University of Ilorin in Kwara State, Central Nigeria, has emerged the 2016 university of first choice among student-applicants as the foremost citadel of learning in the Country, followed by sixteen (16) others drawn from the Federal, State and Private Universities, the Economic Confidential can authoritatively report.
In a new report obtained and carefully computed and analyzed by Economic Confidential from the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) on preferred first university of choice in 2016, the University of Ilorin has the highest student-applicants of 103,238 students, with male student-applicants of 51,082 and female student-applicants of 52,156.
Using the JAMB’s report of most preferred universities in the country, the Economic Confidential gathered that applicants seeking for admission into universities considered academic stability, popularity, affordability, available facilities and quality of lecturers as part of their check-list before making choices in their applications.
Of the Forty (40) federal Universities in the country, UNILORIN is number one followed by the University of Benin, South-South Nigeria with student-applicants of 81,363 made up of 39,729 of male applicants and female applicants of 41,571. Ahmadu Bello University, North-west Nigeria is third in the ranking while the fourth and the fifth are University of Nigeria Nsukka and Bayero University, Kano both South-East and North-West Nigeria respectively.
As the third in ranking among the universities, Ahmadu Bello University has student-applicants of 75,383 out of which male students are 48,136, while female student-applicants stand at 27,247. University of Nigeria Nsukka which is number four, boasts of student-applicants of 65,954 with females numbering 36,429 and males with 29,525, and completing the circle of the progressive universities is Bayero University Kano, at number 5, with applicants of 64,220 just as males are 43,452 and females numbering 20,768.
Meanwhile, among the federal universities in the country, namely: Federal University of Otuoke, Federal University of Gashua and National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) are ranked as 38th, 39th and 40th positions and having student-applicants of 2315; 1438 and 148 respectively.
Of the 39 State Universities, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, North-Central Nigeria is number one with 35,555 applicants; followed by Imo State University South-East Nigeria with 32,237 applicants; Kaduna State University, North-West Nigeria with 29,142 applicants; Delta State University Abraka, South-South Nigeria with 28,623 applicants;and Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, South-West Nigeria with 28,515 applicants.
Surprisingly the State with least patronage to its universities is Ondo where Ondo State University of Medical Science, Laje Road, and Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Oki, all in South-West Nigeria are ranked 38th and 39th and have student-applicants of 683 and 251 respectively.
As for private Universities in the country numbering 55, seven are outstanding. The number one position is grabbed by Covenant University, Canaan Land, Ota, South-West Nigeria, followed by Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, South-West Nigeria; Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, South-West Nigeria and Igbinedion University, Okada, Benin- City, South-South Nigeria.
Others are; Bowen University, Iwo, South-West Nigeria; Al-Qalam University, Katsina, North-West Nigeria and Baze University, Federal Capital Terittory, Abuja, North-Central Nigeria.
Covenant University has 2, 586 student applicants, followed by Afe Babalola University with 1,304, Babcock University with 1,248 and Igbinedion University with 418. Others are, Bowen University with 329 student-applicants, Al-Qalam University with 308 and Baze University, Abuja with 277 student-applicants.
Out of the 55 private Universities in the country, these ones occupy the lower rung in the ladder: Hezekiah University, Umudi, Imo State with 6 student-applicants , Evangel University, Akaeze, Ebonyi State with 5 applicants, Chrisland University, Owode, Ogun State with 4 applicants, and Wellspring University, Irhihi, Ogbaneki, Benin-City with 4 applicants. Others are; Rhema University, Obeama, Rivers State with student applicants of 3 and Hallmark University, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State with just two applicants.
From the statistics shown so far, Economic Confidential can reveal that female applicants in these universities are higher in the south-south, south-east, south-West and North-Central respectively as opposed to lower applicants of females in the North-West and North-East. Investigations by this Economic Intelligence magazine indicate that both religious and cultural undertones are largely responsible in some parts of the country, notably in the North-West and North-East on female applicants due to early marriage than the rest of the geopolitical zones in the country.