West Africa produces some of the most intelligent students in the African continent. However, some persons do not know about this. But it is as a result of the world-class education which West African universities offer. Learn about the best universities in West Africa.
Are you a foreigner or an African and you wish to acquire quality education in Africa? Why not read this article carefully to see the top universities in West African that offer top-notch education.
There are about 1,650 higher education institutions in Africa but many of them are facing very serious challenges. Higher education in West Africa is under-developed. Because of this, many higher institutions are in decline in terms of teaching and research. In the same vein, these educational institutions continue to produce half-baked graduates.
In order to improve higher education in West Africa, smaller universities should consider merging to form bigger universities that make impacts in research and rank globally. Also, there should be information and communication technology in every higher institution program.
In addition, universities across West Africa should develop a working relationship with sister universities outside their home countries where postgraduate students can go through a student exchange program.
Which are the Best Universities in West Africa?
We have put together the list of the best universities in West Africa based on the number of programs, ranking, tuition fees, student surveys, college graduate interviews, and editorial review. These top West African universities offer programs that lead to the award of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.
Therefore, below is the list of the best universities in West Africa:
#1. University of Ghana
The University of Ghana which was founded in 1948 is the oldest and largest among the 13 public universities in Ghana. Originally, the University of Ghana was an affiliated college of the University of London. This institution has an enrollment of 39,249 students.
Furthermore, the University of Ghana which is among the best universities in West Africa has two campuses. The school has five faculties and a college of health sciences.
It has a graduate school of nuclear and Allied Sciences at the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission. With this, the University of Ghana is one of the few universities in Africa that offers programs in nuclear physics and nuclear engineering.
On the other hand, the 2018 rankings by the Times Higher Education puts the University of Ghana #17 in Africa and between #800 to #1000 in the world.
Finally, the University of Ghana gains accreditation from the National Accreditation Board, Ghana.
Notable alumni include Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, George Kingsley Acquah, Edward Doe Adjaho, Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, and Vida Akoto-Bamfo
Address: Legon Boundary, Accra, Ghana
#2. University of Ibadan
The University of Ibadan (UI), founded in 1948, is the first and oldest university in Nigeria. Initially, this university was a college of the University of London. UI which is among the top universities in West Africa has an enrollment of 35,000 students.
UI has twelve faculties out of which a thirteen faculty( Environmental design and management) is proposed.
Meanwhile, according to the Times Higher Education rankings in 2016, UI became the first university in Nigeria to be in the best 1000 universities all over the world.
UI is accredited by the National Universities Commission.
Notable alumni include Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Emeka Anyaoku, Kayode Fayemi, Sen. Robert Ajayi Borofice, Sadique Abubakar, and William Kumuyi.
Address: Oduduwa Road, Ibadan
#3. Covenant University
Covenant University is a private Christian higher institution in Nigeria that was established by the Living Faith Church in 2002.
This university in Nigeria has four Colleges: the College of Business and Social Sciences (CBSS), the College of Leadership Development Studies (CLDS), the College of Engineering (COE) and the College of Science and Technology (CST).
In addition, Covenant University has membership with the Association of Commonwealth Universities, Association of African Universities and National Universities Commission.
Furthermore, the Nigerian Universities Commission in 2018 ranked Covenant University as the best private university in the country and the sixth-best university in Nigeria.
Notable alumni include Anthonia Adenike Adeniji, Simi, Bez, Ric Hassan, and Ishaya Bako.
Address: KM 10 Idiroko Rd, Ota
#4. University of Lagos
The University of Lagos (UNILAG) is a public research university in Lagos, Nigeria that was founded in 1962. UNILAG which is among the best West African universities has an enrollment of over 40,000 students.
This institution has three campuses in Lagos: the main campus in Akoka, the School of Radiography at Yaba, and the College of Medicine at Idi Araba.
Additionally, UNILAG has 12 faculties and five institutes that offer over 86 undergraduate and 140 postgraduate programs (PGD, Masters/M.Phil, and Ph.D.).
Finally, the University of Lagos gains accreditation from the National Universities Commission.
Notable alumni include Prof Yemi Osibanjo, Akinwunmi Ambode, Ibrahim Dankwambo, Gbenga Daniel, Gabriel Suswam, Daniel Olukoya, and Omoyele Sowore.
Address: University of Lagos, Akoka Rd, Yaba, Lagos
#5. Ahmadu Bello University
Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) is a public research university in Zaria, Kaduna, Nigeria that was founded in 1962.
Actually, ABU has two campuses including Samaru (main) and Kongo in Zaria. This university offers several undergraduate and postgraduate programs.
Ahmadu Bello University Zaria gains accreditation from the National Universities Commission.
Notable alumni include Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, Atiku Abubakar, Nasir Ahmad El‑Rufai, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, Donald Duke, Sanusi Lamido, Azubuike Ihejirika, and Solomon Arase.
Address: Community Market, Zaira Nigeria, local 810211, Zaria
#6. University of Ouagadougou
The University of Ouagadougou was founded in 1974. The institution in 2010 had a total enrollment of 30,000 students.
Furthermore, the University of Ouagadougou as one of the best universities in West Africa has seven Training and Research Units (UFR) and one institute.
Additionally, this university uses the modular education system which is based on academic credits. It combines fundamental and professional training together.
The institution gains accreditation from the U.S.-based Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
Notable alumni include Marie Françoise Ouedraogo, Luc‑Adolphe Tiao, Paul Kaba Thieba, and Monique Ilboudo.
Address: 03 BP 7021, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
#7. Obafemi Awolowo University
Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) is a public university at Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria that was founded in 1961. Initially, OAU had an affiliation with Loma Linda University in California, USA.
On the other hand, OAU which is one of the top universities in West Africa has 13 faculties and two colleges (the Postgraduate College and the College of Health Sciences).
Obafemi Awolowo University gains accreditation from the National Universities Commission.
Address: 220005, Ife, Osun State.
#8. University of Cheikh Anta Diop
Cheikh Anta Diop University (the University of Dakar) was founded in 1957. The institution is named after the Senegalese physicist, historian, and anthropologist Cheikh Anta Diop. It has an enrollment of over 60,000.
However, the university’s education system operates like the French (oral and/or written final exams are administered at the end of the year). In the same vein, the school awards B.A., B.S., Ph.D., and D.M.A in Humanities, Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, Finance, Accounting, and Law.
Above all, this school gains accreditation from the Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche, Senegal (Ministry of Higher Education and Research, Senegal).
Address: Dakar, Senegal
#9. University of Ilorin
The University of Ilorin is a public university in Nigeria that was founded by a Decree of the Federal Military Government in 1975.
On the other hand, Unilorin has 15 faculties and over 60 departments. In addition, the university has 2 institutes (Institute of Education and Unilorin Sugar Research Institute) and a Postgraduate School.
It is accredited by the National Universities Commission.
Address: No C2, Studiopedia, Off Ministry of Health, Fate Tanke Rd, behind Lgea Primary School, Ilorin
#10. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology
The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) is a public university that was founded in 1952. It is the largest university in the Kumasi Metropolis and in the Ashanti Region.
The principal officers of KNUST are the chancellor, chairman of the University Council and vice-chancellor.
In fact, the U.S News and World Report ranked KNUST as the best university in Ghana and West Africa.
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology gains accreditation from the National Accreditation Board, Ghana.
Notable alumni include Kofi Annan, Hackman Owusu‑Agyeman, Aliu Mahama, and Nana Konadu Agyeman.
Address: Accra Rd, Kumasi, Ghana
#11. University of Nigeria, Nsukka
The University of Nigeria (UNN) is a public university in Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria. It was established by Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe in 1995 and the university opened formally in 1960. It has an enrollment of over 40,000 students.
As a matter of fact, UNN has four campuses including Nsukka (University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN), Enugu (University of Nigeria Enugu Campus, UNEC), Ituku-Ozalla (University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, UNTH), and Aba (University of Nigeria Aba campus, UNAC).
Additionally, UNN has 15 Faculties and 102 academic departments offering 82 undergraduate programs and 211 postgraduate programs.
Above all, UNN is accreditation from the National Universities Commission.
Notable alumni include Sullivan Chime and Patrick Utomi.
Address: Nsukka – Onitsha Rd, Nsukka
#12. Université d’Abomey-Calavi (University of Abomey-Calavi)
Université d’Abomey-Calavi is the leading university in Benin that was founded in 1970.
This institution has many campuses at bomey-Calavi, Cotonou, Dangbo, Porto-Novo, Adjarra, Ouidah, Lokossa, Bohicon, Savalou, Dassa-Zoumé, and Aplahoué.
UAC gains accreditation from the Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche Scientifique, Benin (Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Benin).
Address: Godomey, Benin
#13. Université de N’Djaména
The University of N’Djamena is the main institution of higher learning in Chad. It was founded in 1971 as the University of Chad and in 1994, it was renamed “University of N’Djamena”.
Furthermore, Université de N’Djaména has seven faculties including the Faculty of Economics and Management [Faculté des Sciences Economiques et de Gestion (FASEG)].
This university has membership with the International Association of Universities.
Above all, Université de N’Djaména is accredited by Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur, de la Recherche Scientifique et de la Formation Professionnelle, Tchad (Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Vocational Training, Chad).
Address: N’Djamena, Chad
Acquiring a higher education in the West African sub-region is quite a whole new experience. Though universities in West Africa have problems including lack of funding, poor research, and inadequate facilities.
Finally, the best universities in West Africa here continue to exhibit high educational standards. This, you can see from their global rankings.
FAQs on the Best Universities in West Africa
Which is the oldest university in West Africa?
Fourah Bay College in Freetown, Sierra Leone is the oldest university in West Africa and the first western-style university in the region. It was founded on the 18th of February, 1827.
Which university in West Africa is the largest?
The largest university in West Africa is Ahmadu Bello University which is located in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria.
Which university in West Africa has the biggest library?
The Kwara State University library is regarded as the biggest library in West Africa.
Which country in Africa has the best education system?
Zimbabwe has the best education system in Africa. This is because the country has a massive literacy rate of 90.70% which is so far the highest in Africa.
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