Number of Nigerian universities may double as NUC considers 200 new private university applications

National University Commission, NUC
National University Commission, NUC

Should regulatory authorities in Nigeria approve all the applications they received, the number of universities in the West African country would more than double.

The National Universities Commission, NUC, said it is currently processing over 200 applications for new private universities in the country.

Currently, the total number of universities in the country, with over 150 million population, is 153.

The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Abubakar Rasheed, announced the applications during a meeting with federal universities’ bursars in Abuja on Tuesday.

Mr. Rasheed said “the university system is growing” and private universities including federal and state universities can no longer cope with the large numbers of yearly applications for admission.

“Nigeria has 153 universities, 40 are federal universities, 45 are state owned universities and 68 are private universities presently in the country,” he said.

Similarly, Christine Ikpeme, a professor from the University of Calabar told PREMIUM TIMES that the idea of such high number of private universities is good, but they should be better regulated.

“Some private universities engage in sharp practices whereby they ‘rent’ lecturers from other institutions during accreditation processes. This is not ideal.”

“NUC does not pay unscheduled visits to these universities so it is easy for them to get away with such practices,” Mr. Ikpeme said.

PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported Mr. Rasheed as saying the future of higher education in the country lies with how the private universities are managed. He said private universities should be able to fill the gap created by insufficient universities.

“NUC is concerned about the sanctity, quality, and integrity of degrees acquired by the students,” he added.

The NUC recently approved the 153rd university known as the Moshood Abiola University of Technology.


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  • Victoria

    They should not approve 200 more universities at the same time.They should approve like 5 for now considering the ones that has most capital facility and mission statement that serves Nigerian students most. They should also consider some bids to use their capital and experience and merge with some other private universities for dual ownership, that will increase each university standard capital base and facilities instead of having bunch of universities with low standard

    • Cincinnatus

      You know what is up. These people are just setting up universities in the bush with like 5 classrooms, a prison camp for accommodations and a bursary office building to collect ridiculous fees. It is far more beneficial for people to send their children to school in Benin republic and Ghana. The government is too slow. Chase after standards first. Push the ones that are licensed to improve their facilities or go and merge with another one. This is just nonsense.

  • johnjohn

    They should not approve any university, these people should go and set up a farm instead, Nigeria does not need anymore university

  • thusspokez

    The creation of 36 states gave birth to mediocrity. Nigerian universities are mediocre and creation of additional universities will result in current secondary school teachers being promoted to lecturers in the new universities.

  • zacchaeus Akinleye

    These so-called private Universities are mere High Schools on steroids in that they lack qualified instructors and resources for advanced knowledge. Why are we deceiving ourselves by producing graduates who will be unemployable because of their substandard instruction? A tiger on paper will never kill a real mouse.