Institution Performance Rankings:Top Nigerian Universities

This article compares the performance of Nigerian Universities on four popular ranking publications


As Nigeria Universities consciously market themselves to attracts the best local and, international staff, students and corporate organisations to improve the quality of teaching and research, it would be interesting to determine how a number of Nigerian Institutions fare using some of the well-established ranking publications available with a view to determining the Top five universities in Nigeria. However, before drawings conclusions from available data via a number of reliable sources, it will be of immense educational benefit to briefly describe some of the ranking organisations and their ranking indicators.



Webometrics Ranking of World Universities:

Webometrics Ranking of World Universities which started in 2004, measures the strength of presence of a university online by its own web domain, sub-pages, rich files, and, scholarly articles and pitches these indices with that of other universities to rank the university. The aim of the rankings is to improve the presence of the academic and research institutions on the web and to promote the open access publication of scientific results.

UniRank University Rankings:

The aim of the UniRank University Ranking is to provide an approximate popularity ranking of world universities and higher institutions of learning based on the popularity of their websites in terms of traffic, trust and quality link prevalence.

Scimago Institution Rankings:

The Scimago Institution Rankings (SIR) classifies academic and research institutions by assessing the web visibility of these institutions with reference to their research performance, innovation outputs and societal impact.

National Universities Commission Rankings:

The National Universities Commission (NUC) is the body accredited by the Federal Government of Nigeria to regulate, develop and manage University Education in Nigeria. Although, it was challenging to source for the ranking indicators of The National Universities Commission, it would not be far-fetched to assume that their indicators would be similar to those of other popular ranking organisations which are not limited to; Teaching (the learning environment), Research (volume, income and reputation), Citations (research influence), International outlook (staff, students and research), Industry income (knowledge transfer)





In this article, we considered the rankings of Nigerian Universities from four (4) ranking organisations as seen in Table 1. These rankings were particuarly of interest because they had more than ten (10) Nigerian Universities featured in their publications.

Degree awarding Institutions like The University of Ibadan, Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Ilorin, University of Lagos, Ahmadu Bello University, Covenant University and University of Nigeria were highly positioned across the different ranking systems. In fact, The University of Lagos, Ahmadu Bello University and University of Ibadan were ranked amongst the top institutions of learning and research in Africa by UniRank, not far from University of Cape Town, South Africa which is adjudged the best university in Africa and in the top 200 world universities. University of Ibadan is also ranked amongst Top 10 universities in Africa by Webometrics.

Covenant University prove through the rankings that the stereotype of private universities in Nigeria providing low-quality education isn’t valid. Covenant University has over the past few years been a force to reckon with in training and research in the Nigerian educational and scientific sphere. Covenant University is not only one of the top universities in Nigeria but also highly ranked in Africa.

Additionally, a model was developed using available data from Webometrics, Scimago, UniRank and The NUC rankings to determine the Top 5 universities in Nigeria and the result is presented in Figure 1.




From our findings, University of Ibadan is the highest ranked university in Nigeria, followed by University of Lagos, Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Nigeria and Covenant University.