Most findings and rankings regarding education worldwide involve adult literacy rates and levels of education completed. However, some studies look at current students and their abilities in different subjects. Looking at the list of most educated countries in the world:
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
Though Nigeria is the richest and most populous country in the world, South Africa is the only African country that made it to the list of most educated countries in the world. Nigeria is nowhere in the ranking. The World Economic Forum rank once ranked Nigeria’s education at 124th position in the world and 25th in Africa.
This is not surprising, BEDSA programme (Better Education Service Delivery for All) had stated that Nigeria had the highest number of out-of-school children in the sub-Saharan Africa region.
Education is critical for national development, as it is the only way to produce adequate manpower to run the country. For any country to develop, it must have a well-equipped education system that prepares its people with adequate knowledge to enable them to take a competitive advantage in the 21st-century world economy.
In Nigeria, education quality is a big problem. The main contributing factors are poor physical facilities, inadequate sanitation, lack of textbooks and the number of unqualified teachers, and paucity of instructional facilities.
Nigeria has a lower than expected level of educational achievement given its moderately high per capita income. Illiteracy rates are high and there are big gaps in achievement between rich and poor, boys and girls and different regions.
Half of the population over 15 is classified as illiterate. Of the 41 million adult illiterates, 10 million are aged 15-24 which does not bode well for generations to come.
What rank is Nigeria in higher education?
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021 includes more than 1,500 universities across 93 countries and regions, making it the largest and most diverse university rankings to date. Times Higher Education World University Rankings take the top institutions in the world and look at their performance across all of their core objectives: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.
Nigeria has 7 universities in the overall Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The highest-ranking university in Nigeria is the University of Ibadan, which is ranked number 401–500th position.