Nigerian Ivy League Schools

Nigerian Ivy League Schools

Understanding the Nigerian Ivy League schools begins with knowing what Ivy League represents. The notion of the Ivy League has lately become a way of categorizing the highly sought after, most prestigious, highly selective Universities in the world. However, based on origin, the Ivy League actually refers to the eight schools that make up the Ivy League athletic conference in the US.

In our subsequent discussion and analysis on this topic, we shall describe what makes the Nigerian Ivy League schools unique, explain how to gain admission in any of the Ivy League schools, and give you advice on whether you should pursue an Ivy League education.

Who makes up the Nigerian Ivy League Schools?

According to VNTI, the Nigerian IVY League schools refers to the highly sought after, most prestigious, highly selective Universities in Nigeria. These Nigerian Ivy league schools are usually viewed by many as the gold standard of Universities in Nigeria. Without a doubt, almost every Nigerian would admit that these Universities are the best in Nigeria. In alphabetical order, They Include:

  1. Ahmadu Bello University (ABU)
  2. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka (UNIZIK)
  3. Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU)
  4. University of Benin (UNIBEN)
  5. University of Ibadan (UI)
  6. University of Ilorin (UNILORIN)
  7. University of Lagos (UNILAG)
  8. University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) 

    As you probably know, these Nigerian Ivy League schools have extremely good reputations. They are all listed in the top 10 by the Nigerian University Commission (NUC) and any other ranking system available.

    On How We came about the Ivy League listing, we considered a lot of criteria during our analysis, including but not limited to;

    • Acceptance rate
    • Cost/Affordability
    • Available facilities
    • Quality of lecturers
    • Undergraduate Enrollment
    • Courses Offered & Accreditation
    • Academic reputation & Products
    • Academic calendar
    • Quality and Availability of campus housing
    • Students Life, athletics and diversity

Undergraduate Enrollment:

Without mincing words, The University of Ilorin had the highest number of applicants between 2012 and 2017, according to statistics from the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board(JAMB).

The statistics show that UNILORIN was the University of the first choice for admission seekers for over three years and only came second behind the University of Benin in 2012. In all four years, UNILORIN had 25.76% total applications for admission.

The University of Benin, UNIBEN came second with 20.56% applications, while Nnamdi Azikiwe University, UNIZIK, Awka, had the third highest number of applications of 18.65%. The fourth and fifth places were held by the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and the University of Lagos respectively.

In general, none of these universities received less than 45,000 applications for the year in review.

Acceptance Rate:

The Nigerian Ivy league schools are the most extremely selective public Universities in the country. None of these universities ends up admitting up to 30% of the students who apply for admission in these schools. In 2016/2017, the University of Ilorin accepted only 10,886 applicants out of the 110,675 students who applied for admission. The University of Benin in 2017 admitted 10,909 students out of 34,497 applications received.



In comparison to other Universities, these schools can be afforded by the average Nigerian student or family. The Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria boasts of being the Cheapest University in Nigeria with an Undergraduate school fee of N27,000 per session. The University of Ibadan follows closely with a school fee of N30,000 per session. Other members of the Nigerian Ivy league schools have fees between N40,000 and N65,000 for Undergraduate students.


Available facilities:

These Universities have above standard facilities at their Campuses. Every of the Nigerian Ivy League schools makes use of projected and computerized display in teaching. They all have standby generators for steady power. In addition, the University of Nigeria, Nsukka as well as the University of Ilorin boasts of having 24 hours wireless internet services on their various campuses among other facilities which facilitate learning and study.


Quality of lecturers:

These Nigerian Ivy League schools can boast of having more professors than other Nigerian universities. According to the NUC 2017 Survey, the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria has over 579 professors. Other members have well over 350 professors.


Courses Offered & Accreditation:

They offer almost all courses available for admission seekers & can also almost boast of a 100% accreditation of their courses by the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC).


Academic reputation & Products:

The Alumni’s of the Nigerian ivy league schools can be seen almost everywhere in the world, making a difference and fully upholding the virtues of their alma Mata in their various fields of study. Notable figures include Ibrahim Shema (former Gov. Kastina State, ABU), Chinua Achebe (Distinguished Author UI), Emeka Anyaoku, (Commonwealth Secretary-General, UI) among others.


Academic calendar:

In a period plagued by incessant strikes and truncated academic calendars, the Nigerian Ivy league schools have managed to maintain a fairly stable academic calendar. especially of note in this category are the Universities of Nigeria and Ilorin who are ahead of the pace when compared to other institutions.


Quality and Availability of campus housing

Affordable and available students housing is a very important factor for students considering admission into Nigeria’s public universities, and here is another area where these elite Institutions stand out. All members


Students Life, athletics and diversity;

Diversity is a feature which is constantly lacking in most of Nigeria’s public universities, but the Nigerian Ivy league universities can boast of having students from various states, cultures, and even nationalities. Foreign students have found a special place in the Universities of Lagos and Nigeria. There is active students life and activities in these universities, with many of them having a fully functional sports complex.


As a summary, it would be safe to say that they’re all outstanding schools. There’s really no consensus about which Nigerian Ivy League school is the best.


How to Decide Which Nigerian Ivy League School Is Right for You

Many of the Nigerian Ivy League schools are similar. They’re all Federal universities of similar sizes with excellent academic reputations. If you’re interested in enrolling in any of these Universities, you’ll have to consider a number of factors such as:

  1. Setting: As a student planning to enrol in a Nigerian Ivy League school, you should decide if you would like to go to school in an urban or rural setting. The urban Ivy League schools include Universities of Lagos, Benin, and the Ahmadu Bello University and the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, while those in Suburban setting include the universities of Ilorin, Nigeria, Ibadan and the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife.

2. Academic Programs, Majors, and Requirements

While all Ivy League schools are strong in the various Courses offered, some are stronger in some aspects than others.

3. School Fees: While all of the Nigerian Ivy League schools are affordable, the Ahmadu Bello university Zaria is the cheapest, followed by the University of Ibadan and others.

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