7+ Oldest University in Nigeria (Quick Answer, First, FAQs)

oldest University in Nigeria

What is the first/oldest university in Nigeria?

The question of which Nigerian university was the first to be established as a true Nigerian university has continued to cause a great deal of debate over a long period between two of the country’s finest and oldest universities.

According to certain schools of thought, the University of Nigeria, Nsukka was the first university created in Nigeria. However, others think that the University of Ibadan was the first university to be formed.

Nonetheless, this article aims to shed some light on the murky regions of establishment between the two schools to put an end to the age-old debate over which of the two institutions was indeed Nigeria’s first university.

Is the University of Ibadan the First University in Nigeria?

The University of Ibadan was affiliated with a college in London and was back then originally known as the University College, Ibadan.

University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, is the hospital’s name established by the defunct college and still retains the name today.

Before establishing the University College, there existed the Yaba Higher College (now known as the Yaba College of Technology), which was established in 1947 and was the country’s first higher institution.

From the beginning, students who enrolled at UI were conferred degrees from the school’s parent institution in London.

It took another 15 years until the University of Ibadan became an independent institution and another four years before it began issuing its degrees.

Consequently, it is correct to claim that the University of Ibadan began as a college in 1948 before operating as a university in 1962, following the passage of legislation creating the university on December 27, 1962, and the signing of the legislation into law in 1963.

Read more:

What is the first/Oldest University in Nigeria?

The University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), located in Enugu State, holds the record as the country’s first university.

The school’s foundation stone was placed in 1960 by Princess Alexandra of Kent, who was in attendance to represent Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during the celebrations.

It opened its doors to its inaugural class of students on October 17, 1960, with a total enrollment of 220 students and 13 academic staff members.

The creation of the University of Nigeria was founded on the concept of service to Nigeria’s issues and needs is a desired undertaking.

As a result, the University of Nigeria is the first university in Nigeria to have its senate, degrees, and its statutory laws.

However, the University of Ibadan was the first degree-granting institution, with its first degrees given through London University.

Oldest Universities in Nigeria:

1. Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU):

Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) is one of the oldest universities in Nigeria.

Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife is one of three universities that were started in Nigeria between 1961 and 1962 in response to a report from a commission headed by Sir Eric Ashby, Master of Clare College, Cambridge, that looked at the needs of postsecondary and higher education in Nigeria over the next twenty years.

The report was given to the Federal Government in September 1960. On June 8, 1961, Chief Rotimi Williams took over as head of the Provisional Council of the University, which was set up by a law that was signed on June 8.

It was originally known as the University of Ife before being renamed in 1987 in honour of Chief Obafemi Awolowo. The university was established in 1961.

A total of nine residence halls are available at this federal university. OAU has trained individuals from various backgrounds, including business, technology, law, and others. By law, OAU is the second Nigerian University.

Visit school

2. Ahmadu Bello University (ABU):

The Ahmadu Bello University is located in Zaria, Kaduna state, established in 1962. It has 13 faculties and 82 departments, making it the largest university in Nigeria.

Because it is highly competitive and has a good reputation, Ahmadu Bello University can be considered one of the most difficult universities in Nigeria to be admitted to.

As a result, everyone desires to attend this institution. ABU also provides its students with facilities such as dormitories, a well-stocked library, and an excellent road network, among other things.

Ahmadu Bello University wants to be a world-class university like any other. It wants to teach modern knowledge to men and women of all races using high-quality facilities and multidisciplinary approaches.

It also wants to come up with new ideas and intellectual practices that meet the needs of its immediate community, Nigeria, and the world as a whole.

Visit school

3. University of Lagos (UNILAG):

The University of Lagos is also one of Nigeria’s first generation and oldest universities. It is a public research university established in Lagos in 1962 and is one of the country’s oldest institutions of higher learning.

The University of Lagos is a top school that focuses on high-quality teaching, learning, research, and service to the community. Through our different programs, we have trained leaders in many fields over the past few years.

The university has three campuses on the mainland and approximately 15 residence halls for students. It has produced some of Nigeria’s most notable individuals, including Nobel Prize winners, doctors, lawyers, entertainers, and other professionals.

Visit school

Read more:

4. University of Benin (UNIBEN):

UNIBEN has a goal to make people’s minds more creative, innovative, and skilled in their areas of specialization, as well as knowledgeable about business and service.

As a federal university, it is located on Ugbowo Lagos Road in the city of Benin. The Ugbowo campus and the Ekehuan campus are the two campuses of this university.

Among the 13 faculties of the University of Benin are arts and humanities; environmental sciences; agriculture; education; life sciences; law; management; pharmacy; physical sciences; social sciences; medical sciences; engineering; and education.

Visit school

5. University of Maiduguri (UNIMAD):

The University of Maiduguri was created in 1975 as one of the second-generation Universities, which formed part of the programs of the Third National Development plan (1975-80) by the then Federal Military Government.

At its inception, the university did not have physical structures of its own, but in April 1976 it inherited the premises owned by the former North East College of Arts and Science (NECAS).

The structures bequeathed to the University by NECAS were adequate in terms of office blocks, classrooms, staff quarters, laboratories, and other physical structures required by a university of its size. 

The University of Maiduguri is a federal university in Borno state in Northeast Nigeria, established in 1975. It is the state’s only university.

There are 12 faculties at this university, including faculties of agricultural science and technology; arts and humanities; dentistry; education; engineering; law; management science; pharmacy; social science; and veterinary medicine.

Visit school

6. University of Calabar (UNICAL):

The University of Calabar is a second-generation university in Nigeria, located in the capital city of Cross River state and founded in 1975.

The University of Calabar grew out of the Calabar campus of the University of Nigeria (UNN), Nigeria. This campus opened in 1973 with 154 students and a small group of academic, administrative, and professional staff.

In April 1975, the Federal Military Government of Nigeria announced that as part of the National Development Plan, seven new universities would be set up in different parts of the country. The University of Calabar was one of the seven universities that were set up as part of this program.

Visit school

7. University of Jos (UNIJOS):

The University of Jos is a federal university in Plateau, Nigeria, that was established in 1975.

There are numerous programs available at the University of Jos, including bachelor’s, postgraduate, master’s, and doctoral degrees in various disciplines.

The University of Jos was started with the idea that it would be a place where people from “town” and “gown” could work together well.

Even now, the university has a big role to play in shaping the tastes and attitudes of the future. They are committed to giving students an education that is competitive around the world and meets the needs of employers as well as new challenges in Nigeria and around the world.

The University of Jos, one of Nigeria’s oldest institutions of higher learning, has produced several renowned lawyers, doctors, engineers, and other professionals.

The school provides a wide range of amenities, including a library, student residences, a foreign exchange program, and administrative support services.

Visit school

8. University of Ilorin (UNILORIN):

The University of Ilorin (Unilorin) was established in 1976 and is located in Ilorin, which is the capital of Kwara State in Western Nigeria.

Unilorin was started so that more Nigerians who wanted to go to college could do so and so that they could help the country’s rapidly growing economy.

The University of Ilorin currently has 15 faculties, which include the faculties of 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, and environmental sciences.

Visit school

Frequently Asked Questions on First/Oldest University in Nigeria:

Which University is the largest in Nigeria?

University of Ilorin

What is Nsukka known for?

The site of the University of Nigeria

What is the capital of Nigeria?


Who named Nigeria flag?

Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi


Yes, the University of Ibadan was established before the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, but that still doesn’t make it the first university in Nigeria.

UI was first established in 1948, but it operated as an affiliate of a London-based college.

UI itself didn’t operate as a university or did it award its degree. Until 1962, UI began to operate independently as a university and started awarding its degree.

Meanwhile, UNN had already begun operating as a university in 1960.

So, the next time someone asks you about the first university in Nigeria, you now know the correct answer is the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

Awesome one; I hope this article answered your question.

Editor’s Recommendations:

Share with a friend.

You May Also Like