Celestina Imade Harry


The Federal government licenced the first three universities in 1999, today the number has increased from 41 to 61. However for the purpose of this work, some of the private universities will be focused on. These universities run undergraduate programmes excluding Pan African University and African University of Science and Technology. It is disheartening to know that 39 private universities can only accommodate 49,884 students or 4.0% of total student enrolment. With this situation, it has become clear that the expansion policy in Nigeria university system has failed. It is a myriad for many candidates who want to enter university outside public universities, and could not be addressed adequately even with the private universities already in existence. This is a total failure of public policy. It then means that something is fundamentally wrong with the private universities in Nigeria. Based on this findings, few suggestions are made that private universities should aggressively embark on expansion of infrastructural facilities, more academic programmes and national university commission should ensure that old private universities that have existed since 2005 should accommodate minimum students of at least 10,000 – 15,000 or be closed.


Article visualizations:

Hit counter



historical, access, private, universities, public policy, failure, expansion, accommodate

Full Text:



Dada, J. A. (2004). Access to Education in Democratic Nigeria: Issues and Problems. In Uya, O. E., Denga, D., Emeh, J. & Okoro, J. (Eds) Education for Sustainable Democracy: The Nigeria Experience. Calabar: University of Calabar Press.

Federal Republic of Nigeria (1991). Higher Education in the Nineties and Beyond Report of the Commission on the Review of Higher Education in Nigeria. Lagos: The Federal Government Press.

Federal Republic of Nigeria (1992). Views and Comments on the Higher Education in Nigeria. Lagos: The Federal Government Press.

Federal Republic of Nigeria (1993). Education (National Minimum Standard and Establishment of Institutions) Degree No. 9 in Supplement to Official Gazette Extraordinary, 80(i), A7-All, Lagos: Federal Government Press.

Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004) (4th Ed) National Policy on Education. Lagos: NERDC.

Harry, C. I. (2009). A Historical Appraisal on the contributions of Private Universities to the Educational Development in Nigeria (1999-2008). (A Ph.D Thesis) written in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Award of the Doctor of Philosophy (History) in the Department of Educational Foundations, Faculty of Education, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Hornby, A. S., Cowie, A. P. & Gimson, A. C. (1987). Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary of Current English. Oxford: Oxford University Press. http://www.ume.com.ng

Joint and Matriculation Board (2009). Applications and Admission.

Lawal, B. O. (n.d). The Effects of Private Universities on the Development of Higher Education in Nigeria, Unpublished Seminar, University of Ibadan.

Letuka, L. J., Maharasoa, M. & Strydom, A. I. (2007). Equitable Access and Quality Assurance and Management: Hard Choices in Phases. In Babalola J. B. & Emunemu, B. O. (Eds) Issues in Higher Education Research Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa, Ibadan: Ibadan University Press.

National Universities Commission (2004). The State of Private Universities in Nigeria. Report of 2003 Annual Monitoring Quality Assurance of Private Universities in Nigeria. Abuja: NUC.

National Universities Commission (2005). Profile of Universities and Programmes in Nigeria. Abuja: NUC.

National Universities Commission (2010). Accreditation Results of Private Universities in Nigeria, June. Abuja: NUC.

New Lexicon Webster’s Dictionary (1991).

Nwagwu, C. C. (1999). Ensuring the Equality of Educational Opportunity and Excellence on the School System: The Task before Educational Administrators and Planners in Nigeria. In Nwagwu, N. A., Okonkwo, C. E., Igwe, S. O. & Duwukah, A. G. (Eds). Training and Utilization of Educational Planners and Administrators in Africa. NAEAP, Nigeria.

Obasi, I. N., Akuchie, R. C. & Obasi, S. N. (2010). Expansion of Higher Education Access through Private Universities in Nigeria (1999-2009): A Decade of Public Policy Failure. Paper presented at a National Conference on Education for Nation Building and Global Competitiveness, Organized by NERDC at the International Conference Centre Abuja.

Oduwaiye, R. O. (2008). Access and Equity in Nigerian Universities: Challenges and Way Forward. International Journal of Educational Management (IJEM), 5&6, 66-74.

Oghenekahwo, J. E., Adekola, O. G. & Iyunade, O. T. (2007). University Carrying Capacity and Incidence of Higher Education Efficiency in Nigeria. In African Journal of Education and Development Studies (AJEDS) 4(1), September, 127-142.

Okebukola, P. (2006). The Need for More Private Universities, Thisday Newspaper, Wednesday, September 13.

Osokoya, I. O. (2008). Contemporary Issues in Educational History and Policy in Nigeria. Ibadan: Laurel Educational Publishers.

Statistics, 1996-2008, Abuja: JAMB.

Sunday Punch Newspaper (2008). Four Millions Applicants Denied University Admission, October 19.

The Mirror Weekly Newspaper (2007, 4-10 May).

The Punch Newspaper (2007, Tuesday, October 8).

The Punch Newspaper (2008, Wednesday, May 21).

The Punch Newspaper (2009, October 22).

The Punch Newspaper (2009, Wednesday, April 15).

UNESCO (2003). Progress and Future Direction of Higher Education in Africa.

UNESCO, Dakar Office News, Retrieved October 29, 2011.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejes.v0i0.2501


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2019 Celestina Imade Harry

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright © 2015-2022. European Journal of Education Studies (ISSN 2501 - 1111) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms. All authors who send their manuscripts to this journal and whose articles are published on this journal retain full copyright of their articles. All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).