The University of Ibadan (UI) has overtaken Covenant University (CU) as Nigeria’s best institution in the 2021 Times Higher Education’s (THE) rankings.


In 2019, Covenant University had retained its position as the best in Nigeria, according to THE’s 2020 report for the world university rankings.

This was after CU usurped UI in 2018.

However, in the 2021 rankings released on Wednesday, UI rose to the 401- 500 band while CU witnessed a drop from 2018’s 636 position to remain at top 1000.


Second on the list is the Lagos State University (LASU), which was placed between 501 and 600, while the University of Lagos (UNILAG) ranked between 601–800.

Also on the list is the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), and the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), both of which ranked on a figure exceeding 1000.

Below are the six Nigerian universities that made the list:

  1. UI (401 – 500)
  2. LASU (501 – 600)
  3. UNILAG (601- 800)
  4. Covenant University (801 – 1000)
  5. UNN (1001+)
  6. OAU (1001+)

The University of Oxford claims top spot for the 5th consecutive year while the University of Cambridge dropped three places and was ranked at sixth in the world.

Below are the top 10 universities in the world — with last year’s position in brackets.

  1. (1) Oxford University (UK)
  2. (4) Stanford University (US)
  3. (7) Harvard University (US)
  4. (2) California Institute of Technology (US)
  5. (5) Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)
  6. (3) Cambridge University (UK)
  7. (13) University of California, Berkeley (US)
  8. (8) Yale University (US)
  9. (6) Princeton University (US)
  10. (9) University of Chicago (US)

THE’s latest world rankings include more than 1,500 universities across 93 countries and regions, making it the largest and most diverse university rankings to date.


The organisation said it realised its rankings using 13 “carefully calibrated” performance indicators to provide comparisons “trusted by students, academics, university leaders, industry and governments.”

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