The most recent University ranking in Nigeria parades ten best Universities namely: Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU); University of Ibadan (UI); University of Lagos (UNILAG) and University of Benin (UNIBEN). Others are University of Ilorin (UI); University of Nsukka; Ahmadu Bello University; Lagos State University; University of Jos and University of Ado-Ekiti. The top ten best Universities in Nigeria may not be relevant even in continental Africa.
The scenario was quite different a couple of years back. In 2004, a world university ranking exercise was carried out. The results were amazing. The exercise produced the best 200 Universities which sent shock waves across the academic world and the entire world at large. The exercise which was the first of its kind and it indicated that no Nigerian or African University made it to the best 200 Universities worldwide! Four American Universities namely: Harvard University, University of Beckley California, Massachusetts Institute of technology; and California Institute of Technology topped the list as the best four Universities in the world respectively while Oxford and Cambridge Universities came fifth and sixth respectively. The 200 elite Universities are located in 29 different countries of the world with the United States, Britain, Germany and Australia having the highest number of well-ranked Universities with a total of 62, 30, 17 and 14 entries in that order.
In 2010, on the list of first 100 Universities in Africa, only four Nigerian Universities are mentioned. Nigerian Universities occupied the following positions: University of Lagos, 31st, Obafemi Awolowo University 35th, University of Ilorin 37th University of Ibadan 45th and University of Benin 87th positions. On the other hand, South Africa produces the first 4 leading Universities in Africa and the first 7 on the list of the top ten universities in Africa. Of the 100 top Universities, South Africa alone has