In Nigeria, the responsibility of education policy formulation and implementation is shared across the three tiers of government levels(Federal, state and local governments) with the Federal Ministry of Education being the central education agency at the national level and the State Ministries of Education and Local Government Education Authorities at the state and local government levels respectively. All information on education in Nigeria can be found in the Ministry of Education official website here and here for information on higher education.
The current structure of the Nigerian education system is 9-3-4 and organised as follows:
- Early childcare for children from the ages of 0-4 years
- Basic Education which comprises of 6 years of education at primary school level and 3 years of education at Junior secondary school level
- 3 years of Senior secondary education and
- 4 or more years of tertiary education in higher institutions such as universities, polytechnics and Colleges of Education (Federal Republic of Nigeria 2013, p. iii)
Nigeria possesses the largest university system in Sub-Saharan Africa. Although South Africa's tertiary enrolments are higher, Nigeria boasts more institutions. Tertiary education in Nigeria consists of Public and Private universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of education. Public tertiary institutions are managed by the state and local governments with supervision from the Federal Ministry of Education and accessible to a wider populace because of subsidised tuition fees while private education institutions are established and managed by the private sector. There are currently 174 universities in Nigeria registered by National University Commission, 95 public institutions and 79 private institutions. In addition to these, as at 2017, there are 107 polytechnics, 27 monotechnics and 84 Colleges of Education in Nigeria.
The Colleges of Education are basically for the training of middle-level manpower in teacher education. Training at the colleges of education has a minimum duration of three years leading to the award of Certificate in Education which qualifies candidates for teaching appointment in primary, junior or senior secondary school. Several Colleges of Education in Nigeria (in affiliation with approved universities) award degrees after training candidates for a minimum of four years. The Polytechnics award two types of certificates-National Diploma (ND) the Higher National Diploma (HND), a minimum duration of two years of study. However, several polytechnics and colleges of technology also run programmes (in affiliation with approved universities) leading to the award of degrees. The universities are essential for training and development of the nation’s human resource in diverse fields of study. Universities award bachelor’s degrees and postgraduate degrees such as the masters and the PhD degrees. Most university courses take an average of 4 - 6 years to complete. Diplomas such as ordinary university (or national) diplomas and postgraduate diplomas are also awarded. All courses and degrees in higher education institutions in Nigeria are taught in English language. Entry requirements into most universities in Nigeria include a Minimum of SSCE/GCE Ordinary Level Credits at maximum of two sittings; Minimum cut-off marks in Joint Admission and Matriculation Board Entrance Examination (JAMB) of 180 and above out of a maximum of 400 marks are required.
The cost of tuition in higher institutions in Nigeria is dependent on the type of institution. Public institutions usually charge lower tuition fees with an average ranging from N50,000 to N80,000 (equivalent to $135 to $250) for domestic students per academic session. Tuition fees for international students vary by university and information on this is usually listed on the university’s website. The average cost of tuition fees in Private institutions range from N400,000 to N1,000,000 (equivalent to $1,110 to $3,000) for domestic students per academic session. Degrees in Medicine, Law and Engineering typically attract higher tuition fees when compared to other courses in both public and private institutions.