and Madonna universities came into existence. Today, there are about 78 private universities in Nigeria according to National Universities Commission. This number is expected to increase in the couple of years as more will be sprung up in various parts of the country. One notable feature that characterizes these academic institutions is the exorbitant tuition fees, which over the years has been a serious debating issue. However, it is generally argued that most of these institutions maintain high academic standard that justifies the fees being charged. Also, it is unarguable that these schools have provided a better alternative and competition to public owned universities.

The focus of this article is to bring to fore top best private universities in Nigeria, on the basis of rankings from various organizations and agencies of government such as NUC. This list is arranged in no particular order.

Covenant University

This highly revered academic institution is a private christian university which was established in 2002 and it is situated in Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria. It is in affiliation with Living Faith Church Worldwide. It is one of the leading universities from Nigeria based on rankings from various organizations, scholarly citations from reputable journals and JAMB statistics.

Born and driven by vision to raise a new generation of leaders and to reinstate the dignity of the black race, remaining at the cutting-edge of learning that is based on enlightening the total man, is the university’s commitment. The institution has had a rapid rise in reputation for close to two decades it has been in operation.

The school which boast of having state-of-the-art facilities and a very large and highly qualified staff, was in 2018, ranked by the National Universities Commission (NUC) as the best private university in Nigeria. Covenant University runs its academic programmes through the collegiate system. Each college houses various departments. They include:

  • College of Business and Social Sciences
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Leadership Development Studies
  • College of Science and Technology
  • College of Postgraduate Studies

Babcock University

Established in 1999, Babcock University is among the first set and a leading private university in Nigeria. The academic institution is owned by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nigeria and it is located at Ileshan-Remo in Ogun State.

Babcock University is well known for its highly innovative methods of teaching and management. Currently, it has 9 schools and a college, with students population of over 10,000. See the schools and college below as accredited by NUC:

  • Babcock Business School
  • The School of Agriculture and Industrial Technology
  • College of Health and Medical Sciences
  • School of Computing and Engineering Sciences
  • School of Basic and Applied Sciences
  • School of Education and Humanities
  • School of Nursing
  • School of Public and Applied Health
  • School of Law and Security Studies

American university of Nigeria

This University was established in 2005 by the former Vice President of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. The university is located in Yola, Adamawa State. Its curriculum, teaching methods and even accreditation standards are all in the American styles. The aim is to create a Nigerian version of the American University, Washington DC.

The academic institution runs programmes in the following schools:

  • School of Law
  • School of Business and Entrepreneurship
  • School of Arts and Sciences
  • School of Information Technology and Computing

Bowen University

Established in 2007, Bowen University is located in Owo, Osun State. The school is owned by a christian religious group, the Baptist Convention. With a student capacity of 20, 000, the school boast of 7 colleges namely:

  • College of Agriculture, Engineering & Science (COAES)
  • College of Management & Social Sciences (COMSS)
  • College of Law (COLAW)
  • College of Liberal Studies (COLBS)
  • College of Health Sciences (COHES)
  • College of Computing & Communication Studies COCCS)
  • College of Postgraduate Studies (COPGS)

Joseph Ayo babalola University

Joseph Ayo Babalola otherwise called JABU, was established in 2006. The academic institution is owned by the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) and it located Ikeji Arakeji in Osun State. The university is named after the first spiritual leader of Christ apostolic Church, Joseph Ayo Babalola (1904 – 1959). The school offers courses in the following colleges:

  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Humanities
  • Law
  • Management Sciences
  • Natural Sciences
  • Social Sciences

Landmark University

The university which commenced it full operation in 2011, is owned by Living Faith Church Worldwide. It is located at Omu-Aran in Kwara State, Nigeria. The aim of the school is to act as a catalyst for an agricultural revolution. The academic institution is famous for the culture of effective teaching of life-applicable research, mentorship in scientific and technological scholarship for new generation of global leaders.

Landmark University runs various undergraduate programmes in 4 colleges as approved by NUC:

  • College of Agricultural Sciences
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Pure ad Applied Sciences
  • College of Business and Social Sciences

Redeemer University

Redeemer University was founded by the Redeemed christian Church of God and was officially opened to the public in 2005. It is located at Ede in Osun State, Nigeria. It is fast rising private university that has gradually become one of the best in Nigeria. In 2015, it won a World Bank grant by beating many top-rated universities in Africa.

Redeemer University runs numerous undergraduate in 6 faculties:

  • Faculty of administration
  • Faculty of Medical/Pharmaceutical/Health Sciences
  • Faculty of Social/Management Sciences
  • Faculty of Sciences
  • Faculty of Arts/Humanities
  • Faculty of Engineering/Environmental/Technology

Ajayi Crowther University

Located in Ibadan, Oyo State, the Ajayi Crowther University was established in 2005. It is associated with the Anglican Communion which operates on strict religious morals. The academic institution runs programmes in the following faculties namely:

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Faculty of Education
  • Faculty of Engineering
  • Faculty of Environmental Studies
  • Faculty of Law
  • Faculty of Management Sciences
  • Faculty of Natural Sciences
  • Faculty of Social Sciences

Afe Babalola University

The academic institution which was founded by a legal luminary and a philanthropist, Chief Afe Babalola, is one of the fast rising and leading private university in Nigeria. Located in Ado Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti State. The school is grouped among the best because of its fast pace of development and state-of-the-art facilities. Currently, there are over 6000 students in the school with about 6 undergraduate colleges which include:

  • College of Sciences
  • College of Law
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Science and Management Sciences
  • College of Medical and health Sciences
  • Postgraduate Studies

Igbinedion University

Established in 1999, Igbinedion University is Nigeria’s premier private university. in other words, it is the first private university in Nigeria and happens to be one of the best in the country. The school which is located in Okada, Edo State, was founded by Chief Sir, Dr. Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, a prominent Benin chief.

Igbinedion University has a student capacity of 5000 with incredible records such as being the first private university to produce medical doctors in sub-saharan African and produced the first private university graduate in 2006 to bag a first class at the Nigerian Law school. The university has seven colleges namely:

  • College of law
  • College of health sciences
  • College of Health and Applied Sciences
  • College of Business and management Studies
  • College of Pharmacy
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Art and sciences

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