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University Vs Polytechnic in Nigeria, Which is the best?

UNIVERSITY VS POLYTECHNIC: Have you been wondering between University and Polytechnic in Nigeria, which is the best? Well worry no more because this page will answer your question.

university vs polytechnic in nigeria

One of the most frequently asked questions from candidates aspiring for tertiary education in Nigeria is “between University and Polytechnic, which is the best option“?

Short Answer: In some parts of the world, both a Polytechnic and University Certificates are considered equivalent. But this is not really the case in Nigeria as employers value University certificates more than Polytechnic certificates.

Long Answer: We have decided not to give you a direct answer because what really matters is BEING EDUCATED. If you are still considering which universities and Polytechnic you should choose, we will let you decide for yourself by showing you the difference between universities and Polytechnic in Nigeria in a tabular format.

What is the difference between polytechnic and university in Nigeria?

To answer this, we will discuss the duration, certificates, mode of lectures and lots more.

In University the minimum duration of your programme depends on the course of study. It can be 3, 4, 5, 6 or even 7 years.In Polytechnic your minimum duration of study is 5 years. Two years for National Diploma (ND), one-year compulsory Industrial training (IT), two years for (HND)
You can study any course in a University; Science, Arts, Law, Medicine, Engineering, Social Science and Commercial courses.In Polytechnic you can’t study courses like Medicine and Surgery, medical-related courses, Law, and some social science courses.
Recommended: Some Courses You can no longer Study in Polytechnics
After completing your course in University, and you graduate with at least second class lower, you can go for a Master Degree in your programme.After completing your HND Programme in a Polytechnic, you can’t apply for a Masters Degree with just your HND Certificate. You must do a compulsory one-year Postgraduate Diploma (PGD).
Tussle for Admission is Once: Once you gain admission into a Nigerian University to attain your first degree, you don’t need any other entrance examination to get your Degree. Say you gained admission to study Statistics, you won’t write any other entrance examination again. You just need to write semester examinations.Tussle for Admission is Twice: In Polytechnic, there is ND and HND. First you gain admission to get your ND certificate. After the programme you must apply for admission to get the HND certificate. This means writing the entrance examination or applying for admission twice.
Once you start, you must wait until you complete your four or five years programme before you can use your certificate to apply for job.In polytechnic, after two years in the school you get your ND certificate. You can use this certificate to apply for job. But note that lately people who have ND are underpaid.
Except for some few courses, University teaching is theory based.Most of their courses are practical based. Just few courses are theory based.
University requires higher UTME Score. In 2019, the lowest JAMB cut-off mark was 160. However, some Universities minimum was 180 while others 200.
Check: Federal Universities and their Cut-off Mark
Polytechnics accepts students with low JAMB UTME scores. In 2019, most Polytechnics accepted JAMB candidates who scored 120 in UTME
University certificates are Usually considered higher that Polytechnic’s certificate.
UPDATE: The federal government has now made both Polytechnic and universities certificates equal
This is unfortunate but as at the time of making this post, discussion is still on.
UPDATE: The federal government has now made both Polytechnic and universities certificates equal

The above is our opinion, you are free to use the comment box below to add your opinion. We will be very happy to hear from you.

Answers to Some Frequently Asked Questions

Is University Cert higher than Polytechnic Certificate?

In some organizations, University Certificates is considered higher than Polytechnic Certificates. But, please note that there are moves to make both certificate equal. Hopefully, this will happen really soon.

Is HND holder a graduate?

Oh yes! If you have HND Certificate you are a graduate.

What is next after HND?

Here in Nigeria, you can go for your National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). Then look for a job or be self employed. You can also further your education to a Masters Level, but you have to apply for one year PGD in a University.

Can I use HND for Masters?

You must have a Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) Certificate before you can apply for Masters. This is the case here in Nigeria!

Is HND a good qualification?

Yes its a good qualification, but hey why settle for that when you can get your Master Degree.

Is Polytechnic a good choice?

Yes in Nigeria, it is a good choice. But if you still want a university degree, after your two years in Polytechnic, you can apply for direct entry admission into any University of your choice. In most cases you can start in 200 level.
Also if you want to get your masters, you can finish your Programme in Polytechnic, get your NYSC certificate, apply for PGD in a Nigerian University and then apply for Masters.

What certificate does Polytechnic Offer

Polytechnic offers National Diploma (ND) and Higher National Diploma (HND). They don’t offer degree certificate. However, if a Poly is affiliated to a University, they can offer some Degree certificates. But the certificate will have the name of the University.

Can I cross from polytechnic to university?

Oh yes! You can switch from Polytechnic to University. What you need do is finish your ND 2 or HND 2, get the JAMB Direct Entry form and get your school of choice direct entry form. Its that simple.

Is HND a bachelor degree?

No, it isn’t. HND is Higher National Diploma (HND), but it is usually considered as equivalent to Bachelor’s Degree (B.Sc)

What is the Full Meaning of B.Sc

B.Sc is an abbreviation of Bachelor of Science. Its awarded after completion of a science course in a University

Can third class do masters?

No a third class certificate from a Nigerian University can’t apply for Masters. The person will need to apply for a Postgraduate Diploma (PGD).

Can I get a job with a HND?

Yes you can get a job!

Can a HND get you into Nigerian university?

Yes with HND, you can apply for admission into University through Direct Entry. Remember you must get the JAMB Direct entry form and also get your school of choice direct entry form

Can you become a teacher with a HND?

In Nigeria, oh Yes you can be a teacher with your HND certificate

Can I top up my HND to a degree?

Yes some Universities in Nigeria offers top-up programmes for students to upgrade their certificate from HND to B.Sc or B.Tech


The essential thing is being educated! If you want to go to a Polytechnic, strive to be one of the best. If you want to get a Master’s degree course, then you sure have to Apply for PGD in a University.

The above is our opinion, you are free to use the comment box below to add your opinion. We will be very happy to hear from you.

If you also have a question to ask us, we will be very pleased to hear from you. Just use the comment box and ask us and we will answer you.

Recommended Links:

  1. How to gain Admission Into any University in Nigeria
  2. How to Score Extremely High in your POST UTME
  3. List of Best Graduated Students With Great CGPA in 2018/2019 Academic Session
  4. Cheapest Universities In Nigeria & Their School Fees
  5. Are there Some Useless Courses in Nigeria Universities & Polytechnics???
  6. How to Save More Money As a Student
  7. I was so serious men didn’t bother asking me out — Gomina IBBU Overall Best Student
  8. The Struggles of Lecture Hall and How to Excel [Must Read]
  9. Some Profitable Businesses To Run On Campus As a Student
  10. FUTA First Class Student, popularly called ‘Zobo Girl’, tells her Success story
  11. 10 Tips to Study Late at Night without Sleeping
  12. Very Important Computer Shortcuts you Ought to Know
  13. State Universities Cut-Off Marks
  14. 25 Etiquette (Good Behaviour) You Should Never Forget

Allschool Team

Thank you so much for reading this article, we really do appreciate. We hope you loved it, if you did, please share this page with your friends via the share buttons below. Sharing is caring.

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Fashola mutiat

Pls I scored 174 in jamb can I study mls in universities

Abdullahi Muhammad

Pls I score 157 in jamb 2022, can I get admission into university or polytechnic to study computer science?

Etim justina uduak

I want to know if maurid poly in akwa ibom state a recognised institution and if i can do direct entry from the to a university


Thank so much


Thanks 😊

Lawal murtala

This is injustice for the polytechnic student by considering university certificate is more valuable than the polytechnic certificate

Dauda Qowiyu

Thanks I really learned from this

Emmanuel abah

Please if after nd in polytechnic and I go for my degree in university would the certificate be consider as some one who graduate from university


Can I get admission into poly
But I didn’t put it as my first or second choice

Abdullahi seliya Muhammad

Thanks now I know better

Ashiru Aliyu

I have seen this year’s cuyt off mark for both universities and polytechnis, my question here is that my jamb Score is 144 and polytechnic cutt off mark is 120 now where i am? Am i university or polytechnic student?


What are they things that can cause 3 years I. T in polytechnic


Thanks for this piece


A big thanks to allschool, I so much appreciate

Udeh onyinye

Have changing of institution start?


Thanks so much for this nice information!
Please I want to ask: which one is best for HND graduate, going for degree top up program or PGD before mater degree for someone that has lecturing job in mind.
I mean if I want to be a lecturer as HND graduate which program will be best for me between top up program and PGD before going for master degree? Thanks

Mhiz miracle onumajuru

What average I mean GP will you have before purchasing for direct entry in university

Nwafor Alwell

In a normal note.
If someone again admission into polytechnic for ND in 2019, and want to further to University with direct Entry, which year specifically is it suppose to be,
I’m just confused


I really gained here, thanks All school,
Pls can I get a list of masters programs for a mbbs holder


Please when does NDU usually write their post Utme and how many questions does their post Utme contain for an aspirant of Nursing?


Thanks All school!
I really gained from this

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