Top 10 Biggest Universities In Nigeria (2023)

The biggest universities in Nigeria usually have a vast landmass to fully accommodate the various academic purposes. Having a large area of land also equals having more academic and non-academic staff, large facilities, more infrastructure, and a teeming population of students.

The number of university seekers in the country keeps rising year after year, and the country would need larger universities to contain the inflow of students. So knowing the universities that can take a large number of fresh students is crucial to help admission seekers make their University choices.

Top 10 Biggest Universities In Nigeria

1. University of Ilorin

The federal government University also known as Unilorin tops this list with a whooping landmass of approximately 15,000 hectares, the size of 37,050 football fields.

The University is located in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria, and the landmass currently in use for academic pursuits is 5,000 hectares, the University has decided to utilize the rest of the total allocated space for the location of an educational institute, educational technological center, science laboratory, primary and secondary schools.

The regular academic strike action has got nothing on the students of Unilorin, for the reason that the University is one of the first universities in sub-Saharan Africa without interruptions to the academic programs for over 16 years.

2. Obafemi Awolowo University

The federal government-owned institution also known as OAU, is the second biggest University in Nigeria, with a landmass of 13,000 hectares.

5,000 hectares of the allocated landmass is currently in use by the University.

The institution which is located in Ile-Ife, the ancient center of Yorubaland, was known as the University of Ife up until the 2nd of May, 1987, when the University received its current name. OAU was named after Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who was the first premier of the Western Region of Nigeria.

3. University of Abuja

Located in the heart of the federal capital territory, the University covers 11,824 hectares of land along the Minna – Kataeregi – Bida Road.

The institution has its mini campus in Gwagwalada, Abuja, and the main campus on km 23, Airport Giri Road, Abuja.  It runs both distant, and conventional education systems, to provide a convenient learning environment where the students can choose to learn on or off-campus.

4. Federal University of Technology, Minna

It is a public university that specializes in technological education. It has a total landmass of 10,650 hectares, and its main campus is located in Niger state.

The University carries out regular research in biotechnology, animal production, vaccination, drug formulation, and genetic engineering.

5. Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta

Located in Abeokuta–the capital city of Ogun state, and on a landmass of 10,000 hectares, it holds the number five spot for the biggest Universities in Nigeria.

The institution was established on 1 January 1988 by the Federal Government of Nigeria, and started from the old campus of Abeokuta Grammar School, Isale-Igbein, before moving to the current location in Alabata, Abeokuta.

The university has 179 academic programmes made up of 44 undergraduate programmes, and 135 graduate programmes.

6. Ahmadu Bello University

It is a federal government research university in Zaria, Kaduna State.

ABU–as it is popularly called, is one of the best institutions in the north, and has a total land area of 7,000 hectares. This vast land has been put to good use with the siting of two campuses by the institution.

The first campus known as the Samaru campus has administrative offices and most of the institution’s facilities. The second one known as the Kongo campus houses the faculties of Law and Administration.

The prestigious University was named after the Sardauna of Sokoto, Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello.

7. Federal University of Technology, Owerri

It is the oldest university of technology in Nigeria, which began running as an institution on November 28, 1980.

The University has a total land area of 4,048 hectares.

8. University of Benin

The University sits on 3000 hectares of land and has over 100,000 hectares that are used for other non-academic purposes.

On 1st April 1975, the University was taken over by the Federal Government and became a Federal University.

In January 2006, the Federal Government approved the location of the institution’s College of Petroleum and Gas Engineering at Effurun, near Warri, in Delta State.

Did you know that it is the first University in Nigeria, to appoint a female Vice-Chancellor from 1985 – 1991?

9. University of Ibadan

The University has a total landmass of 1,032 hectares, and as the name suggests, it is in the heart of Ibadan, Oyo state.

It was established in 1948 and became an independent university in 1963. It has remained the oldest degree-awarding institution in Nigeria and is currently the best University in West Africa.

Most of the available land within the school’s premises has been converted to faculty buildings, halls of residence, staff units, and sports centers.

In September 2016, the University became the first Nigerian university to make the top 1000 formidable institutions in the Times Higher Education rankings.

10. The American University of Nigeria

It is the first private University in Nigeria to have a huge land area that rivals federal institutions. It sits on a formidable 1,000 hectares in the middle of Yola, in Adamawa state, and is the first American-style institution of higher learning in sub-Saharan Africa.

The institution was founded in 2004 by Atiku Abubakar who is a former vice president of Nigeria.

If you’re quite familiar with the beautiful beginnings of this University, you will remember referring to it as ABTI. This is because the institution was formally called the ABTI American University of Nigeria before it was renamed the American University of Nigeria.



It may not be the biggest university in Nigeria, but the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), sure is the most populated with a total population of 515,000 students as of 2020. NOUN also has several campuses within the country, and this makes it the first Nigerian institution to have more than four physical campuses.