10 Best Federal Universities in Nigeria

What are the best Federal Universities in Nigeria according to Global rankings? 

In this article, using the latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings and Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, we have ranked the best Federal government-owned universities in Nigeria.

Ranking the best Federal Universities in Nigeria

The Times Higher Education Ranking has only four Nigerian Universities on their global rank, namely: Covenant University, University of Ibadan, University of Lagos, and, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

In this ranking, the Times Higher Education rank of the three federal universities (University of Ibadan, University of Lagos, and, University of Nigeria, Nsukka)was averaged with their ranks in Webometrics Ranking of World Universities. The other Federal universities in Nigeria on this list were ranked according to their latest position on Webometrics Ranking of World Universities.

What is the Times Higher Education Ranking?

Times Education Ranking uses set standard performance indicators to rank universities globally. These performance indications include:

  • Teaching (the learning environment);
  • Research (volume, income, and reputation);
  • Citations (research influence);
  • International outlook (staff, students, and research); and
  • Industry Income (knowledge transfer

What is the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities?

Webometrics Ranking of World Universities ranks over 28,000 Higher Education Institutions around the world. Webometrics rankings are based on the volume and quality of contents a university publishes on the internet.

Webometrics rankings consider:

  • Presence rank of the universities (the total number of web pages hosted in the main web domain of the university and gets recognized by Google)
  • Impact rank (the institution prestige, academic performance)
  • Openness rank (global effort to set up institutional research repositories)
  • Excellence rank (number of academic papers published in high impact international journals)

Best Federal Universities in Nigeria

Based on the latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings and Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, these are the best Federal universities in Nigeria:

1. University of Ibadan (UI) 

The University of Ibadan, located in Oyo State Nigeria, was established in 1948, making it the first university in Nigeria. It started as a college under the University of London and in 1962 became a full-fledged independent university. Since its establishment, UI has gone on to become one of the top Federal universities in Nigeria. 

UI started with three departments in Science, Medicine and Arts. Today, the university boasts of over thirteen faculties including Agriculture and Forestry, Dentistry, Technology, Education, Law, to mention a few.Also, the University of Ibadan has a zoological and botanical garden, a media resource Centre and a Distance Learning Centre, where part-time students can undergo the same courses as full-time students.  Also, the University of Ibadan has the largest Postgraduate School in Africa

The University of Ibadan has a host of alumni who are renowned individuals in different sectors of Nigeria, including 1986 Nobel Prize Winner in Literature Professor Woke Soyinka. And the author of the most widely red book in contemporary African literature Chinua Achebe.

Webometrics ranks the University of Ibadan as the best university in Nigeria and the best Federal University in Nigeria. Times Higher Education University Rankings ranks the University of Ibadan among the top 600 universities in Nigeria.

2. University of Lagos (UNILAG) 

Founded in 1962, the University of Lagos is one of the first generational universities in Nigeria. The University has three campuses in Lagos; the main campus in Akoka, the School of Radiography at Yaba and the College of Medicine at Idi Araba, Surulere. 

UNILAG offers over eighty-six undergraduate and one hundred and forty postgraduate programs including PGD, Masters/M. Phil and PhD. These degree programs are spread across twelve faculties and five institutes, including a Centre for Distance Learning for Postgraduate studies. 

UNILAG’s academic programs are organized into areas of specialization for the award of degrees and skill acquisition. It also boasts of ten research centres fully equipped for research purposes.

Webometrics ranks the University of Lagos as the fourth best university in Nigeria and the third-best Federal university in Nigeria. Times Higher Education University Rankings places UNILAG among the top 1000 universities in the world.

3. The University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) 

 UNN is one of the foremost federal universities in Nigeria. The University is Nigeria, Neumann was founded in 1955, under the guidance of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe. On the 7th of October, 1960, UNN officially began operations as a tertiary institution in Nigeria.

The University comprises of four campuses situated in Nsukka, Ituku, Ozalla, and Aba. The University became the first full-fledged indigenous and first autonomous university in Nigeria.

UNN has a student population of thirty-six thousand and boasts of one hundred and twelve academic departments spread across fifteen faculties. The University of Nigeria offers eighty-two undergraduate programs and over two hundred postgraduate programs. 

UNN also prides itself on its research institutes including African studies, education, developmental studies, postgraduate studies, and herbal medicine and drugs research and development.

Times Higher Education University Rankings places the University of Nigeria Nsuuka among the top 1000 universities in the world. Webometrics, on the other hand, ranks it third amongst the best universities in Nigeria and the second-best Federal University in Nigeria.

4. Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) 

Formerly called the University of Ife, Obafemi Awolowo University is located in the ancient city of Ile-Ife, Osun State. Founded in 1961, OAU commenced its first session in 1962.

On the 12th of May 1987, the school was renamed Obafemi Awolowo University in honour of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the pioneer of education in Western Nigeria.

The university boasts of thirteen faculties and two colleges, the Postgraduate College and a College of Health Sciences administered in more than sixty departments.  

Webometrics ranks OAU the fifth best university in Nigeria and the fourth-best Federal University in Nigeria.

5. Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) 

Ahmadu Bello University is a Federal research university in Zaria, Kaduna State. Founded on the 4th of January, 1962, ABU was formerly known as the University of Northern Nigeria. 

ABU comprises of two campuses; Samaru which is the main campus, and Kongo in Zaria. Ahmadu Bello University operates several undergraduate and graduate programs. It has a sizeable medical program, and ABU also boasts of a teaching hospital, considered to be one of the largest teaching hospitals in Nigeria and Africa.

ABU has over twelve faculties and boasts of about eighty-two academic departments with a student body of thirty-five thousand. It also boasts of a conducive learning environment for each student.

Webometrics ranks Ahmadu Bello University as the sixth-best universities in Nigeria and the fifth-best Federal university in Nigeria.

6. University of Ilorin (UNILORIN)

Established in August 1975 by a decree of the Federal Military Government, the University of Ilorin is a Federal university in Ilorin, Kwara state. 

UNILORIN boasts of fifteen faculties, which include Arts, Sciences, Education, Engineering & Technology, Agriculture, Law, Basic Medical Sciences, Clinical Sciences, to mention a few. It also has over sixty departments and offers postgraduate courses. 

UNILORIN’s detachment from the Academic Staff University Union (ASUU) ensures the smooth running of the university’s operations.

Webometrics ranks UNILORIN as the seventh-best university in Nigeria and the sixth-best Federal University in Nigeria.                                            

7. The Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) 

Founded in 1981, the Federal University of Technology Akure is located in Akure, Ondo State.

FUTA was created in line with the Federal Government’s goal to produce university graduates who are equipped with both practical and theoretical knowledge of their course.

FUTA has nine faculties which include; School of Science, School of Earth and Mineral Sciences, School of Environmental Technology, School of Engineering and Engineering Technology, School of Agricultural and Agricultural Technology, School of Management Technology, School of Postgraduate Studies, School of Health and Health Technology, School of Computing. 

It also operates pre-degree science programs, short-term courses, and University Advanced Basic Science programs. The school has a student body of about thirteen thousand undergraduates and two thousand postgraduates. 

Webometrics ranks the Federal University of Akure as the eighth-best university in Nigeria and the seventh-best Federal university in Nigeria.

8. University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) 

The Port Harcourt University was established in 1975 as University College in Port Harcourt and got its university status in 1977. UNIPORT started in 1977 with six faculties, which has since increased to twelve.

It also has a student body of over forty-four thousand undergraduates. UNIPORT records 

This school offers postgraduate studies and comprises of a student body of over forty-four thousand undergraduates. 

The University records several notable alumni of which one is Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 

Webometrics ranks the University of Port Harcourt as the ninth-best university in Nigeria and the eight best Federal University in Nigeria.

9. University of Benin (UNIBEN) 

UNIBEN was founded in 1970 as an institute of technology but got full-fledged university status in July 1971. The University offers a wide range of courses and postgraduate courses, also allowing international studentship. 

The University of Benin produced the first female vice-chancellor in Nigeria. Other notable UNIBEN alumni including Babatunde Fashola, former Lagos State governor and current Minister of Power, Work & Housing in Nigeria.

According to Webometrics, the University of Benin is ranked the eleventh best university in Nigeria and the ninth best Federal University in Nigeria. 

10. Federal University of Technology Minna

Founded in 1983, the Federal University of Technology Minna specializes in technological education and designated for studies in biotechnology and genetic engineering. FUTMINNA also dives into the development of vaccines and drugs. 

The university ten faculties of which include a School of Agriculture and Agriculture Technology, School of Infrastructure, Process and Engineering Technology, School of Engineering and Engineering Technology, School of Entrepreneurship and Management Technology to mention a few.

FUTMINNA’s school of postgraduate studies offers postgraduate degrees to national and international students.

Webometrics ranks FUTMINNA as the twelfth best university in Nigeria and the tenth best Federal University in Nigeria.

Final Word

Nigerian tertiary education is divided into private institutions and federal institutions. We have listed the best federal universities in Nigeria that are globally respected for their academic performance and also provides a conducive learning atmosphere for its students. 

We have also created a list on the top private universities in Nigeria for your reading enjoyment.

5 thoughts on “10 Best Federal Universities in Nigeria”

  1. Contradicting to this article, I see people saying it’s not about the money the school charges as school fees it’s wether the child will definitely learn.

    But Fr it’s not just about the money and statues that make parents sends their children to big schools. It’s mainly because success is guaranteed when you mingle with successful people. I’m talking about your kids associating with other kids that also comes From wealthy homes as well.


Leave a Comment