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Nigeria - Register as a Tertiary Institution

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  1. Application for the establishment of an institution of higher education shall be made to the Minister:-
    • In the case of a University, through the National Universities Commission:
    • In the case of a Polytechnic or College of Agriculture, through the National Board for Technical Education;
    • In the case of a College of Education, through the National Commission for Colleges of Education; and
    • In any other case, through the Director-General of the Federal Ministry of Education, in accordance with the guidelines prescribed for making the application.
  2. No State, Local Government or tertiary institution that can benefit from the education tax with respect to a tertiary institution unless the application for the establishment of that tertiary institution was made in accordance with the provision of subsection (1) of this section.
  3. No person can be granted approval to establish an institution of higher education unless the criteria set out in the Schedule to this Act have been satisfied.


The academic structure and spread of discipline of the institution is required by the Board to cater for areas of felt needs.

  1. Evidence should be produced to show that the institution would be provided with adequate:-
    • Funding, both Capital and Recurrent;
    • Academic and Support Staff.
  2. The proposed staffing guidelines to meet with current guidelines of :-
    • The National Universities Commission; or
    • The National Board for Technical Education; or
    • The National Commission for Colleges of Education, as the case may be.
  3. The Federal Government must be satisfied that, on approval being given, the sources of funding and necessary funds will be available.
  4. The Federal Government or its accredited agency should be ascertain and be satisfied itself that:-
    • The fixed and enabling assets, that is, funds, land, movable and immovable assets, are appropriate for establishing the institution in the light of such factors as:-
      • The type of institution envisaged,
      • Its philosophy and objectives,
      • The cost of goods and services prevailing at the time;
    • The assets should be assigned to the institution on approval being given for the institution to be established; and
    • That the applicant has supplied a concrete and guaranteed source of financial support for the University to the tune of N200 million, N100 million for Polytechnic or Mono technic, and N50 million for a College of Education, over a period of 5 years.
  5. A proposed institution should have clearly spelt out master plan for infrastructural and programme development for at least 20 to 25 years which shall make adequate provision for:-
    • Plan space, aesthetic beauty and fixed final assets;
    • Minimum land area of 100 hectares for a University, 50 hectares for a Polytechnic or Monotechnic and 25 hectares for a College of Education, in a salutary site.
  6. The site distance from an urban complex shall take into account availability of municipal services, including water, transportation, private accommodation, communication and other consequential inadequate in its Community.
    • A proposed institution should have an adequate environment base and shall be open to all Nigerians irrespective of ethnic derivation, social status, religious or political persuasion.
    • Accordingly, its laws and status should not conflict with the conventional responsibilities in academia or interfere with avowed traditional institutional autonomy.
  7. To pre-empt problems of inadequate municipal facilities, the proposed institution should have a clear policy on student and staff accommodation and catering services.
  8. The proposed institution should have a well articulated mission and set of objectives which may be original and innovative but unequivocally in consonance with the socio-economic and political aspirations of Nigeria.
  9. To create and sustain credibility and confidence from the start, the administrative structure of the proposed institution should not depart too radically from established norms.
  10. The library, laboratory and workshop facilities including instructional tools and consumables, should be adequate and there shall be long-range plans for sustaining them.
  11. The planning and feasibility report of the proposed institution include proposed contracts and affiliation with existing similar institutions and plans for cooperation and interaction.
  12. The criteria set out in the Schedule above should also apply to a proposed institution which is an Open University except that:-
    • The minimum land area requirement shall not apply; and
    • Guidelines prescribed by the appropriate authority as regard technical infrastructure for functional and effective operation should be satisfied.

In Summary
  • Apply to the minister of education through the registrar of institution of Higher Education.
  • Complete the prescribed application form.
  • Submit the application form to the the Federal Minister of education through the Registrar.
  • Submit all the required documents with the application form.
  • Pay the prescribed fee.

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Required Documents[edit]

  1. Your identity document like driver's licence, passport, etc
  2. Audited annual financial statements or audited financial forecasts
  3. Business plan
  4. Surety agreement
  5. Company registration documents
  6. Occupational health and safety compliance audit reports
  7. Business registration certificate
  8. Declaration on application for accreditation
  9. Undertaking on institutional capacity
  10. Declaration on monitoring and evaluation
  11. Inter-institutional agreements, if any
  12. Student prospectus, calendar or brochure
  13. Enrollment forms, student contracts and rules and regulations.
Foreign applicants must submit the following
  • Declaration on equality of qualifications
  • Proof of recognition in the country of origin
  • Proof of accreditation in the country of origin
  • An accreditation certificate from HEQC and registration.
  • Signed declaration that the institution will not discriminate in any way
  • In the case of changes, the details that need to be changed
  • Declaration on monitoring and evaluation, as well as an undertaking on official letterhead, dated and signed.

Office Locations & Contacts[edit]

The Executive Secretary,

National Universities Commission,

c/o Secretariat of the Standing Committee on Private Universities (SCOPU)

Room 25, Ground Floor, Aja Nwachukwu House,

26, Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama District, P.M.B. 237 Garki G.P.O., Abuja.

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All citizen of Nigeria with the required qualification and who satisfy the criteria set out in the Schedule to this Act for establishment of institutions.


55,000 naira is Charged.


Valid for a 5 years the a renewal is required.

Documents to Use[edit]

Please attach documents that can be used by people. e.g. links

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Sample Documents[edit]

Please attach sample completed documents that would help other people.

Processing Time[edit]

First-time registration: 18 months before the institution opens for registration. For amendment: 12 months before the amendment comes into effect. For conversion: as determined by the Registrar.

Related Videos[edit]

Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. 
Attach videos using the following tag <&video type="website">video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites.
Please remove the "&" inside the tags during implementation.
Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, 
sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube
width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed.
e.g In the following url "" Video ID is "Y0US7oR_t3M". 

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  • You can register a private higher education institution with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) to have the legal authority to offer higher education programmes.
  • Private higher education institutions offer the same qualifications levels (Levels 5-10) as that offered by public universities or universities of technology.
  • The purpose of registration is to ensure that:
  • Private institutions offer quality education
  • The public is protected against unscrupulous and exploitative operators.
  • The consumer obtains qualifications that are aligned with the Higher Education Qualifications Framework (HEQF) and registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF)
  • The education system meets the goals of transforming Nigeria in accordance with government policy and legislation; and
  • Private institutions comply with the Higher Education Act, 1997 (Act 101 of 1997).
  • The programmes of private institutions must be registered , accredited by the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) of the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and registered on the NQF by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). The programmes must be recognised nationally as well as internationally.
  • You must submit an application for registration at least 18 months before your institution wishes to operate to the Registrar of Private Higher Education Institutions. An Application for Conversion must be submitted by the date determined by the Registrar (Director-General).
  • Forms to complete
  • Forms are available at the Department of Higher Education and Training in the FEDERAL INSPECTORATE OF EDUCATION
  • Application for registration as a Private Higher Education Institution,
  • Application for Amendment,
  • Application for Conversion,

Required Information[edit]

  1. Full name
  2. Identity number
  3. Contact address and Phone number
  4. Business Plan information
  5. Occupation
  6. Citizenship
  7. Audited annual financial statements or audited financial forecasts

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Need for the Document[edit]

Do you wish to offer tertiary (higher) education in Nigeria? You must first register as a higher education institution with FEDERAL INSPECTORATE OF EDUCATION through the Ministry of Education in Nigeria to have the legal authority to offer higher education programmes.

You can register as a Tertiary Institution by following the below procedure.

An institution of Higher Education may be sponsored or owned by the Government of the Federation or of a State or Local Government or by any of the following, that is:-

  • By a Company incorporated in Nigeria: or
  • By an individual or association of individuals who are citizens of Nigeria, and who satisfy the criteria set out in the Schedule to this Act for establishment of institutions.

Information which might help[edit]

Enter other informations which might help.

Other uses of the Document/Certificate[edit]

Please explain what are other uses of obtaining this document/certificate.
e.g. Birth Certificate can be used as proof of identity.

External Links[edit]

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More information which might help people.