Is there a better testament to University of Ilorin’s unrelenting drive for excellence than its latest ranking as the best University in Nigeria? Is there any better proof of the University’s commitment to uplifting the nation’s sliding academic standard than its stable academic calendar that has never been interrupted by any form of frivolous workers’ strike since the past 12 years or so? Indeed, is there any better demonstration of a Nigerian institution’s readiness to pull the country out of the morass of wonky standards into which education in the so-called giant of Africa has sunk, than Unilorin’s ranking as one of the 20 best universities in Africa?

By every standard, the latest ranking of world universities by International Colleges and Universities search engine (4icu.ng), which returned the University of Ilorin as the best University in Nigeria, is the most convincing proof yet of our ever rising profile. In its 2014 University Web Ranking released penultimate Tuesday (July 29, 2014), 4ICU also adjudged Unilorin as the 20th best university in Africa and 1842nd in the world! For the latest exercise, it ranked about 11, 307 accredited universities by web popularity in over 200 countries. This is not Unilorin’s first outing on the recognition dais. Over the years, the University has proved to be a centre of academic excellence. For three consecutive years, another international university ranking agency, the Web of World Universities (Webometric), had ranked our University the best in Nigeria in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

In the 2014 University Web Ranking, the University of Lagos placed second in Nigeria and 21st in Africa while the third position went to Obafemi Awolowo University, which also came 26th in Africa.

To keen watchers of the University of Ilorin, who have consistently followed the single-minded commitment of our management, staff and students to excellence, the new ranking is not entirely a surprise. Indeed, many people, from national policy makers to high net-worth public commentators and independent observers, parents and admission seekers are unanimous in their assessment of Unilorin as the veritable “best of the rest” citadel of learning in Nigeria.

To be sure, the new ranking is consistent with the rising profile of the University in the past few years. Since 2011, she has maintained a steady presence among most preferred education institutions by prospective students. According to statistics obtained from the National Universities Commission (NUC) and the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB), Unilorin was the 8th most preferred university by admission seekers in 2011; 5th in 2012; 2nd in 2013 and 1st this year. After the last Unified Tertiary Institutions Matriculations Examination (UTME), JAMB/NUC statistics showed that the University of Ilorin was the most subscribed university in the country with a total of over 105,000 candidates seeking to enter the University in the 2014/2015 academic session.

The University of Benin, Benin City came a distant second in this respect with about 76,000 admission seekers.

Our new ranking has also confirmed so many superlative assessments of the University in the recent past by personalities like President Goodluck Jonathan, members of the National Assembly, the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; as well as the former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Judge Bola Ajibola.

During the 29th Convocation ceremonies of the University last October, President Jonathan, obviously impressed by the University’s “stable and uninterrupted academic calendar for several years now”, attested to the fact that “this positive step, which has been the hallmark of this institution, has brought notable achievements to the University in all spheres of its endeavour.”

Before then, in June last year, members of the Senate and House of Representatives’ Committees on Education, during their separate oversight visits to the University, spoke glowingly of the University’s giant strides, describing the institution’s stable academic calendar as “a great feat that should be emulated by all universities in Nigeria.”

And in mid-May this year, during the flag-off of the University’s oil palm plantation and distribution of PC tablets to students, Dr Okonjo-Iweala extolled the ingenuity of the University of Ilorin, saying the institution is “100 paces” ahead of other universities in the country.
Also, in April this year during a visit to the University, a former judge at the International Court of Justice, The Hague, Prince Bola Ajibola, described the University as “the first on the list in Nigeria in terms of everything”, adding that the nation is always looking forward to the University’s performance. “You are the pride of Nigeria”, Prince Ajibola added.

It could also be recalled that for two concurrent editions of the NUDTAS Awards, the University of Ilorin showed unprecedented class by winning three of the 17 available awards in 2008/2009 and 2010/2011 respectively, leaving the more than 120 other public universities in the country to scramble for the remaining 14!
For this latest recognition of the University’s pace-setting status, Town & Gown congratulates our amiable Vice-Chancellor, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali; his wonderful management team, all academic and non-academic staff members and the entire student body. For, this rise and rise of the better by far University wouldn’t have been possible without the cooperation of all.

And in mid-May this year, during the flag-off of the University’s oil palm plantation and distribution of PC tablets to students, Dr Okonjo-Iweala extolled the ingenuity of the University of Ilorin, saying the institution is “100 paces” ahead of other universities in the country.
Also, in April this year during a visit to the University, a former judge at the International Court of Justice, The Hague, Prince Bola Ajibola, described the University as “the first on the list in Nigeria in terms of everything”, adding that the nation is always looking forward to the University’s performance. “You are the pride of Nigeria”, Prince Ajibola added.

It could also be recalled that for two concurrent editions of the NUDTAS Awards, the University of Ilorin showed unprecedented class by winning three of the 17 available awards in 2008/2009 and 2010/2011 respectively, leaving the more than 120 other public universities in the country to scramble for the remaining 14!
For this latest recognition of the University’s pace-setting status, Town & Gown congratulates our amiable Vice-Chancellor, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali; his wonderful management team, all academic and non-academic staff members and the entire student body. For, this rise and rise of the better by far University wouldn’t have been possible without the cooperation of all.

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