As far as we all know, NIGERIA is among the top countries to own prestigious universities that has broken outstanding records not just in Nigeria alone but across the world. Nigeria had her first university as far back before independence, and since then, the number of universities continued to grow all across the Nation. There are so many universities in Nigeria of which a large section is owned and controlled by the government. The higher education sector is comprised of universities, polytechnics and different institutes. In this article, we have listed the Top 10 most Ancient universities in Nigeria, their date’s of establishment, admission requirements and also all the NUC accredited courses available.

This list is In numerical descending order.

10) UNIVERSITY OF ILORIN (UNILORIN)- 1975

Number ten (10) on our list is the University of Ilorin, UNILORIN, as it is fondly called. The University of Ilorin is a Federal University located in Ilorin Kwara state and was founded in 1975. It was initially a University College affiliated to the oldest university in Nigeria in 1975 under the leadership of the then principal, Dr T.N. Tamuno. But in 1975, the military government which was in power passed a decree that saw to the establishment of the University. The University of Ilorin currently contains 15 faculties namely Arts, Management sciences, Agriculture, Engineering and Technology, Law, Veterinary medicine, Law, Social sciences, Basic Medical Sciences and Clinical Sciences, Communication and Information Technology, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, Environmental Sciences and so on. This first generation University’s tuition fee doesn’t exceed 50,000 naira. The staff and student populations now stand at about 3,040 and 20,084 respectively. The institution is one of the Universities in Nigeria that top the list of best Nigerian Universities.

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9) UNIVERSITY OF JOS- 1975

The University of Jos is also a Federal University located in Plateau state, founded in 1975. A Satellite campus established in 1971 in the University of Ibadan became University of Jos. The first students were admitted in January 1972 as pre-degree students with the first Bachelor of Arts degree program beginning in October 1973. In October 1975, the then military government under General Murtala Mohammed established UniJos as a separate institution. Lectures began fully in October 1976, exactly one year after, with 575 students spread across its four (4) faculties. UNIJOS currently boasts of an estimated student population of over 40,000 with 15 faculties. The University of Jos being one of the oldest universities in Nigeria has produced a lot of notable graduates. The school offers a lot of facilities including a library, residence for students, foreign exchange program also administrative services.

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8) UNIVERSITY OF CALABAR- 1975

The University of Calabar is one of Nigeria’s second generation universities located in Calabar, Cross River state and founded in 1975. The University of Calabar, UNICAL as it is fondly called was a campus of the University of Nigeria up until 1975. The University of Calabar is the first Nigerian University to automate students’ registration processes through its portal in Nigeria. The University has about 16 faculties including Allied Medical Sciences, Basic Medical Sciences, Dentistry, Medicine, Management Sciences, Education, Social Sciences, Arts, Public Policy and Administration, Law, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Engineering and Technology, Environmental Sciences, Pharmacy, Agriculture, forestry and Wildlife Management. The student population has risen from 896 to 40,065.

7) UNIVERSITY of Maiduguri, Borno- 1975

The University of Maiduguri was created by the Federal Government in 1975, as a division of the Third Development Plan which stressed the creation of more universities in the country. Located in Borno State Nigeria, The University of Maiduguri currently boasts of an estimated student population of around 36,500 across its 12 faculties. The university now boasts over 34,000 students from around the world. The Faculties include, Agriculture, Arts, college of medical science, Education, Engineering, Law, Management science, Pharmacy, Science, Social science and veterinary medicine. Admission into this university is relatively competitive.

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6) UNIVERSITY OF BENIN- 1970

University of Benin, also a Federal University and was founded in the year 1970, it was formerly known as the Institute of Technology. It is located at Ugbowo Lagos Road, Benin city. This university has two campuses, Ugbowo campus and Ekehuan campus. It started as an Institute of Technology and was accorded the status of a full-fledged University by the National Universities Commission (NUC) on the first day of July 1971. University of Benin has 13 faculties including Arts, Environmental Sciences, Agriculture, Education, Life sciences, Law, Management, Pharmacy, Physical Sciences, Social sciences, Medical Sciences, Education and Engineering.

5) UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS- 1962

University of Lagos, UNILAG, as it is fondly called was established in 1962, two years after Nigeria’s independence, the university has one of the highest enrolments in the country, having enrolled over 57,000 students since established. The establishment of the University of Lagos was done in Nigeria’s bid to invest in the training of a professional workforce which will help her achieve rapid industrialization and development after independence. The university has three campuses on the mainland of Lagos state also about 15 halls for student residence and has trained many personalities in Nigeria. The University has a total of 13 facilities and currently offers undergraduate programs, post-graduate & distance learning programs to its students.

4) Ahmadu Bello University- 1962

ABU Zaria as it is fondly called was formerly known as the University of Northern Nigeria. It is located in Zaria, Kaduna state. ABU was established on 14th October 1962. The University has two campuses, Samaru which is the main campus and Kongo in Zaria. The Samaru campus houses the administrative offices and the faculties of physical sciences, life sciences, social sciences, arts and languages, education, environmental design, engineering, medical sciences, agricultural sciences and research facilities. The Kongo campus hosts the faculties of Law and Administration. It was named after the First Premier Of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello. The University has 13 faculties and 6 institutes affiliated to it.

3) Obafemi Awolowo University- 1961

Great Ife as it is fondly called was formerly known as the University of Ife. Obafemi Awolowo University which was founded in 1961 as the University of Ife was the brainchild of Chief Obafemi Awolowo. It was renamed Obafemi Awolowo University on 12th May 1987. The decision to establish the university was due to several reasons, one of which was to fix some of the inadequacies of the premier University which is the University of Ibadan UI. At that time UI had no faculty of Engineering, Law School, Management Training School, and Pharmacy School. This federal university has 9 halls of residence. Obafemi Awolowo University started the first Pharmacy School in West Africa and also the first Chemical Engineering and Electrical & Electronics departments. The University currently has over 60 academic departments. OAU is also one of the highly recommended Universities in Nigeria.

2) University of Nigeria- 1955

It was the quest to establish a University in the Eastern part of Nigeria that gave birth to the University of Nigeria. University of Nigeria, Nsukka is a federal university located at Nsukka, Enugu and was founded by Nnamdi Azikiwe is 1955. UNN was established in 1955 with a total of four (4) campuses namely; Nsukka, Enugu, Ituku-ozalla, and Aba. UNN began academic activities on 17th December 1960 with a total of 220 students and 13 academic staff to lecture the pioneer students. The origin of the university can be traced back to 18th May 1955 when a law was enacted to establish a university in the eastern region of the country. The premier of the region at that time, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe was a pivoted figure in the enactment of this law. The university currently has 15 faculties and 102 departments. It is still one of the best and most sought-after Universities in Nigeria.

1) UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN- 1948


The University of Ibadan is the first university in Nigeria. The university was established in 1948, making it the oldest university in Nigeria. It became a full-fledged university in 1962, prior to that it was a college of the University of London in a special relationship scheme in 1932. The university is located in Ibadan, Oyo state, Nigeria. It was formerly a college of the University of London until it became an independent college in 1962. The university started off with programmes in Arts and Medical sciences, it currently has a wide range of courses under 17 faculties namely, Arts, Medical sciences, veterinary medicine, Technology, Clinical Sciences, Agriculture, Social sciences, dentistry, renewable natural resources, economics and others. In September 2016, the University of Ibadan became the first Nigerian university to be ranked in the top 1000 in the Times Higher Education rankings. Prior to that, it had always made the top 10 African Universities in Webometrics Rankings. the University of Ibadan is currently ranked No. 1 in Nigeria and 1196 in the world according to Webometrics. The University of Ibadan is the oldest degree awarding institution in Nigeria. The University has 15 halls of residence.

University of Ibadan

In this article, we listed the top 10 oldest universities in Nigeria with some valuable information for prospective students. Has this article provided an answer(s) to your query? if yes, leave a comment in the comment box to express your satisfaction or ask any question you have and we will reply to you as soon as possible.

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