How to Obtain a Private University License in Nigeria


The National Universities Commission (NUC) is vested with the power to regulate the establishment and monitoring of Nigerian Universities (Federal, state and private universities). They have the power to give licenses to private universities. In order to obtain a private university license from the National Universities Commission (NUC) in Nigeria, the following steps and guidelines are to be adhered to:

  • Application in writing

The promoters of the proposed private university establishment shall by a written application to the Executive Secretary of the NUC, state their intent to establish a private university in Nigeria. This declaration of intent shall include the following

  1. The name of the proposed university
  2. Location of the proposed university
  3. The mission and vision
  4. The nature of the proposed university
  5. The proposed focal niche in the current Nigerian university system
  6. Other relevant information will also be provided
  • Interview process

The National Universities Commission (NUC) shall conduct an interview with the promoters of the university in order to ascertain their seriousness in establishing the university. The interview shall be conducted by the board of the National Universities Commission (NUC)

  • Issuance of Application forms

After due consideration of the application in writing, the promoters of the university are to send a representative to NUC with the prescribed non-refundable fee of N1,000,000 bank draft in favour of NUC, after which ten (10) copies of the application form will be presented to you. After collecting the form, copies of the guidelines and other requirements will also be given to you for proper guidance

  • Submission of the Application forms with relevant documents

You will proceed to forward the completed application forms to NUC with another non- refundable prescribed processing fee of N5, 000,000 bank draft in favour of NUC for processing your application. The completed forms will be accompanied by:

  1. Draft academic brief
  2. Draft physical masterplan
  3. Draft university law
  4. Counterpart deed of assignment
  5. Certificate of incorporation or Registration of Proprietors which will be accompanied with the Memorandum and Articles of Association)
  6. Deed of assignment or certificate of occupancy
  7. Letter of available liquid cash
  8. Bank guarantee of funds to the tune of N200, 000,000 from a reputable bank

It is usually advised that the last two (2) documents (Letter of available liquid cash and the Bank guarantee of funds to the tune of N200, 000,000 from a reputable bank) should not be procured by the applicants until processing of the application has reached an advanced stage

  • Interactive session with SCOPU

After completing your application forms with the relevant documents, there shall be an interactive meeting between the Standing Committee on Private Universities (SCOPU) and the promoters of the proposed university. Usually, the Standing Committee on Private Universities (SCOPU) invites members of the Planning and Implementation Committee of the proposed university to NUC for an interactive meeting as a prelude to the first verification visit to its campus site. During the meeting, the process of documentation and other matters bordering on university governance are discussed. The meeting also gives the proposed university the opportunity to interact with the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive of NUC and his Management team for words of advice, insights and encouragement. Also, a seminar presentation is delivered to avail the prospective Proprietors of the basic philosophy of Universities and their societal roles

  • Proceed to making full submission

The promoters who had submitted part of the relevant documents should proceed to making full submission at this stage

  • Analysis and review of documents

There shall be an intensive analysis of your documents by experts in relevant NUC departments after submission of the completed application forms and necessary documents. The documents are forwarded to the professional departments for analysis after which their comments and observations of such documents are sent to the committee for onward transmission to the promoters of the university.

  • First verification visit

A first verification visit shall be conducted by the Standing Committee on Private Universities (SCOPU) in order to review the documents of the proposed university on a one on one basis and also assess the level of preparedness in terms of documentation.

During the visit, there will be an inspection of facilities in order to ascertain their adequacy for the proposed Colleges for the first phase. Courtesy calls are also paid to the government establishments that provide infrastructural facilities such as electricity, water, and telecommunication including the traditional rulers and the local government headquarters of where the proposed private university is located.

These visits are helps to solicit the support of the host community fir the proposed university and to inform them that a university is proposed in that area. This visit is key and it shows whether the proprietor is committed to the university project and it is also a prerequisite to the final verification visit

  • Revision of documents

The promoters of the proposed university shall revise the documentation based on the report given to them by the Standing Committee on Private Universities (SCOPU). After the first visit by SCOPU, the promoters of the proposed university are expected to revise their documents and undertake any changes or modifications of its facilities according to the new prescriptions given by the SCOPU during their visit.

The revised documents are then forwarded to the NUC for assessment of compliance. If found out that progress has been made according to their prescriptions, then a second and final verification visit to the proposed university is scheduled

  • Second and final verification visit

A second verification visit shall be conducted and this is the final visit to the proposed university depending on the level of compliance with the given prescriptions during the first visitation. The documents are reviewed along with the promoters with a view to perfect them and bring the documents to an acceptable level. The evidence of available liquid cash documents is inspected and analysed by the financial expert on the Committee. The Bank Guarantee of Fund to the tune of N200, 000,000 will also be sighted along with other legal documents for eventual submission to NUC. Final inspection of physical facilities is also carried out to ascertain whether they are in consonance with the approved NUC norms.

  • Security screening of proprietors and board of trustees

There shall be a security screening of proprietors and board of trustees of the proposed university. The purpose of this screening of the proprietor or promoter and the member of the board of trustees of the proposed university is to enable NUC ascertain the credibility of those who are sponsoring the university project and to ensure that they are not persons of questionable character

  • Grading by SCOPU

After the final verification visit by Standing Committee on Private Universities (SCOPU), on their return to NUC writes a detailed report with scores to the NUC Management for its consideration and further necessary action. This will lead to NUC’s Management approval of the proposed university

  • Consideration

The National Universities Commission (NUC) management, upon receiving the report of the Standing Committee on Private Universities (SCOPU) on the proposed university makes appropriate recommendation to the University Development Committee (UDC) of the NUC board for its consideration after which it is submitted to the board for ratification by the University Development Committee (UDC). The Board, thereafter, forwards its recommendation to the Federal Government through the Honourable Minister of Education for its consideration and approval.

  • Approval

The Federal Executive Council considers the recommendations of the NUC Board and Security report on the proposed University’s promoters. If approved, a three-year Provisional Licence is granted to the Proprietor. Only when satisfactory performance are made during the probationary period will bring about a substantive License to the Proprietor of the proposed university.


  1. Application in writing, addressed to the Executive Secretary, stating the intent to register a University with NUC,N1, 000,000 Bank Draft in favour of NUC for ten (10) copies of Application Form
  2. N5,000,000 Bank Draft in favour of NUC for processing of the application
  3. Academic Brief
  4. Physical Masterplan
  5. Counterpart of Deed of Assignment
  6. Certificate of Incorporation/Registration of Proprietors
  7. Deed of Assignment/Certificate of Occupancy
  8. University Law
  9. Letter of Available Liquid Cash
  10. Bank Guarantee of Funds to the tune of N200 Million from reputable banks
  11. Draft Academic Briefs
  12. Draft Masterplan
  13. Draft University Law


Applying for a Private university license in Nigeria requires a huge sum of amount and a long process for your approval by the National Universities Commission (NUC) in Nigeria. The National Universities Commission (NUC) in Nigeria was established for the regulation of the establishment and the monitoring of the activities of all Nigerian Universities. For more information on the registration, procedures and other relevant details on acquiring a private university license in Nigeria, you can contact us on 08023200801, 08075765799, Email:

About the author

Onamakinde Dare Daniel is a highly motivated accountant with knowledge in Accounting, Taxation, Management, Audit, Costing and Research. He is keen on tax matters due to its ever dynamic nature.

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