Top 10 Most Desirable Nigerian Universities

Nigeria is a country that is fascinated with education especially when it comes to University degrees. Most times this fascination may not necessarily be founded upon acquiring quality education but simply the need to be called a graduate and hopefully move on to get a job. Each new year, the number of prospective undergraduates (Jambites) continue to escalate. Everybody has high hopes of being admitted to one university or the other in the country. It is true that this explosion has made it look like all Nigerian universities are in high demand but there are those that are in extreme demand.

Some candidates no longer care about the ranking of these institutions or how good these universities are, rather they go for the universities which are in lesser demands while some others insist on their choices of the best universities.

In 2015, the number of applicants for the JAMB examinations set a new record high, with 1.7 million candidates sitting for the exams. The Joint Admission and Matriculations Board (JAMB) released a list revealing the Nigerian Universities with the most applicants from 2012 to 2016. However, JAMB did not release details for 2015 and 2017.

In 2012, the University of Benin was the most sought-after university. However, it was surpassed by the University of Ilorin, in 2013. UNIILORIN has since been the most desirable Nigerian University with a total of 411,340 applicants between 2012 and 2016. UNIBEN recorded 331,178, the second highest total for the four years. Following UNIBEN are UNN and UNILAG.

Imo State University was also the only state university to make it to the list, appearing twice, first in 2012 at 9th place with 55,834 applicants and 2013 at 8th place with 45,169 applicants.

Here we bring you the 2015 available list of the top 10 most desirable universities in Nigeria.

10. University of Jos, Jos – 40,366

Nigerian Universities - UniJos
Top 10 Most Desirable Nigerian Universities

This University was established in November 1971. It first started as a satellite campus of the University of Ibadan. Its doors were open to the first set of students in January 1972 to run a pre-degree course. In October 1973, the first bachelor of arts degree was launched. However, the ruling military government under General Murtala Mohammed established the UniJos as a separate institution in October 1975.

9. Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife – 45,924

Top 10 Most Desirable Nigerian Universities

Founded in October 1961, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) is owned and operated by the Federal Government and the university is situated in the ancient city of Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria. It was initially named University of Ife but changed to Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU)  on the 12th of May 1987 in honour of Chief Obafemi Awolowo (1909–1987), who was the first premier of the Western Region of Nigeria.

8. University of Ibadan, Ibadan – 59,176

Top 10 Most Desirable Nigerian Universities

Popularly known as Unibadan or UI, this is the oldest university in Nigeria founded in 1932 in Yaba, Lagos.  Actually, the university started off as Yaba College but moved on to its own site on 17 November 1948. It is now located five miles which is 8 kilometres from the centre of the main city of Ibadan.

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7. University of Lagos, Lagos – 60,659

Top 10 Most Desirable Nigerian Universities

One of the most prestigious Universities in Nigeria is the “University of Lagos.” It was established with the aim of creating an institution of higher learning in which Nigerians can be highly trained to meet up with the demands of the labour market in the country. It was commissioned in in 1962.

6.  Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka – 61,862

Top 10 Most Desirable Nigerian Universities

The universities on this list are some of the top Federal Universities in Nigeria which have churned out millions of graduates over the years. Becuase of the perceived quality of these institutions, their demand by potential college students can be overwhelming.

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5. Bayero University, Kano – 64,220

Top 10 Most Desirable Nigerian Universities

Popularly known as “BUK,” Bayero University, Kano was founded in 1977. Its campus is situated in Kano State in Nigeria. The name of the university was initially known as  “The University College” before it was upgraded to its current status.

4. University of Nigeria, Nsukka – 65,954

Nigerian Universities - UNN
Top 10 Most Desirable Nigerian Universities

Commonly referred to as UNN, the University of Nigeria was founded by the late Nnamdi Azikiwe. It is located in Nsukka, Enugu State and officially started on the 7th of October 1960.

3. Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria – 75,383

ABU for short is a Federal Government university that is mainly research-based. The university was founded on October 4, 1962, in Zaria, Kaduna State as the University of Northern Nigeria. It has Samaru (main) and Kongo as its two major campuses.

Top 10 Most Desirable Nigerian Universities

2. University of Benin, Benin – 81,363

Top 10 Most Desirable Nigerian Universities

The University of Benin was commissioned to a full-fledged university by the “National Universities Commission (NUC),” on 1 July 1971. Before the commissioning, it was commenced as the Institute of Technology in 1970.

1. University of Ilorin, Ilorin – 103,238

Top 10 Most Desirable Nigerian Universities

The University of Ilorin started out as a college which was affiliated with the oldest university in Nigeria, University of Ibadan, in 1975. The then principal was Dr. T.N. Tamuno who facilitated the enrollment of the first 200 students into the school following an entrance examination. The college started off with tree academic courses including; Art, Education and Science.

In conclusion, because of the prestige and importance associated with the acquisition of a higher degree, the number of candidates seeking to gain admission into universities is on the rise from year to year. Though the institutions available can’t comfortably accommodate new secondary school graduates all at once, students are willing to settle for university choices they believe are of a lesser demand. Nevertheless, given the population of the teeming Nigerian graduates such a strategy might be of little significance. Nevertheless, it is worth the shot to acquire that coveted degree. From the list above you can make an informed choice when filling for the school, you would like to enrol in.


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