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Top best private universities in Nigeria 2020

Top best private universities in Nigeria 2020

Elizade University in Nigeria

Top best private universities in Nigeria 2020

We will be discussing the following top private schools in Nigeria below:

1.         Covenant University Ota

2.         Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti

3.         Landmark University Omu-Aran

4.         American University of Nigeria, Yola

5.         Nile University of Nigeria, Abuja

6.         Babcock University Ilishan-Remo

7.         Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos

8.         African University of Science and Technology, Abuja

9.         Redeemer's University, Mowe Ogun State

10.       Bowen University, Iwo Oyo State

11.       Adeleke University, Ede Osun State

12.       Al-Hikmah University Ilorin

13.       Veritas University, Abuja

14.       Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo Town

15.       Elizade University, Ilara-Mokin

16.       Benson Idahosa University, Benin City

17.       Bells University of Technology, Ota

18.       Igbinedion University Okada

19.       Godfrey Okoye University, Ugwuomu-Nike

20.       Lead City University, Ibadan

21.       Joseph Ayo Babalola University, Ikeji-Arakeji

22.       Caleb University, Ikorodu Lagos


See Also: Top 21 Best Schools To Study Law In Nigeria


If there is any industry in Nigeria that has been greatly impacted by the private sector, it is the education industry.

A few decades ago, the idea of a private university in Nigeria would have seemed laughable to an average Nigerian who had been used to public universities all his life. Today, privately owned universities are some of the best universities in Nigeria. Such privately owned educational institutions continue to sprawl across the country.

In recent times, private universities in Nigeria have earned their slot in the list of the best universities in Nigeria. With some private universities in Nigeria competing with some of our age-long public universities like the University of, many aspirational parents now consider enrolling their children private schools in Nigeria despite their relatively “expensive” fees.

The question parents are asking today is not whether private universities have come to stay; the question is which of the private universities in Nigeria best meet their children's education needs among a pool of very good privately-owned universities.

Apart from investment in infrastructure and ideal learning environment, some of the private universities in Nigeria are now setting the pace when it comes to research, technology and entrepreneurial education. Some of these schools have on-campus technology hubs and incubation programs to help develop student startup ideas, thus replicating what is obtainable in developed climes.

In all of these, the crucial question in the minds of parents looking to subscribe to a private university in Nigeria for their children is, “what is the best private university in Nigeria”? That’s what we set out to do in this post. Below, we explore some of the best private schools in Nigeria and what they have to offer for their students.

List of Top best private universities in Nigeria 2020 and their details.

  1. Covenant University, Ota

Arguably the leading private university in Nigeria and second-best generally in Nigeria 2020, Covenant University is a growing, dynamic vision-birthed, vision-driven University, founded on a Christian mission ethos and committed to pioneering excellence at the cutting edge of learning.

The school is driven by the compelling vision of raising a new generation of leaders for the African Continent on the platform of a Holistic, Human Development and integrated learning curriculum, to raise Total Men who will go out to develop their world.  

  1. Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti

Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), a Federal Government-licensed, Non-Profit Private University is a model which is unique in many ways. The school is indeed a model for other private universities in Nigeria in so many ways.

It is the only university in Nigeria, which before the issuance of the provisional license by the Federal Government of Nigeria, moved to its permanent site and constructed magnificent College buildings and College Hostels, Staff Quarters and equipped with modern teaching facilities including E-learning platform and electronic boards within eight months.

Consequently, the National Universities Commission (NUC) was so impressed that it described the university as a "miracle, model reference point and benchmark" for other universities.

The school presently has five colleges; College of Law, College of Sciences, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, College of Engineering and College of Social and Management Sciences.

  1. Landmark University Omu-Aran

Landmark University is a private University established by the Living Faith Church World Wide, committed to raising leaders who shall be equipped with skills and character to lead the world in meeting the needs of humanity-FOOD

On March 7, 2011, the University was licensed by National Universities Commission (NUC) to run undergraduate programs in the Colleges of Agricultural Sciences; Sciences and Engineering, Business and Social Sciences. On March 21, 2011, the University was officially dedicated and commenced full operation.

  1. American University of Nigeria, Yola

The American University of Nigeria was founded in 2003 by Atiku Abubakar, Nigeria's former vice president, along with other local and international statesmen and academic leaders.

The school has achieved excellence in their almost two decades of establishment, thus, qualifying as one of the best private universities in Nigeria in 2020.

The goal of AUN is to train the future leaders of Africa and to serve as both a stimulus and agent of economic development throughout the region.

All students, regardless of academic specialization, receive high-level training in information technology, entrepreneurship, and in arts and sciences, all of which are the key to future sustainable development.

AUN is committed to providing the skills and the leadership essential to advancing the continent's pressing social and economic challenges.

  1. Nile University of Nigeria, Abuja

The University was established in 2009 to provide high-quality tertiary education for the country's ever-increasing number of secondary school leavers.

Today Nile University has over 3600 students (undergraduate and postgraduate), 26 undergraduate programs across six faculties, and 36 postgraduate programs across five faculties.

  1. Babcock University Ilishan- Remo

Babcock University is one of the best universities in Nigeria. Being a pioneer private University in Nigeria since 1999, Babcock has continued this legacy of upholding cutting-edge excellence in education. Babcock now has a postgraduate school which took off in the third quarter of 2010 and a medical school which took off in January 2012.

Babcock University has a reputation as one of the best universities in Nigeria, even in 2020.

Similarly, a deliberate expansion policy of our programmes to meet current market demands and maximum service delivery has resulted in departmental upgrades and addition of new programmes.

The latest additions are the Music & Creative and Educational Foundations departments to the School of Education & Humanities.  Today, Babcock hosts the following schools:

Benjamin Carson School of Medicine, Computing and Engineering Sciences, Education And Humanities, Law And Security Studies, Management Sciences, School of Nursing Sciences, Public and Allied Health, Science And Technology, Veronica Adeleke School of Social Sciences, College Of Postgraduate Studies.

  1. Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos

The university had its origin as the Lagos Business School (LBS), established in 1991. The federal government approved the university as Pan-African University in 2002, and the LBS became its first school.

The Ajah Campus was completed in 2003 and in 2010 work began on the Ibeju-Lekki campus.

In September 2011 the university launched the Virtual Museum of Modern Nigerian Art, a website created by Jess Castellote, a Spanish architect that includes over 400 works from 81 artists, including pioneering Nigerian artists such as Aina Onabolu and Bruce Onobrakpeya and emerging artists such as Richardson Ovbiebo and Babalola Lawson.


  1. African University of Science and Technology, Abuja

The African University of Science and Technology (AUST) is a Pan-African institution, established in 2007 in response to a request from several African Heads of State, to give life to a request made by then-President Nelson Mandela of South Africa, that the World Bank and the African Union work together to create strong Pan-African centres of excellence to improve sub-Saharan Africa’s capacity in Science and Technology.

Thus, a network of the now so-called Nelson Mandela African Institutes of Science and Technology (NM-AISTs) was born.

AUST in Abuja was the first of these Centers of Excellence to be established. It currently only offers Graduate-level programs by a combination of course work and cutting edge research.

  1. Redeemer's University, Ede

Redeemer's University is one of the top best private universities in Nigeria. The university intends to produce graduates who can stand on their own and adapt to the ever-changing situations in our dynamic society.

In particular, the university will nurture the spirit of entrepreneurship so that its graduates would be in the position to create jobs rather than relying on employment, which is now indeed scarce.

  1.  Bowen University, Iwo

Bowen is one of the oldest private institution of higher education in Nigeria, established in 2001 by the Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC).

The major foundation of what has become Bowen University today was laid in 1854. That year, the family of the late Rev. Thomas Jefferson Bowen started a school in Ijaiye Orile in the present Oyo State of Nigeria.

The School, comprising five stewards of the late Bowens, five other labourers, and a few others drawn to the fledgeling school by sheer curiosity, has grown from this little beginning in 1854 into thousands of Baptist Primary and Secondary Schools scattered across the country.

By 1960, there was a Baptist school almost everywhere there was found a Baptist congregation.

  1.  Adeleke University, Ede

Adeleke University is a private faith-based learning institution located in a serene and nature-friendly atmosphere of 520 acres of land in the historic town of Ede, Osun State, South-Western part of Nigeria.

The University was founded in 2011 by Dr. Adedeji Adeleke, through the Springtime Development Foundation (SDF), a philanthropic, non- profit making organisation established to assist indigent students to benefit from quality higher education.

As a higher institution that is based on the Seventh-day Adventist philosophy of education, Adeleke University forms part of the over 100 worldwide institutions running on this philosophy.

With a strict commitment to realising the vision and mission of the founding fathers, the university today offers one of the most affordable but best quality education in Nigeria, with unique features like scholarship opportunities, flexibility in payment of fees, acquisition of entrepreneurial skills, high-quality teaching, research and innovative learning.

  1.  Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin

It was established in 2005 by the Abdur-Raheem Oladimeji Islamic Foundation (AROIF), Nigeria. The University came into existence via the granting of License to operate as a Conventional Private University by the Federal Government of Nigeria License No. 010 on 7th January 2005.

  1.  Veritas University, Abuja

It was founded by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria through a resolution given at its March 2002 meeting in Abuja.

The initiative came from the Bishops' quest for a University that would provide high-quality tertiary education according to the noble tradition of the Catholic Church.

The University emphasizes strong moral values, self-reliance and the development of the students’ entrepreneurial capabilities for the social and economic benefit of the graduates and the Nigerian society.

  1.  Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo Town

The Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo was established by the Supra Diocesan Board (West) of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), has its origins in the defunct CMS training institution, Abeokuta and the defunct St. Andrews College, Oyo.

The University started as CMS Training Institution in Abeokuta in 1853 from where it was relocated to Lagos (1868 to 1896). In March 1896, it was transplanted to Oyo retrospectively in 1920.

The University is named after the late Samuel Ajayi Crowther, the first African Bishop who first translated the bible into Yoruba. His Episcopal Ministry covered the entire West African sub-continent.

  1. Elizade University, Ilara-Mokin

Elizade University is a private university situated in Ilara-Mokin, Ondo State, Nigeria. The University aims to be an institution with the best traditions in the production of self-reliant, ethics-conscious, globally competitive graduates imbued with requisite skills, competencies and ability to be key players in the nation’s quest for socio-economic and technological development.

The University's learning environment comprises state-of-the art structures and infrastructural facilities, as well as teaching equipment that ranks at par with those in educational institutions in developed countries.

Learning is student-centred in the University and conducted with international best practices. Accommodation, dining, leisure, sports, mentorship and moderated socialization are therefore guaranteed on campus.

  1. Benson Idahosa University, Benin City

In February 2002, ten years after the application to start a private University, the Federal Government, acting through the National Universities Commission (NUC), graciously granted Benson Idahosa University license to operate.

The University started operating as a fully licensed institution in March 2002 with an initial student enrolment of 400, registered into two faculties (Faculty of Arts, Social Sciences, Education and Faculty of Basic and Applied Sciences).

  1. Bells University of Technology, Ota

It is the dream of Bells Educational Foundation to establish a unique university where the good foundation given to the products of its secondary school and other secondary schools could be built upon.

The opportunity was made available by the Federal Government, when Act No. 9 of 1993 was promulgated, allowing private individuals or organizations to establish universities in Nigeria, provided they meet certain criteria laid down by the Federal Government.

To realize its dream, the Bells Educational Foundation, the Proprietor of the university, has acquired a large expanse of land (more than 300 hectares) in Badagry, Lagos State, for the physical development of the University.

  1. Igbinedion University Okada, Okada

Igbinedion University, Okada marks the realization of the dream of the chief(Sir) Dr. Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, the Esama of Benin Kingdom, to bequeath to future generations of Nigerian University education of international standard where the academic calendar is faithfully run without interruption.

Academic programmes in Medicine, Law, Arts and Social Sciences, Business and Management Studies, Natural and Applied Sciences and Engineering which are mature, are re-accredited, from time to time by Nigerian Universities Commission and the relevant professional bodies.

The Oba Erediauwa College of Law turned out its first crop of graduates in 2004.

  1. Godfrey Okoye University, Ugwuomu-Nike

The idea of establishing a Catholic University by the Catholic Diocese of Enugu was first conceived and presented by the Emeritus Bishop of Enugu, Most Rev. Dr. A. O. Gbuji, to all priests of the diocese. He wanted a university with the name “Cor Unum”, a university that could represent the unity of all educational institutions and activities of the diocese.

Despite the effort of the bishop to see the project take off immediately, it did not. Bishop Gbuji later discussed his plan with Rev. Fr. Prof. Christian Anieke, whom he had appointed the provost of the Institute of Ecumenical Education in February 2006.

Rev. Fr. Prof. Anieke understood the importance of a university in the diocese and took the bull by the horn.

He assured the bishop that he would use all the resources he had to ensure that he built a university for the diocese. At a meeting in the Council Chamber of the Institute of Ecumenical Education, Thinker’s Corner, Enugu, on 9 November 2007, the convener of the meeting, Rev. Fr. Professor Christian Anieke, Provost of the Institute, informed the participants that he had applied for a university that would belong to the Catholic Diocese of Enugu.

  1. Lead City University   Ibadan

The vision of the University is to be a centre of excellence, a unique, urban-based University, specialising in Social Sciences, Law, Applied Sciences, Information and Communication Technology.

Currently in its eleventh academic session. Lead City University, Ibadan (LCU) is a private University approved by the Federal Government of Nigeria. It has graduated nine sets of students.

The school offers various programmes suitable for both the young adolescents and adult working class. It indeed recognises the need to accommodate the time constraints to individuals and therefore provides flexibility by allowing for a choice between part-time & full-time study schemes.

Programmes are offered by specialized faculties in Social Sciences & Entrepreneurial Studies, Information Technology & Applied Sciences and Law.

  1. Joseph Ayo Babalola University, Ikeji-Arakeji

Established in 2004 and approved on 8th February 2006 by the Federal Executive Council, Joseph Ayo Babalola University received its licence of operations on 6th March 2006 and was opened to students for the 2006/2007 academic session on 25th October 2006.

Established in 2004 in obedience to divine instructions by the Christ Apostolic Church Worldwide and under the visionary leadership of its then President, Pastor (Dr.) E. H. L Olusheye.

The current President of Christ Apostolic Church Worldwide, Pastor A O Akinosun as the Chairman of our Board of Trustees provides overall direction, with invigorated and renewed spiritual and financial commitments to the University.

The first Chancellor of the university was His Royal Majesty, Oba (Dr) Oladele Olashore (CON). Until his demise in June 2012, he laboured sedulously in various ways to positively advance the course of the university.

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