Trends in the Development of University Education in Nigeria: Colonial and Post-Colonial Perspectives

  • Yusuf Maigida Abdulrahman University of Port Harcourt, Choba – Port Harcourt, Nigeria
  • Amakievi Okien Ijeoma Gabriel Rivers State University, Nkpolu-Oroworukwo, Port Harcourt, Nigeria


Trends in the development of university education in Nigeria revealed limited efforts by both the missionaries and the colonial authority that pioneered modern education in Nigeria. However, since independence; there has been a gradual increase in the number of universities, their programmes and spread, as a result of the establishment of state, federal and privately owned universities.  The objective of this study is to chronicle how we have come to where we are in the development of University education in Nigeria, bothering on the issues of quantity and quality outcomes. Historical research design was adopted with both primary and secondary sources of data and largely depended on documentary analysis. The findings showed that quantitatively, universities are growing rapidly, even becoming a regular attribute under successive governments. While this expansion is commendable, the attainment of quality and production of adequate manpower in critical facets of the nation’s need is less desirable, in fact, has not been achieved. Findings further revealed that the astronomical increase of these institutions in the twenty-first century is not spared of inadequacies in staff needs, state of the art facilities and equipment, staff and students’ welfare and other challenges; including drop in quality of graduates churned out, unemployment after school, poor funding, lecturers’ agitations, indiscriminate proliferation of universities, brain drain, capital flight etc. It is therefore recommended that a positive political will is needed to change the inadequacies in the system for quality university education, in consonance with global best practices.

Keywords: Trends, Development, University Education, Colonial and Post-Colonial Perspectives.

How to Cite
ABDULRAHMAN, Yusuf Maigida; GABRIEL, Amakievi Okien Ijeoma. Trends in the Development of University Education in Nigeria: Colonial and Post-Colonial Perspectives. KIU Journal of Humanities, [S.l.], v. 8, n. 4, p. 69-90, dec. 2023. ISSN 2522-2821. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 26 feb. 2024. doi: