Higher Education in Nigeria: Private Universities’ Challenges and Coping Strategies


Published: 2022-07-07

Page: 279-286

Abubakar Musa *

Department of Science Education, Faculty of Education, Federal University, Wukari, Nigeria.

Deborah Mallo Gregory

Department of Science Education, Faculty of Education, Federal University, Wukari, Nigeria.

Ibrahim Abdullahi

Department of Science Education, Faculty of Education, Federal University, Wukari, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Private university education has come to stay in Nigeria as part of the tertiary education system. Of course, there will be some difficulties, hence the need to examine the challenges and coping strategies for private universities management. Secondary data sources were used in this paper to support the opinion of the researchers. It was revealed that inadequate funding, decrease in enrollment, heavy reliance on part-time and visiting lecturers, increase in competition, corruption, mass closure of private universities, etc. were among the challenges facing private universities in Nigeria. Meanwhile, mergers among private universities, partnerships, diversification of income, and the introduction of online and distance learning programs, among others, were identified as coping strategies for resilient and sustainable private university management in Nigeria. It was concluded that private university education is highly needed and, despite the challenges facing them, they can still thrive and contribute to the development of the Nigerian education sector in particular and the economy in general.

Keywords: Private universities, challenges, coping strategies, management, Nigeria

How to Cite

Musa, A., Gregory, D. M., & Abdullahi, I. (2022). Higher Education in Nigeria: Private Universities’ Challenges and Coping Strategies. Asian Research Journal of Current Science, 4(1), 279–286. Retrieved from https://globalpresshub.com/index.php/ARJOCS/article/view/1626


Download data is not yet available.


Omoregie N. Issues and challenges in private university education in Africa: Funding of private universities in Nigeria. LWATI: A Journal of Contemporary Research. 2011;8(4):272-282.


National Universities Commissions (NUC). NUC issues provisional licence to 12 new private universities; 2022.


Musa A, Vincent VN. School plant management in public universities in Nigeria: Challenges and the way forward. Journal of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Neural Network (JAIMLNN) ISSN. 2799-1172. 2022;2(03):23–28.


Terry GR, Franklin SG. Principles of management. Kamataka, India: AITBS publishers. 2003;4.

Ajadi TO. Private Universities in Nigeria – the Challenges Ahead. 2010;(7):15-24.


Ogunode NJ, Lawan A. Public universities administration in nigeria: challenges and the ways forward. International Journal on Integrated Education. 2020;3(11).

Available:https://doi.org/10.31149/ijie.v3i11.877 https://journals.researchparks.org/index.php/IJIE/article/view/877

Ogunode NJ, Musa A. Higher education in Nigeria: Challenges and the ways forward. Electronic Research Journal of Behavioral Sciences. 2020;3.

Available:http://erjbehaviouralsciences.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/9.-Higher-Education-in-Nigeria.pdf https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3695914

Olawore OP, Ajayi TB. The emergence of private universities in Nigeria and their various challenges. Journal of Applied Information Science and technology. 2016; 29(1):31-38.


Mungathia FM. The challenges encountered by the selected private universities in Kenya in implementing strategies that would lead to a financially sustainable university. British Journal of Education. 2018;6(6):49-64.


James SN, Botimi-Slaboh AS. Higher education in Nigeria: The challenges and contributions of private universities. International Journal of Innovative Social & Science Education Research. 2019; 7(4):132-140.


Ofosu SK. Woes of private universities can be surmounted; 2021.


Stander E, Herman C. Barriers and challenges private higher education institutions face in the management of quality assurance in South Africa. South African Journal of Higher Education. 2017;31(5):206-24.


Wiley University Services [WUS]. Top challenges facing U.S. higher education; 2021.


Adedigba A. NUC releases names of 58 illegal universities in Nigeria (FULL LIST). Premium times; 2018.


Standing partnership. Combatting the challenges facing private colleges; 2019.


Umoren B. Private universities aid academic corruption, decadence – JAMB chief. Today; 2019.

Kenton W. Consortium. Investopedia; 2021.


Amponsah EB, Onuoha LN. The performance and challenges of private universities in Ghana and Nigeria. International Journal of Business and Social Science. 2013;4(5).

Rezaeian M. Challenges of the private sector of higher education in Iran. Journal of Management and Planning In Educational System. 2020;13(1):349-378.