Private universities have become an important piece in the Nigerian educational system. Long gone are the days when the Federal Government frowned at the establishment of privately owned universities in Nigeria. Since the establishment of the first private university in Nigeria, Igbinedion University Okada in 1999 by Sir Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion over 70 others have been established and running degree programmes with many more to come. No doubt, private universities are the future of tertiary education in Nigeria even though the vast majority of students are currently in public universities. This is certainly due to the cheaper fees paid in public universities compared to the highly expensive and out of the reach of the average Nigerian fees paid in private universities as of today. If you are looking to study at a private university in Nigeria, then you should opt for one of those listed here. They offer the best education of private universities and some of them are pushing higher up the university ranking in Nigeria and threatening to dethrone older first generation Nigerian universities. A very good example is covenant University which ranks within the top 5 best universities in Nigeria currently. So, let’s dive in fully.

Covenant University (Cu)

Rank: 1st

Without a doubt, when you mention private universities in Nigeria, Covenant universities readily comes to mind. This is because the university has achieved numerous success in academics as well as research. Products of the University continue to distinguish themselves in the labour market. Located in Ota, a city in Ogun State but shares border with Lagos state, this university has a student population in the region of 15,000 and administrative staff strength of about 1,000.  The university was established in the year 2002 by the Living Faith Church aka Winner Chapel. It is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, Association of African Universities and also National Universities Commission. The university runs a collegiate system and currently has 4 colleges namely; College of Business and Social Sciences (CBSS), College of Leadership Development Studies (CLDS), College of Engineering (COE) and College of Science and Technology (CST). The University enrolls students for both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. In 2015, webometric ranked this Convent university as the best in Nigeria.


Afe Babalola University (Abuad)


Afe Babalola University ranks second on this list. This non-profit private university is located in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State. It was founded in 2009 by Afe Babalola, a renowned Lawyer. The university currently operates a collegiate system and has the following colleges: College of Law, College of Sciences, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, College of Engineering and College of Social and Management Sciences. The school runs both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and there is a pre-degree programme also for those who failed to meet the requirements for direct admission into a degree programme. The school has a student population of about 6000 students.

Landmark University


Landmark University is a non-profit private higher education institution located in Omu-Aran, Kwara State. It is a sister school of Covenant University Ota. It was established by the Living Faith Church Worldwide led by Bishop David Oyedepo in 2011. The school is officially a credited by the Nigerian Universities Commission. The school admits about 3000 students yearly. The school offers undergraduate as well as postgraduate courses in several areas of study. The admission process is selective as the school only admits highly qualified students.

American University Of Nigeria (AUN)


American University of Nigeria is the first and only Northern private university to feature on this list. Also, it is currently the only American style university in Sub-Saharan Africa. In fact, there are only 2 of this university currently in existence in all of Africa. This and another located in Cairo Egypt known as the American University of Cairo. The university is owned by former vice-president of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and is situated in Yola, Adamawa state. AUN is currently a member of the Association of American International Colleges and Universities. The University’s main partner is the Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. There are three schools in the university, School of Arts and Sciences, School of Business and Entrepreneurship and School of Information Technology and Communications.

Babcock University (Babcock)



Located also in Ogun state, Ilishan-Remo precisely, Babcock ranks among best universities in Nigeria currently. The school is yet another church owned/christian school. It is owned by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nigeria and is part of the Seventh-day Adventist education system, the world’s second largest Christian school system. The University has over 10,000 students and runs both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Currently, there are 9 schools and 1 College in the University. The schools in Babcock currently are: School of Agriculture & Industrial Technology, Babcock Business School, School of Basic & Applied Science (formerly known as Science & Technology), School of Education and Humanities, School of Computing &Engineering Sciences, School of Law & Security Studies, School of Nursing, School of Public & Applied Health and the School of Post Graduate Studies. The College of Health & Medical Sciences is the only college in the university.

Redeemer’s University Nigeria (RUN)


The Redeemer’s University Nigeria is the university of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG). RCCG is one of the biggest church institutions in Nigeria as of today. The University was established in Ede, off Gbongan-Oshogbo Road, Osun State, in the year 2005. Redeemer’s University runs the collegiate system and presently has 3 colleges which are the College of Natural Science, the College of Management Science and the College of Humanities. About 2000 students are currently studying in the University. There are both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.



Bowen is one of the oldest and best private Universities in Nigeria. Founded in 2001, the school is non-profit and belongs to the Baptist Convention. It is located in Iwo, one of the largest urban centres in Osun State. The University currently has about 5,000 students but has the capacity of to accommodate up to 20,000. The school enjoys a close relationship with nearby first generation universities such as Obafemi Awolowo University and the University of Ibadan due to close proximity. Hence, the university boasts of having some of the best lecturers in the ccountry. There are 5 faculties and a college in Bowen University. These are; College of Health Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Faculty of Science and Science Education, Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Science and Science Education, Faculty of Social and Management Science. There are available postgraduate courses for interested candidates.

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Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU)


Established in 2006, Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU) is located in Osun state. The university is owned and run by Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) Worldwide. Named after the founder of the church, Ayo Babalola (1904–1959) the school ranks high amongst peers. The university currently has over 4,000 students distributed across 7 faculties. The faculties available in JABU are; Environmental Sciences, Agricultural Sciences, Humanities, Law, Management Sciences, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences.

Ajayi Crowther University (ACU)


Ajayi Crowther University is yet another Christian school on this list. It is located in Oyo town, Oyo State. This university was founded by the Supra Diocesan Board (West) of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion). It was founded in the year 2005 and was named after the late Samuel Ajayi Crowther, who is the first African Bishop who first translated the bible into Yoruba. The school is regarded as one of the best private universities in Nigeria 2019.

Igbinedion University Okada (IUO)


Rounding up this list is Nigeria’s premier private university. This means, it is the first private university set up in the country and alsl happens to be one of the best. It was established in the year 1999 and is located in Edo state. This school offers accredited undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Law, Medicine, Natural and Applied Sciences, Business and Management Studies, Pharmacy, Engineering and the Arts and Social Sciences. It is the first Private University to produce medical doctors in Sub-Saharan Africa and also the first to produce a private university graduate to bag a first class at the Nigeria Law School in the year 2006. This academic institution currently has a student capacity of 5000.


These are currently the top ten best private universities in Nigeria as of today. Products of these universities are well accepted in the labour market.

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