Private University vs Public University: This debate is senseless

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Nigerian Graduates

The debate about which type of university is better is pointless.

The public university versus private university has poked up online again. Who knows what started this new round of debate.

Tweets have been going back forth about which set of universities is the best- private or public.

The private university clique will tell you it has the most employable graduates in the market.


This claim is especially made by young adults who graduated from church-funded universities. Higher institutions owned by churches make up a chunk of private universities in the country. Covenant University, Redeemers University, and Babcock University are the top three church funded private universities in the country.


Covenant University is arguably the most popular private university in the country. It was established in 2002 under the leadership of the Davido Oyedepo of Winners Chapel.


During this period, public universities were plagued with strikes, school riots and gangland activities from confraternities. These disturbances messed up the academic calendar year. You could end up using six years in a public university studying a four-year course.

Covenant University came in the midst of this mess. It promised a no disturbance environment that wouldn't mess with the school timetable. Other incentives included serene environment, quality teaching and a higher standard of education.

The fine print in the Covenant University contract had strict laws and guidelines. A strict dress code, conservative mode of dressing, no physical contact of the opposite sex and no phones. It was outrageous at the time, it still is.

Everything that a young person looked forward to doing in a university was ripped away in Covenant. This is still the order of the day at Oyedepo's University.

In social discussions, private university graduates especially those from Covenant were the butt of jokes. They were not spared for attending what some called a 'glorified secondary school'. It is believed that they paid their way through university.

The public university goers are proud of the freedom and liberty they have. Yes, strikes still go on and the standard of education isn't any better than it was in 2002 but the opinion is that public universities are lit.

Graduates from legacy universities, like the University of Lagos, Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Benin, Ahmadu Bello University, and others have a superiority complex. They think they are better than their counterparts from private universities. The hardship faced by public universities is seen as a badge of honour, a passage of rites of sorts. They believed they are seasoned to handle life.


The argument on which type of university is better in Nigeria is almost baseless. The standard of education in Nigerian hasn't gotten any better since the advent of private universities. Some will say it has gotten worse.

The Nigeria educational system, especially in higher institutions, is the same. There is hardly any difference between education in public universities and private universities.

When private universities first came on board, most of its lecturers were from public universities. Many lecturers who were mere doctors in public universities suddenly became professors and Heads of Departments in private universities. Obviously, the fast tracking of careers without due process must have its negative effects.


Nigerian education is so bad that no Nigerian university makes the global top list of best universities in the world- private and public. If the quality of education isn't of international standard then why is this debate going on? It's just two sides of the same coin.

Nigerians are consumed about debates that mean nothing. Private universities are not better than public universities and vice versa. It's the same thing. Instead of this meaningless rhetoric on timelines, young Nigerians should be thinking of how the allocation for education in the annual budget can be increased.

from - Gist

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