Top 5 most preferred public universities in Nigeria

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The University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) in Kwara State for five years has remained top of the list of most preferred public universities for the Unified Tertiary and Matriculation Examination (UTME) candidates according to the Edupadi report.

In 2022, UNILORIN with a total of 103,582 candidates (5.31percent) of the applicants topped the list, beating the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria with 82,984 (4.26percent), the University of Lagos (UNILAG) came third with 74,800 candidates (3.84percent), while Bayero University, Kano, and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka had 70, 376 (3.61percent) and 68,971 (3.54percent) respectively.

According to Kunle Akogun, a non-academic staff of the university one of the reasons UNILORIN is the centre of attraction for many students is the institution’s central research laboratory, the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research Central Research Laboratory (CRL).

Akogun explained that the NIMR gives the university an edge over other institutions of its type.

A chart showing Nigeria's top five most preferred public universities by application in 2020/2021
A chart showing Nigeria’s top five most preferred public universities by application in 2020/2021

“The central research laboratory provides access to the state-of-the-art equipment, facilities, and technical expertise essential for the thriving of medical research in Nigeria.

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“The laboratory promotes scientific thinking and experimental exposure for biochemical and clinical researchers. It also provides students with hands-on experience with advanced research training. “The CRL is equipped with modern equipment to service the research needs of the relevant research departments of the institute and the public,” he said.

Besides, he cited the transformational leadership of Sulyman Age Abdulkarem, the vice-chancellor of the university which has given the institution a global face-lift and widened the scope of its recognition.

2020/2021 UNILORIN topped the list of most preferred public universities in Nigeria followed by the University of Lagos, then the University of Benin, the University of Nigeria, Nsukka was in the fourth position, while the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti completed the circle.

2019 Top 5 most preferred public university by application
2018 Top 5 most preferred public universities by application

In 2019, the ‘Afonja’ Ivory Tower with 5.77percent once again led the pack followed by Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria 4.31percent, and the University of Benin with 4.17percent followed suit, and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka had 4.10percent, while the University of Lagos had 3.96percent.

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UNILORIN was still the preferred university in 2018 followed by Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and UNILAG, while Bayero University, Kano, and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka closed the gap.

The University of Ilorin has remarkably been the toast of many university aspirants due to its fast pace of academic activities as well as its infrequent strike action.

Founded in 1975, UNILORIN started as a university college under the leadership of T.N. Tamuno. In the same year, a decree was passed by the then military government which saw it becomes established as a university.

Credit to Charles Ogwo of Business Day NG


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Chila Andrew Aondofa

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