This article, written by fratermathy of Nairaland, is about the best schools for Postgraduate studies in Nigeria. As we all know, almost all Nigerian graduates are taking the academic path to garner postgraduate degrees. This has become a trend largely because of the unavailability of jobs. Graduates attempt at getting Postgraduates degrees such as PGD, M.A, M.sc, M.Agric, LL.M, Ph.D, etc.These degrees are gotten mainly to increase and balance the odds in gaining a good job. Having a First Class or Second Class Upper is no longer a guarantee to secure a mouth watery job anymore. So PG degrees become handy in other to gain more experience, spend the time of joblessness and further one’s educational status.
However, most graduates are in doubt about where to go to for their Postgraduate programs! Some are not aware of the costs for taking such a study and some are skeptical about the time they’ll spend in the program. This list has thus been compiled to sample of the renowned and possibly, best Postgraduate programmes in the country in other to guide applicants. It should be noted that there is no school that isn’t good or standard but there are some schools with a more profitable and fluid program and the factors that dictate this include; duration of program, number of academic staff, school fees, frequency of oral defence, quality of certificates and graduates, etc. Nobody wants to go to a school where s/he will spend 5 Years for a 1-2 Years program. On the average Masters program, the student undertakes course work for two semesters and the last semester(s) is devoted solely to Dissertation/Thesis work. The research proposal is first presented and defended and then the student writes the research under the guidance of a senior academic in the department who in turn approves the Dissertation/Thesis upon completion. Thereafter, the HOD shall notify the relevant Postgraduate committees and boards after which, both internal and external defences shall be done by the student. For PhD, the process is same but the duration is basically 6 or more semesters of which Seminar presentations shall be done and graded by a supervisor and a board of examiners. Any break in this protocol leads to unnecessary delays.
The schools I have compiled below were judged based on various variables of which include; Duration, Quality, Tuition, Location, Alumni, Research Pedigree, Journals/Publications, Acceptability of Results, Speed, Age, among others. Even though this may be a subjective research, I have been as objective as I possibly can and I would welcome any observations, corrections and contributions. Learning is a continual process. I hereby present the list as follows:
1. University of Ibadan:
The University of Ibadan is more or else Nigeria’s most widely accepted and attended university for Postgraduate Studies. Students from virtually all of West Africa have eyed this school for so long largely because of the name it has garnered for itself. This institution is known for its quality and fast Postgraduate programs in Arts, Sciences, Law, Social Sciences, Agriculture, Pharmacy, Medical Sciences, Business Management, among others. The programs in this school are designed to be dexterous, fast-paced and research-based. Cost of living is quite cheap for students and staff quantity and quality are excellent. Most people believe that UI rests largely on old glory while others believe that if it is not UI, they’ll never undertake a PG program. However, UI has its merits and demerits just like any other school but its merits are more and better. Anyone who can ride along with the classic Yoruba city of Ibadan will have no problem schooling in UI. Journals from this school have high impact factors and are recognised authorities.
The tuition and cost of living for both Master and PhD can be placed between NGN100,000-NGN200,000 on the average. Students are also awarded fellowships and teaching/research assistantships in other to ease their financial burden. The duration of the program is a minimum of 3 semesters (18 Months), sometimes it takes less or more depending on the student, the department and the supervisor. The certificate has a high acceptability even in international circles and graduates are doing well as academics, technocrats and politicians.
2. University of Lagos:
The University of Lagos is one of the nation’s premier universities. It is a first generation school that has churned out tons of graduates and counting. The school is located in the buzzing city of Lagos, the commercial heart of Nigeria! It is reputed to have some of the best faculty members and programs in the country. The University is notable to have a diverse range of lecturers that cross ethnic barriers hence in this school, one frequently encounters lecturers who are of Igbo, Igala, Nupe, Edo, Urhobo, Hausa, etc ethnic group as opposed to University of Ibadan that has majorly Yorubas as faculty members. UNILAG has a strong alumni body like UI and it has carved a niche for itself in its PG programs. Programs include M.A., MPA, MBA, M.Sc, M.Agric, M.Fishery, M.Tech, M.Ed, Ph.D, etc and the school is renowned for Law, Arts, Sciences, Engineering and Social Sciences.
Tuition and cost of living is high! Infact, UNILAG is considered by many as the most expensive public university in the country. PG students spend an estimated average of NGN400,000-NGN500,000 per year on tuition, accommodation and miscellanies. The duration, however, comes as a succour to the overtly high standard of living. Students spend an average of 12-15 Months if they are serious with their studies. The certificate is widely acceptable in all spheres. Course work is relatively easy! Most students are mandated to learn another language (mostly French).
3. University of Ilorin:
This University seems to find its way into virtually every listing and ranking of Nigerian Universities. The school is known mainly for one thing, SPEED!!! In UNILORIN, 1 Year is 1 Years, sometimes, even less. The school is located in the Yoru-Fula City of Ilorin in Central Nigeria. The school has adequate infrastructure in place and excellent administration. It has cultivated a good maintenance culture and the staff are up and doing. Students look up to UNILORIN for various reasons and these include, above all, the fact that its academic calendar is fast, stringent, unbreakable and unbeatable. However, staff strength cannot be compared to UI or UNILAG. UNILORIN has on the average, 4 Professors in every discipline whereas UI has 6 on the average. Most academic staff in Ilorin are domestically trained by the school itself because of its good retainment policy.
Tuition and cost of living in UNILORIN on the average can be estimated as NGN100,000-NGN150,000 which places the school slightly below Ibadan. The duration is 3 Semester which are run in a Year and at extreme cases, additional 3-5 months. However speed in UNILORIN depends largely in the student and his supervisor. Once dissertation/thesis is approved, the worst is over and candidates will have their degree within the soonest possible time. It should be noted that some departments mandatorily require 18-20 Months in UNILORIN hence adequate fact finding must be carried out by prospective students.
4. University of Benin:
UNIBEN is another great school for Postgraduate studies in SOME departments. The emphasis on the “SOME” here is that some departments are known to have minor glitches that unnecessarily delay programs. These glitches mostly stem from the HOD of such department. However, the PG programs in UNIBEN are superb, fast-paced and solid. The academic staff strength is averaged at 4 Professors per department which is comparable to UNILORIN. Coursework is done fast and teaching/marking quality is moderate. Physical infrastructures are present but many are worn out and the maintenance culture is lacking in UNIBEN. The alumni strength is commendable and the academic staff are mainly Ibadan trained with a few percentage from Lagos and others are internally trained in the school. The impact factors of Journals is low but comparatively higher than most Federal Universities. This school is renowned for Law, Social Sciences, Arts, Medical and Pure Sciences.
Tuition and cost of living is comparatively low. The average cost will amount to NGN110,000-NGN180,000. The duration of the bulk of programmes is averaged at 15-17 Months. However it may take MUCH LONGER than that in SOME DEPARTMENTS.
5. Ahmadu Bello University :
This is another premier university in Nigeria for quality postgraduate programs. This school is located deep in the heart of Kaduna and it has produced about 70% of all Nigerian Northern Academics, Technocrats and Politicians. This school boasts of good infrastructure with excellent maintenance culture. The staff strength is strong with an averaged professorial strength of 6 per department. Research is consistent with excellent teaching and fast-paced programs. Competition is relatively lower in this institution.
Tuition and cost of living is averaged at NGN100,000-NGN140,000. The duration is 18 months on the average and the certificate enjoys high acceptability. Most supervisors are quite easy going and the academic calendar is a little bit consistent. Journal impact factors are high in the Arts and Social Sciences.