State universities contribute immensely to education standards in Nigeria. Although federal universities are believed to have a greater reputation, it is also a fact that we have several outstanding state universities that have continually outshined their counterparts in terms of producing some of the best intellectuals in the country. If you are about to choose an institution that will best fit your field of study, take a look at these 20 best state universities in Nigeria.
1. Lagos State University (LASU)
- Location: Ojo, Lagos State
- Address: Lasu Main Rd, Ojo 102101, Lagos
- Year Founded: 1983
- Founder: Lateef Kayode Jakande
Established under the Administration of Late Lateef Kayode Jakande, Lagos State University (LASU) is not just the best state university in Nigeria, but it is also one of the best universities in the country. This university outperforms some Federal Universities in terms of facilities and educational system.
With its motto being For Truth and Service, LASU was, in 2020, ranked among the top 600 universities in the world in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The state institution was also ranked the second-best university in Nigeria by a British magazine and has a student population of about 61,000.
Lasu has 4 campuses, namely Ojo (main campus), Ikeja, Surulere, and Epe. It has 9 faculties which are the Faculties of Social Sciences, Engineering, School of Basic Medical Science and Education, Business Administration, Law, School of Clinical Sciences, and Arts.
Some of the famous graduates of the University include Desmond Elliot, Chioma Chukwuka Akpotha, Sound Sultan, Annie Macaulay–Idibia, and Eniola Badmus. Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun (aka Wizkid), who is a prominent figure in the modern-day Afrobeats music scene, also passed through this prestigious university
2. Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST)
- location: Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.
- Address: Diobu (Mile III) Area, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
- Year Founded: 1972 as University college, 1980 as University
Founded in 1972, The Rivers State University of Science and Technology is one of the best state Universities in Nigeria. The University is the first Technological University in the country and the first state-owned University in the Niger Delta region. In 2017, RSUST was renamed Rivers State University (RSU) by the then Rivers State Governor, Chief Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike. The school has 7 faculties which are; Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Law, Technical and Science Education, Engineering, College of Medicine, Science.
RSU is among the only 2 universities in Nigeria offering degree programs in Marine Engineering. The institution has a student population of over 30,000 and a staff strength of 1,870. RSU is the first university in Nigeria that is accredited to offer degree programs in Marine Engineering. The University’s motto is “Excellence & Creativity,” and some of the known celebrities in Nigeria who graduated from the university include Tonto Dikeh, Mary Uranta, Nichole Banna, Judith Amaechi, and ex-governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.
- location: Ago-Iwoye, Ogun state
- Address: P.M.B 2002, Ago Iwoye, Ogun
- Year Founded: 1982
- Founder: Chief Olabisi Onabanjo
Formerly Ogun State University (OSU), OOU is the oldest university in Ogun State, the second oldest in the Southwest, and the sixth oldest in Nigeria. The University was established in the year 1982 and was renamed Olabisi Onabanjo University in 2001 in honour of Olabisi Onabanjo the then civilian governor of Ogun State.
OOU was designed as a multi-campus institution, with the College of Health Sciences in Sagamu (Remo), the College of Engineering in Ibogun (Egba), the College of Agricultural Sciences in Aiyetoro (Yewa), and its main campus housing Faculties of Arts and Humanities as well as Natural Sciences in Ago-Iwoye (Ijebu).
OOU also has 9 faculties, namely, Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Engineering, Environmental Science, Basic Medical Sciences, Social and Management Science, Law, and College of Medicine. Some of the notable alumni of Olabisi Onabanjo University include Toyin Abraham Ajeyemi, Lateef Adedimeji, Kafayat Oluwatoyin Shafau (Kaffy), and Kunle Idowu(Frank Donga).
4. Delta State University (DELSU)
- location: Abraka, Delta State
- Address: P.M.B. 1, Abraka Delta State, Nigeria
- Year Founded: 1992
- Founder: Felix Ibru
Next on our list of best state Universities in Nigeria is the Delta State University (DELSU) which was established in 1992 under the administration of Felix Ibru – the first democratically-elected Governor of Delta. DELSU is a culturally diverse institution that offers bachelor’s degrees in programs cutting across Agriculture, Medicine, Education, sciences, and social sciences. They also run post graduate programs as well.
The University has three campuses with about 36,000 students studying in as many as 11 faculties, namely, the Faculty of Arts, Agriculture, Science, Education, Law, Engineering, Basic medical sciences, Management studies, environmental studies, and pharmacy. Notable DELSU alumni include Joseph Momodu, Uche Mac-auley, Kendra Etufunwa, Craze Clown, and Bovi Ugboma.
- location: Ekpoma, Edo State
- Address: KM 70 Benin Auchi Road P. M. B 14, Ekpoma Edo State
- Year Founded: 1981
- Founder: Professor Ambrose Folorunsho Alli
Located in Ekpoma, the administrative headquarters of the Esan West Local Government Area Edo state, AAU was established in the year 1981 as Bendel State University before it was later renamed Ambrose Ali University in honor of its founder Professor Ambrose Folorunsho Alli.
AAU is known for its deployment and application of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in every aspect of the day-to-day administration of the institution. The University has eight colleges Legal studies and Medical science, Agriculture and Natural resources, Engineering and Technology, Arts and social science, Natural science, and Education.
This institution has produced several great minds that are currently making waves both locally and internationally. A good example is Aisha Buhari, the wife of former President Buhari and First Lady of Nigeria. She graduated from the university with a bachelor of arts degree in public administration. The list of Ambrose Alli University’s famous alumni also includes Omawumi, Don Jazzy, Atunyota Alleluya Akpobome (Ali Baba), Tony Elumelu, and Samuel Oboh
6. Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA)
- location: : Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State
- Address: P. M. B. 001, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State, Ondo
- Year Founded: 1982
- Founder: Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin
Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA) is one of the oldest and currently one of the best state Universities in Nigeria. The University was established as Obafemi Awolowo University in 1982 by the Old Ondo State under the leadership of Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin. The university was renamed Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin in order to immortalize the late Governor.
Offering undergraduate and post-graduate as well as Pre-degree JUPEB programs, AAUA has 6 faculties which are Arts. Science, Education, Law, Agriculture, Social, and Management Science.
7. Ladoke Akintola University Of Technology (LAUTECH)
- location: Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria
- Address: P.M.B 4000, Ogbomoso, Oyo State
- Year Founded: 1990
- Founder: Adetunji Olurin
With a student capacity of over 30,000 and a staff strength of over 3000, LAUTECH is a state-owned university in Ogbomosho, Oyo State. The University was established in 1990 as Oyo State University of Technology, Ogbomoso (OSUTECH).
It was later renamed Ladoke Akintola University after the separation of Osun State from Oyo State. LAUTECH was jointly owned by the Oyo and Osun States until November 20, 2020 when the University became solely owned by the Oyo State following a mutual agreement between the two states.
As one of the best state Universities in Nigeria, LAUTECH offers varying degree programs in twelve faculties, namely Agricultural Sciences, Basic Medical Sciences, Basic Clinical Sciences, Clinical Sciences, Nursing Sciences, Computing and Informatics, Environmental Sciences, Engineering and Technology, Food and Consumer Sciences, Pure and Applied Sciences; Management Sciences, and Renewable Natural Resources.
Some of the known alumni of the university include Singer Temmie Ovwasa, popularly known as ‘YBNL Princess’, and Shina Peller, the chief executive officer and the chairman of Aquila Group of Companies and Club Quilox.
8. Ekiti State University (EKSU)
- location: Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State
- Address: Iworoko road, Ado Ekiti, Ekiti
- Year Founded: 1982
- Founder: Michael Adekunle Ajasin
EKSU was established in the year 1982 as Obafemi Awolowo University, Ado-Ekiti. It was then changed to Ondo State University in 1995, then to the University of
Ado-Ekiti in 1999. The institution finally got a new name Ekiti State University in 2011.
EKSU is an Association of Commonwealth Universities member accredited by the National Universities Commission. In 2021. the state university was listed as the third-best state university in Nigeria by Webometrics.
Ekiti State University has faculties of Agriculture, Science, Social Science, Arts, Management Sciences, Clinical Sciences, and Basic Medical Science. Among its notable alumni include famous actors Funsho Adeolu, Bukky Fagbuyi, and Kikelomo Ayoola
- location: Anyigba, Kogi State
- Address: Anyigba Campus, Anyigba, Kogi,
- Year Founded: 1999
- Founder: Prince Abubakar Audu
Making our list of best state Universities in Nigeria is the Kogi State University which was established in the year 1999 by Prince Abubakar Audu, the then-former governor of the state. The University has a student population of 50,000 with 10 academic staff.
KSU was renamed Prince Abubakar Audu University (PAAU) in 2002 in respect of the late Abubakar Audu. The University commenced academic activities in April 2000 with six faculties: Faculties of Agriculture, Arts and Humanities, Law, Management Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences. It later added the establishment of the Faculty of Medicine with extensive offices and laboratory complexes.
Although it is not so popular, the University has some of its departments being ranked by Nigerian professional and academic bodies as the best in Nigeria. KSU’s motto is “Knowledge for Self-Reliance”
10. Niger Delta University (NDU)
- location: Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa state
- Address: Wilberforce Island, PMB 071 Bayelsa
- Year Founded: 2000
- Founder: Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha
The Niger Delta University was established in the year 2000 by the then-governor of Bayelsa State Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha. The University began its academic session in 2001/2002 academic session with two campuses, one in Yenagoa and one in Amassoma. The University also has its teaching hospital known as Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital (NDUTH) in Okolobiri.
The university has 9 faculties, Faculty of Agriculture, Medical Sciences, Law, Pharmacy, Science, Social Sciences, Engineering, Management Sciences, Arts, and Education.
- location: Oshogbo Osun State
- Address: Main Campus, Oke Bale Street, Area 210001, Osogbo
- Year Founded: 2006
- Founder: Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola
Established by the Osun State Government under the administration of Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, This University operates a multi-campus system. It was set up as a conventional university charged with the production of high-quality, globally competitive, and entrepreneurial graduates who are catalysts for rapid and sustainable socio-economic development of Osun State and Nigeria.
Among other positive remarks about the university UNIOSUN is its reputation as one of the fastest universities in Nigeria, based on its quick academic calendar. Faculties in the university include Management/ Social Sciences, Law, Humanities, Agriculture and College of Education, and Health Science.
12. Kwara State University (KWASU)
- location: Malete, Kwara State
- Address: Kwara State University Rd, 241103, Malete, Kwara
- Year Founded: 2009
- Founder: Dr. Bukola Saraki
Kwara State University was established by the then Governor of Kwara State, Bukola Saraki, in 2009. The University is the 77th university to be registered by the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) and the 95th university to be recognized in Nigeria
Kwasu has three campuses, and its main campus houses the College of Pure and Applied Sciences, the College of Information and Communication Technology, and the College of Education. Osi (Ekiti local government) campus will house the College of Engineering, College of Humanities, Management, and Social Sciences.
13. Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT)
- location: Agbani, Enugu State
- Address: PMB 01660. Agbani, Enugu State, Nigeria
- Year Founded: 1980
- Founder: Anambra State Government
ESUT is the very first state University in south-east Nigeria. It was actually established in 1980 as Anambra State University of Science and Technology. It was later changed when Enugu State was created out of Anambra State. The University has grown tremendously over the years, stretching its academic disciplines and research across six different schools and thirty academic departments.
Esuth is a perfect place to study Engineering, Technology, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Management. It has the Faculty of Engineering, Law, Agriculture and Natural Resources Management, Applied Natural Sciences, Education, Social Sciences, and Pharmacy.
The University has a student population of tens of thousands and admits about 5000 students each session. It is also linked to ESUT Teaching Hospital Parklane, which is located at GRA, Enugu North Local Government, Enugu State. The public hospital was established in 1960 and operates on a 24hrs basis. Among the notable alumni of Esuth are Laclass Ozougwu, Kenneth Chukwu, Chigozie Atuanya, and Daniel Lloyd.
14. Benue State University, Makurdi (BSU)
- location: Gboko, Benue state
- Address: Gboko Road, Walmayo 970101, Makurdi, Benue
- Year Founded: 1992
- Founder: Moses Orshio Adasu
This University was established in the year 1992, and its motto is “Knowledge for the Liberation of the People”. BSU offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs with a catalog of over 58 graduate programs across 9 colleges/faculties. The population of the students as of 2015 was 32,000.
BSU University has the following colleges Science, Law, Education, Art, Health Science, Environmental Science, and Management Science. It is also affiliated with Benue State University Teaching Hospital- a public hospital that offers medical care services and training for medical students.
15. Kaduna State University (KASU)
- location: Kauna state
- Address: Tafawa Balewa Way, Kaduna
- Year Founded: 2004
- Founder: Kaduna State Government
Established in 2004 under the Kaduna State Law Number 3, the Kaduna State University has different faculties such as Arts, Science, Medicine, Pharmacy, Management, and Social Sciences.
Among the many reasons behind the establishment of the university is to provide added opportunities for advancing the frontiers of learning through teaching, research, and community service by taking cognizance of the needs and aspirations of the people of Nigeria. This state university is one of the best state universities in Nigeria and currently has 2 campuses
16. Imo State University (IMSU)
- location: Owerri, Io State
- Address: F2Q9+J3J, New Owerri 460281, Owerri, Imo
- Year Founded: 1981
- Founder: Chief Sam Mbakwe
Located in Owerri, Imo State, the Imo State University was established in the year 1981 by the administration of the old Imo State comprising present-day Imo and Abia States. It is one of the best State Universities in the country. The university was initially located in Uturu. Later, it was relocated to Owerri in 1992 after the creation of Abia State.
Imo State University is committed to educational development and has played a pivotal role in producing some of the best intellectuals in various sectors of Nigeria. Imo State University is a great place to study literature, the arts, as well as Agriculture, Law, Engineering, Social Sciences, and Education.
17. Abia State University (ABSU)
- location: Uturu, Abia state
- Address: P.M.B. 2000, Uturu, Abia State, Nigeria.
- Year Founded: 1991
- Founder: Sam Mbakwe
This is one of the best state universities in the Eastern region, it is also one of the best state universities in Nigeria. The University was established by Sam Mbakwe, who was the governor of old Imo state at the time. It first started out as Imo State University until when Abia State was created in 1991. Its main campus was located at Etiti, Imo State, while the Law Department was located in a separate Campus at Aba.
Following the creation of Abia State in 1991, the university’s campus in Uturu was ceded to Abia State and is now known as Abia State University Uturu, Isuikwuato Local Government Area, Abia State, Nigeria. ABSU has the Colleges of Medicine, Law, Optometry and Postgraduate Studies, Biological and Physical Sciences, Humanities, Social Sciences, Agriculture, and Veterinary Medicine. It runs undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate degree programs. Some of the University’s famous alumni include Benita Nzeribe, Ezinne Akudo, Ossy Prestige Ehiriodo, Orji Uzor, Chigu, Kingsley Ogbonna, and Miracle Godwin.
18. Ebonyi State University (EBSU)
- location: Abakaliki, Ebonyi State
- Address: Enugu – Abakaliki Rd, 481101, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State
- Year Founded: 1999
- Founder: Sam Egwu
Ebonyi State University was established in the year 1999, and the University has rapidly evolved to become one of the best in the country. This university has different faculties: Agriculture, Social Sciences, and others. It may, however, interest you to know that many of the University’s facilities were developed in response to a Guinea worm pandemic.
Its faculty of medicine was established in 1991, while the Abakaliki Specialist Hospital was remodeled to become Ebonyi State University’s primary teaching hospital. EBSU has 13 faculties, namely Social Sciences, Management Sciences, Physical Sciences, Agriculture & Natural Resource Management, Engineering and Environmental Science, Law, Health Science & Technology, Education, Clinical Medicine, Sciences, Basic Medical Sciences and Arts.
19. Nasarawa State University (NSUK)
- location: Keffi, Nasarawa State
- Address: Enugu – Abakaliki Rd, 481101, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State
- Year Founded: 1999
- Founder:Dr. Abdullahi Adamu
Nassarawa State University is one of the best State Universities in the Northern region. This university was founded in 2001 to encourage the advancement of learning in the state and its neighboring environment. To achieve this quest, it has different faculties and also a strong student population. The University is located in Keffi, which is close to Abuja, Nigeria’s federal capital territory.
NSUK has four campuses. Its main campus is located in Keffi, and it is the University’s administrative headquarters. The senate of the school, the governing body, the vice chancellor, and all the senior members of the senate are at the Keffi campus. The second campus is in Lafia, the state capital. The third campus, which is the center for continuing studies, and IJMB, is located in Pyanku. Gudi is where you will find the last campus, which basically houses the proposed faculty of Engineering
20. Ondo State University of Science and Technology (OSUSTECH)
- location: Okitipupa, Ondo state
- Address: FQ58+G67, 350113, Okitipupa, Ondo
- Year Founded: 2008
- Founder: Dr. Olusegun Agagu
The Ondo State University of Science and Technology OSUSTEC was founded in the year 2010, and they only have one faculty of Science. The institution, which is now renamed the Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology (OAUSTECH), is a state-owned university located in Okitipupa in the Southern Senatorial District of Ondo State, Nigeria.
OAUSTECH was founded to help in providing the needed manpower training for the industrial and technological development of Ondo State and Nigeria as a whole. The university commenced academic activities in January 2011, offering various programs of study under the Faculties of Science, Agriculture & Agricultural Technology, and Engineering and Engineering Technology, among others. In 2021, the institution emerged 9th in the National University Commission (NUC) ranking as one of Nigeria’s best 10 state universities.
Which is the Best State University in Nigeria?
The best state University in Nigeria is the Lagos State University LASU. It is one of the top universities in Nigeria that is committed to quality teaching, learning, research, and community service. The institution has, in the course of the years, produced leaders in numerous disciplines through various programs, and in return, it has received recommendations from various leading institutions around the world.
In 2021, the institution ranked as the best young university in Nigeria. This is according to The Young University Rankings list of the world’s best Universities that are 50 years old or younger and featured 475 Universities, with LASU emerging 149th on the list. In 2022, the University produced 112 graduates with first-class certificates.
Following its academic exploit, the university has attracted international funding, including for the establishment of a World Bank Group Africa Centre for Excellence on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.