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

Short Answer: In some part 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 Certificate more than Polytechnic certificate.

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 among University and Polytechnic you should choose, we will let you decide for yourself by showing you the difference between University and Polytechnic in Nigeria in a tabular format.

What is the difference between Polytechnics 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 Polytechnics 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 course. 
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 under paid.
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 is Usually considered higher that Polytechnic’s certificateThis is unfortunate but as at the time of making this post, discussion is still on.

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 formCan you become a teacher with a HND?

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

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