This battle of the best private universities in Nigeria is one that has been going on for a long time now. Almost every student of these schools argues that their school is the best private university in Nigeria. So many theories and so many lists have been made. We are here to settle the fight once and for all. And have come to finally bring an end to this long-lasting battle between the best private universities in Nigeria. Have also compiled a list of the top 10 best private universities in Nigeria after thorough research. We aim to provide an uninfluenced. And unbiased list of the top 10 best private universities in Nigeria based on facts.
a stadium with yellow benches and with black words spelling covenant university
Also want to help prospective students and information seekers to find a truthful.
With a reliable list instead of the data provided online by these private universities themselves.
What is a private university you might ask?
No, I’m not trying to insult your intelligence.
I am only doing this for the benefit of those that do not know or that are not entirely sure of what private universities are all about.
A private university is a type of college or a university that is owned by a private individual or entity.
It does not receive any type of funding from the government.
Usually, it has to be in compliance with the government rules and regulations with regards to education quality.
And student living and a host of many others.
Private universities are generally smaller in student populations than public universities.
In some cases, they might have a smaller available selection of available courses.
However, they may also offer more advanced and specialized programs compared to public universities.
What differentiates a private university from a public one?
This is literarily one of the factors that make most people end up becoming a part of the public university crowd.
Some people regard private universities as ‘The Rich Kid University’.
Compared to the quality of education of private universities in Nigeria.
The tuition fees in any average private university in Nigeria is a lot higher than that of the public universities.
Some public university students would make jokes that a year of tuition for some private universities in Nigeria.
And would finance their whole university expenses which might be possible as some medicine and engineering courses cost a lot of money.
An average private university in Nigeria charges about two hundred thousand naira to a million and more per semester, depending on the course type.
2. Union strikes
It is no news that an average university candidate in Nigeria always considers strike as one of the key elements of choosing a university in Nigeria.
And this is also one of the things that compel students to consider choosing private universities.
Public universities usually run with government funding and supervision.
Because we do not have a perfect and fully functional standard system of government in the country at the moment.
And the public universities sometimes get neglected, and the workers are sometimes not paid on time.
These unpaid bills could run into months sometimes.
This is the reason why some public universities in Nigeria and their lecturers go on strike to protest the ill-treatment from the government.
These strikes usually run into weeks and months.
And the students are usually on the receiving end of it because their academic calendar is always changing.
And they have to come back and stay in school for extra months or years than they are suppose to be in school.
So most parents make the sacrifice of sending their children to the much more expensive best private universities in Nigeria so that their children can have a smooth, fast and hitch-free education.
3. Small class size and personal attention
The size of the population of students in a private university is usually much smaller than that of a Public university.
This means that the class sizes will be smaller, thereby helping the students of private universities to receive closer on-one attention from their lecturers.
The lecturers get to know their students on a personal level and also provide emotional and physical support.
This helps them perform better in their academics compared to a public university where the lecturer only knows the regular front sitters and every other person is just a matric number.
The religious use of attendance in private universities also further reduces the number of unserious students that skip classes.
The result is a better understanding of the course materials and also a better performance of the majority of the students in the private universities in Nigeria.
4. Ease of gaining admission
The chances of gaining admission to a reputable public university are more complicated than that of private universities in Nigeria.
Candidates are looking forward to have impeccable WASSCE results and meet high cut-off marks in JAMB.
While the private universities do not expect you to have high cut-off marks, they make up for it by usually conducting a mini-interview.
The aim is to get to know you and give you a chance based on your values and goals instead of just figures.
5. Learning conditions
Private universities in Nigeria are known to be better equipped than public universities.
The small amount of student population and also the tuition in an average private university in Nigeria makes it easier for the school to provide adequate infrastructures and a conducive learning environment for their students.
This, in turn, makes it easier for students to learn and assimilate easily compare to public universities.
And that are usually with a lot of problems in producing basic amenities like enough classroom seats and exam question papers.
Just as it implies, private universities in Nigeria give the impression of being classy, prestigious and advanced, which also opens a few doors of opportunities for students in their various workplaces and outside the country.
7. Return on investment (ROI)
While the cost of education is high, students in private universities in Nigeria are usually guaranteed good returns on the amount they put into their education.
The amount of attention available to them from their lecturers and counsellors usually helps the students to choose the right career choice that they have interest in.
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This inevitably leads to better-performing students.
Also, students in private universities make a lot of invaluable connections.
They are also provided with exclusive job opportunities by the Alumni members, which is amazing.
Top 10 best private universities in Nigeria
Now let us get to the list we have all been waiting for:
1. Covenant University
Covenant University is the very first private university on our list of the top 10 best private universities in Nigeria.
Also has continuously maintained its position as the number one private university in Nigeria for reasons we are about to find out.
And has no secret that this private university is one of the most popular private universities in Nigeria.
It is located in Sango Ota, Ogun state and owned by a popular and well-respected Nigerian pastor, Bishop David Oyedepo.
He is the founder of the Living Faith Church and also a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities.
This private university was built on a foundation of solid faith and firm morals.
It has continued to excel and improve steadily since its establishment in 2002.
It is also said to be the best private university in Nigeria for Law.
The university runs a collegiate system of 4 colleges; College of Business and Social Sciences (CBSS), College of Leadership Development Studies (CLDS), College of Engineering (COE) and College of Science and Technology (CST).
It has a total population of about 15,000 students and about 1,000 administrative staff.
If you check the numerous ratings of the best private universities in Nigeria that are available, this is the only private university that has retained its first place among the best private universities in Nigeria.
Students who graduated from this higher institution have a repeatedly good proven chance in the labour market.
I am sure that you already see why it tops the list of the top 10 best private universities in Nigeria.
2. Babcock University
Babcock University is the second private university on our list of the top 10 best private universities in Nigeria.
It is also one of the most popular best private universities in Nigeria located in Ilishan, Ogun state.
Babcock University has one of the best innovative methods of management.
And we are aware that the students have exceptional moral and religious standards.
It is a private religious university belonging to The Seventh-day Adventist church.
It is also one of the largest Christian schools in the world.
The institution has always provided a holistic and religious-based learning environment for its students.
It is also said to be the best private university in Nigeria for medicine because of its top-notch state-of-the-art medicine school and Teaching Hospital.
They offer what I would call a 2-in-1 system of education.
They provide the best and latest technologies for its students and also incorporate the Christian faith into their academic curriculum to teach them in the ways of the Lord.
This private university has 9 schools and 1 college.
They include The School of Computing & Engineering Sciences, School of Education and Humanities, School of Agriculture & Industrial Technology, College of Health & Medical Sciences, School of Public & Applied Health, Babcock Business School, School of Basic & Applied Science, School of Law & Security Studies, School of Nursing and The School of Postgraduate Studies.
It has an average student population of about 10,000 students.
And also runs both secondary and tertiary institutions.
It is also strongly contending with Covenant for its number one position as the best private universities in Nigeria.
3. Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU)
Joseph Ayo Babalola University is the third-best private university on our list of the top 10 best private universities in Nigeria.
Their fees are said to be affordable compared to other private universities in Nigeria.
It is a private University in Nigeria located in Ara-Ikeji, Osun State and was established in the year 2004.
And is officially started academic lessons in 2006 after it obtained its license.
It is also a faith-based private university owned by the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC).
Also, was named after late Joseph Ayo Babalola who was the first spiritual leader of the church.
This private university is accredited by the National Universities Commission and affiliated with Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN).
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and the Association of African Business Schools (AABS).
They have an average population of about 4000 students and 7 faculties including Humanities, Law, Agricultural Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences, Management Sciences.
It was also named the first entrepreneurial university in Nigeria in 2004.
It is one of the very selective best private universities in Nigeria with a 65% acceptance rate which is based on good academic history.
Due to its Christian foundations, the male and female students of this private university are made to adopt a very modest mode of dressing while on the school campus.
The first Chancellor of the university was His Royal Majesty; Oba (Dr) Oladele Olashore (CON).
It is also open for international students seeking admission.
4. Bowen University (BU)
The Bowen University, BU for short is ranked number four of the top 10 best private universities in Nigeria list.
It is located in Iwo, Osun State and named as the first church-owned private University in Nigeria.
And is a Baptist Christian non-profit Nigerian private University owned and operated by the Nigerian Baptist Convention.
It was founded on the 17th of July in 2001 and was opened officially for academic lectures in 2002 with about 500 students.
The population has grown to more than 5000 students as of 2017.
It is named the first Baptist University in Africa.
Every single one of its programs has been accredited by the National Universities Commission.
This private university has one college and five faculties.
These are; College of Health Sciences, of Science and Science Education, Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Agriculture, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Science and Science Education, Faculty of Social and Management Science and also a postgraduate school.
Bowen has also stood the test of time and has continued to prove its worth to be on this list of the best private universities in Nigeria.
5. Redeemer’s University
Redeemer’s university is the 4th private university on our list of 10 best private universities in Nigeria.
It is a non-profit university located in Ede, Osun State.
Also, is officially accredited by the National Universities Commission.
And has a very small student population of over 1000 students.
It is also a faith-based institution founded by the Redeemed Christian Church of God in 2005.
And it is known to have a very selective admission policy based on the student’s performances in their entrance examinations and past academic records.
They also offer foundational degrees leading to higher education degrees like diplomas and other pre-bachelor degrees.
The first set of postgraduate students was admitted in the 2012/2013 academic sessions.
In 2013, the university emerged the best-rated university among 15 other universities selected from all over West and Central Africa.
To win a World Bank Grant to fund the establishment of the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID).
It has a total of three colleges: the College of Natural Science, the College of Management Science, and the College of Humanities and a total of 26 academic programs.
It has a selective admission policy solely based on students’ past academic records.
The admission rate is above 50%, making it one of the averagely selective best private universities in Nigeria.
It is also said that an engineering college will be added to the school soon.
International applicants are also welcome to apply for enrolment.
6. Afe Babalola University (ABUAD)
The 6th best private university of the top 10 best private universities in Nigeria is ABUAD.
This is a non-profit private university located in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State.
It was founded in 2009 by Afe Babalola, a Nigerian lawyer and philanthropist.
And is also officially accredited by the National University Commission.
It is said to be the very first and only private university in Nigeria to fully commence academic activities on its permanent site within a short space of 8 months.
This institution of higher learning offers academic programs in six.
Colleges including Sciences, Law, Engineering, Social and Management Sciences, Medicine and Health Sciences, and Postgraduate Studies.
It is said to be the best private university in Nigeria for law because it provides practical and in-depth legal education for its students.
Some people would also argue that the law department in ABUAD is great because the founder is a renowned lawyer.
It also has an entrepreneurship and language centre within the school building.
That all students must pass through during their period of study to help them learn and speak good English language and other languages.
Some would also argue that it is the best private university in Nigeria for Engineering.
Because of its reputable Engineering College, which was built on about three and a half acres of land.
It is equipped with sophisticated state-of-the-art equipment all from Europe and the United States.
It is also said to be one of the largest Engineering colleges in Africa.
The admission rate is also above 90%, making it one of the least selective best private universities in Nigeria.
7. Ajayi Crowther University
The 7th place in the top 10 best private universities in Nigeria is Ajayi Crowther University, also known as (ACU).
It is a non-profit private university in Nigeria located in Oyo Town.
And is officially accredited by the National Universities Commission.
It also a faith-based university established in 2005 by the Supra Diocesan Board of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Church).
Also was named after the first African bishop of the Anglican Church.
He was the very first Nigerian to translate the Holy Bible into the Yoruba language.
ACU has a student population of about 3000 students and offers pre-bachelor degrees in many areas of study.
It is one of the best private universities in Nigeria.
That is said to have a very selective admission policy solely based on the student’s performance during the school’s entrance examination.
It has a total of four faculties with different courses available under them.
They include Faculties of Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social Science and Management Science.
The admission range is over 90%, and international students are also welcome to apply to this school for admission.
Now we see why there is no way this university won’t make it to the list of the best private universities in Nigeria.
8. Igbinedion University
Igbinedion University ranks the 8th on our list of the top 10 best private universities in Nigeria.
A for profit private university in Nigeria located at Okada, headquarters of Ovia North-East Local Government Area, Edo State.
And is officially accredited by the National Universities Commission, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, MDCN, Computer Professional Council of Nigeria, Council of Legal Education and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN.
And is also ranked as the very first private university in Nigeria as a whole.
It was established in 1999.
Also, offers pre-bachelor courses and has a selective admission policy based on student’s performances in their entrance examinations.
The admission range is above 70%.
The university has seven Colleges namely College of Law, College of Health Sciences, College of Natural and Applied Sciences, College of Business and Management Studies, College of Pharmacy, College of Engineering and College of Arts and Social Sciences and a postgraduate school.
It also has a student population of over 5000 students across the seven colleges.
International applicants are also welcome to enrol for admission.
This private university has also recorded several achievements.
Including being the very first Private University in Nigeria to produce medical doctors in Sub-Saharan Africa.
It also produced the very First class graduate of a private university in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2006 at the very competitive Nigeria Law School.
It has also gained a great reputation as the best private university in Nigeria for pharmacy.
You see why Igbinedion University is one of the best private universities in Nigeria.
9. The Bells University of Technology.
The Bells University of Technology, also known as Bells Tech or BUT is the number 9th on the top 10 best private universities in Nigeria.
And was the very first private university of technology established in Nigeria.
And was established in 2004, but it began to admit students from the 2005/2006 academic session.
It was founded by Olusegun Obasanjo, an ex-president of Nigeria.
He is the owner of The Bells Educational Foundation which already has Nursery, primary and secondary schools.
BUT is made up of a total of seven Colleges and thirty-five departments.
It is also open for international students seeking admission.
10. American University of Nigeria
The 10th best private university in Nigeria is the American University of Nigeria, also known as (AUN).
It made it to the 10th best private university in Nigeria on our list of top 10 best private universities in Nigeria.
Because it is the very first private university to be established in the North-eastern part of Nigeria.
Is located in Adamawa, Yola State. And was established in 2004 and founded by Atiku Abubakar, a former Vice president of Nigeria.
Its first academic session kick-started officially in 2005.
The university was originally named the ABTI American University of Nigeria before it was renamed.
AUN is also said to be the first private university in Nigeria that offers the American style of higher education programs at undergraduate, graduate and professional levels.
It is accredited by the National Universities Commission.
It is also a member of the Association of American International Colleges and Universities and the Global Liberal Arts Alliance.
The university consists of six schools namely:
- The School of Arts and Sciences
- School of Business & Entrepreneurship
- School of Engineering
- School of Law
- School of Information Technology & Communications
- School of Graduate Studies.
It is also open for international students.
Top 10 best private universities in Nigeria Conclusion
As you have seen, there are a lot of universities in Nigeria that are capable of giving quality education to their students.
I hope that this article was able to educate you and also provide some answers to your questions.
If you still have more questions about the credibility of these institutions, do reach out to them.
I am sure that they will be willing to answer any questions to clear your doubts.
How many private universities are in Nigeria
According to the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) list, there are a total of 79 NUC accredited private universities in Nigeria.
This also means that there are other private universities in Nigeria that are not yet on this list.
There are compiled lists of NUC accredited best private universities in Nigeria.
Please be very careful when dealing with any private university in Nigeria that is not on this list at this moment.
And also do check the NUC website regularly to see if any changes have been made.
Which university is the biggest in Nigeria
In terms of landmass, no contender can beat the American University of Nigeria (AUN) as it is the biggest private university in Nigeria.
Dr.Dawn Dekle, the president of AUN, once described this private university as “Nigeria’s best-hidden secret” which is in no doubt a true statement.
Apart from the fact that AUN has a whopping landmass of 2400 acres which is almost thrice the size of UNILAG’s (University of Lagos) main campus.
And it is also known to be an Alma mater to a lot of relevant people in the world.
One such person is the son of the current president of Uganda.
This exact reason AUN cannot be left out on the list of best private universities in Nigeria.
Which university is the best to study law in Nigeria
The best private university in Nigeria to study law is Afe Babalola University.
If you check our list of top ten best private universities in Nigeria.
You will find Afe Babalola as the 6th best private university in Nigeria on this list.
It is an exceptional private university that has gathered a lot of brilliant accomplishments.
And it is no wonder that it is chosen as the best private university in Nigeria for the law.
Maybe because Afe is a renowned SAN (Senior Advocate of Nigeria).
He has put a lot of resources into making sure that ABUAD produces brilliant and well-groomed lawyers.
Law graduates of ABUAD are said to be making big waves in the legal section of Nigeria and making their Alma matter proud.
Which is the first private university in Nigeria?
Igbinedion University is the first private university established in Nigeria.
Also was ranked the 8th best private university in Nigeria on our list of the top 10 best private universities in Nigeria.
And was founded by Sir Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion in 1999 making it is the oldest private university in Nigeria.
It is situated at Okada in Edo State.
IUO consists of seven colleges:
Oba Erediauwa College of Law College of Natural & Applied Sciences, Oba Okunade Sijuade College of Health Sciences, College of Arts & Social Sciences, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi College of Business & Management Studies, Abdul Salaam Abubakar College of Engineering and Dora Akunyili College of Рharmacy.
This private university has become an Alma Mater for more than 10,000 graduate students since its establishment in 1999.
Its students have also been successfully employed at prestigious companies in Nigeria and far beyond.
It is also said that this private university gets financial support from numerous philanthropists.
Because of its position as the very first private university in Nigeria.