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Popular Tertiary Institutions These are the 10 most sought-after universities in Nigeria in 2017

In 2017, these 10 universities are the favourites of admission seekers and one of them is the first choice for over 100,000 candidates.

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These are the 10 most sought-after universities in Nigeria in 2017 play

UNILAG Senate House


Every time secondary school leavers seek admission into tertiary institutions, one university or the other usually emerges as the most favoured institution by admission seekers, and this is why some schools are considered as first choice institutions in Nigeria.

Candidates' choice of an institution depends on a lot of things. Admission seekers might favour a university because of the reputation of the institution. Some might choose because of the courses the institution offers, but basically, it is the the candidates who determine the popularity of a school.

According to the Economic Confidential reports, 10 Federal and State Universities stood out better than the rest during the 2017 application exercise.

Here are the preferred universities of choice in Nigeria based on the data collected from the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB in 2017.

1. University of Ilorin

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University of Ilorin entrance


The University of Ilorin again emerged the most popular university for four consecutive years in 2017. The institution had the highest applications with 104,038 student-applicants out of the 1,212,818 total applicants seeking admissions into the 40 federal universities in Nigeria.

2. Ahmadu Bello University

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Ahmadu Bello University Gate

(Premium Times)

With student-applicants of 89,688 in the 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, Ahmadu Bello University is the second most subscribed institution. In December 2017, the institution was reportedly the best University in Nigeria.

3. University of Benin, UNIBEN

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UNIBEN came third in the ranking with 85,486 candidates seeking admission into the university popularly known as UNIBEST.

In its 2015 ranking of Nigerian Universities, the National Universities Commission reportedly ranked the university third best in the country.

4. University of Nigeria Nsukka

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University of Nigeria, Nsukka


In the 2017 admission, University of Nigeria Nsukka, Enugu, had  79,073 applicants

5. University of Lagos

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For a long time now, UNILAG used to be the most popular University in the country. The University has remained one of the most competitive in the country in terms of admissions. In 2017, 78,899 candidates sought admission into UNILAG.

6. Bayero University, Kano

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In the 2017 admission data, Bayero University, Kano came sixth with 68,241 students applicants.

7. Lagos State University

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Lagos State University

(Black Box)

Lagos State University for a very time was touted as the best state university in Nigeria, but in the 2018 webometrics ranking, the institution was toppled by Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH.

Among the 41 state universities in Nigeria during the 2017 admission year,  Lagos State University, LASU, was most subscribed university with 36,119 applicants.

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8. Kaduna State University

Kaduna State University   play

Kaduna State University  


In the 2017 admission, 28,914 candidates applied to study at Kaduna State University.

9. Delta State University

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Delta State University Alumni House


Delta State University Abraka made the top 10 list with 28,672 student applicants,

10. Nassarawa State University

nasarawa state university play

Nasarawa State University


Interestingly, Nassarawa State University was among the top 10 institutions that were seriously sought after in 2017 as the institution had 29,142 applicants from all over the country.

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