Nigeria’s growing middle-class parents have increased the demand for quality university education but the rising cost of educating children abroad and the deteriorating state of public-funded educational institutions are opening up a new market for the country’s most expensive private universities.
Parents perceive these expensive private universities in Africa’s most populous country as being able to provide an international standard educational environment, facilities, teachers and exchange programmes.
Average tuition fees in the United States of America for the 2018/2019 academic year is US$25,620 (₦9.2 million) per year according to a report by US-based student support organisation College Board. On 2nd July 2018, the United Kingdom government announced that there would be no change to the tuition fee cap for UK/European Union Undergraduate students for the academic year 2019-20. New entrants in 2019/20 will pay £9,250 (₦4.3 million) for full-time study and £4,625 (₦2.2 million) for part-time study. This is besides the feeding, accommodation and transportation costs.
Nigeria’s top 10 most expensive universities compete with these universities abroad and have priced their tuition fees accordingly, in addition to attracting expatriates who help drive home the perception that the universities can fairly compete and produce graduates that can thrive in the world’s increasingly borderless labour market.
The American University of Nigeria (AUN), in Yola, founded in 2003 leads the pack of Nigeria’s most expensive private universities. Engineering students pay ₦2.70 million each academic year and other students pay ₦1.90 million per session.
AUN is followed, Baze University, Abuja, founded 2011, Law students ₦2.50 million per session while those in the faculty of management & social sciences pay ₦2.25 million.
At the Nile University of Nigeria in Abuja, founded in 2009, Social and Management Sciences students pay ₦2.40 million per year but English Studies students pay the least, ₦1.7 million per session.
Little known Skyline University of Nigeria, in Kano, founded in 2018 charges students of the School of Science and Information Technology ₦2 million per session and those in the Schools of Art, Management and Social Sciences, ₦2 million.
Law students at Afe Babalola University in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, founded in 2009 pay ₦2 million, Nursing and Lab Sciences pay ₦1 million, Social and Management Sciences, pay N500,000, pre-medicine pays ₦2.15 million all per session.
Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos, founded in 2002 bills students of Information Science and Media Studies ₦ 2.05 million, Mass Communication ₦ 1.95 million, Accounting, Business Administration and Economics, ₦1.85million, per session.
At Covenant University in Ota, Ogun State, the most expensive course of study is Accounting at N857,500. The school was founded in 2002.
Igbinedion University at Okada, in Delta State, makes the list of one the most expensive private universities in Nigeria. This is because from 200 level and above, qualified medical students pay ₦2.4 million but other courses average N600, 000. It was founded in 1999, one of Nigeria’s oldest private universities.
Adeleke University, in Ede, Osun State charges students an average of ₦700, 000 per session. The school was founded in 2011.
Babcock University, at Ilishan Remo in Ogun State bills on average of ₦568, 807 for per session. It was founded in 1999, another old private university in Nigeria.
Experts say with these private universities attracting more Nigerian parents to their campuses, it will help keep some of the money that would have been exported to other countries.
“Most of the dollars that would have been conserved or used to import other things that we don’t have a comparative advantage in are spent on studying abroad. This puts pressure on our foreign exchange and reserves,” said Ayodele Akinwunmi, corporate banking department, FSDH Merchant Bank Limited.
These top 10 most expensive private universities were chosen to highlight private sector participation in the education sector and their impact on the economy. They benchmark their performance against international best practices, education analysts say.