High Population in Nigeria and the Impact on Nigerian Universities

Impact of High Population on Nigerian Universities

Nigeria being one of the developing countries, also happens to be among the nations with high population. In fact, to statistics have shown that Nigeria is an overpopulated country.  Overpopulation occurs when the number of species that reside in a particular land space is beyond the carrying capacity of the resources available in that area. There are a number of things that have led to overpopulation in Nigeria.


The low awareness level and lack of good education about family planning is one major factor. Family planning is a system put in place to help couples, families be able to control the number of children they produce, there are a number of methods that are applicable in carrying out family planning. Proper education, awareness and incentive toward family planning are strategies that can help to encourage it, but there is a deficiency of that in our communities in the country today. There are other factors that have led to high population like the cultural and religious allowances. Imagine a religion that permits the marrying of many wives, or a culture that permits and encourages early marriage, and delights in just giving birth to many children whether or not the resources to take care of them are available or not.

The male-child preference is another factor, when couples want a male child by all means, even when they give birth to girl children, they keep trying until they get a male child. These are some of the causes of overpopulation in a country like Nigeria.

This situation of overpopulation has led to a lot of issues in the country, the resources that could have been used to cater for a controlled number of people now has to be shared or allocated to cater for an ever-increasing populace. Coupled with the political gimmicks and lack of transparency of leaders, resources are being mismanaged and there is a large percentage of suffering populace. Education is not in any way left out talking about the impact of High population in Nigeria. This is a discussion on the high population in Nigeria and the impact on Nigerian Universities. Below are some of the effects.

High population of applicants

The population of students sitting for the UTME and post UTME examinations for universities in Nigeria is much, compared to the available spaces for students. So many students are applying, but the universities will only have to admit the number they can handle to an extent. This high number of applicants make the road or entrance into the higher institutions narrower. It means that the fact that a student meets the requirement of the school does not guarantee that he or she will get admitted considering the possibility that there may even be more candidates who are more qualified. Apart from some underground politics that are done to get in students who have connections, this high population of candidates applying even makes admission much more serious and difficult. It is therefore a major impact of the population density in Nigeria.


The very fact that applicants into universities are many and that many are not being selected due to the distant ratio of candidates and the number and capacity of universities to accommodate them, some schools can now make their fees exorbitant, acceptance fees, school fees and the likes, and students have no option than to pay, if they really want to keep their admissions. If there was to be a lesser population applying to these schools, the rate of extortion may not be as much. If the schools were the one seeking for candidates, if the number of available universities was more than a match for the population, then the rate of extortion will not be as much also.  It is just an econometric situation where once demand is way higher than supply, then the sellers can raise their prices.

Quality of learning

A situation where the number of students in a faculty or department is too high compared to the available facilities provided for their learning, then you can imagine how well the teaching and learning process will go. In a case where different departments may have a particular course that their students take together and they have to take it in a hall, with the population of students that are all taking that course and the space made available for them to take their lecture, some might have to be standing at the back of the class or sitting somewhere either comfortable or not, just so they can receive the lecture. Firstly, how comfortable will the students be especially those in uncomfortable positions? The ones standing at the back of the class, will they be able to take notes properly? With such population of students, how well will the lecturer be heard speaking from the front?


When it comes to practical as well for courses that involve some practical aspects, the equipment and facilities made available cannot effectively cater for the students to all effectively get what the instructor is passing across. The question is this, are the instructors even enough to cater for the number of students that are to carry out the practical? When many students have to be in a group and use limited number of items for the practical, some students might even leave the practical to other students in the group waiting for results after experiment. How grounded will such students be? It means the facilities on ground id not a match for the population of students that have been taken in.


The unfavourable climate of the educational system in Nigeria is a reason why someone will prefer to go and do his studies outside the country. If some go out and study outside the country, maybe in a more favourable environment, if they stay in such countries to work after their schooling, then it means Nigeria is missing out on some talents and potentials that could have been useful if they were in the country. If the resources on ground cannot cater for the large population of students, then why will a person who has or finds the means not want to go outside and study? If facilities are adequate and there’s a better climate to education, then we may not have as many people trying to go outside the country for their studies.


Many graduates are turned out yearly, already there are people on ground who have graduated and are still looking to get jobs, unemployed. Then yearly many more graduates also are being released. After the one-year compulsory NYSC programme where the corps members are paid, they have to go into the labour market and begin to search for jobs. The level of unemployment of graduates in Nigeria is high, overpopulation has also contributed to this significantly. Some will have to go for further degrees when they can’t get jobs and even after another degree, getting a job is not as easy. This alone in itself has made education look like it’s not the real answer in Nigeria.

It will only be very helpful to the growing population in Nigeria if more universities are built and more facilities, equipment and the likes are made available for already established universities. Private individuals who have the wherewithal to build universities should take it up and do it for the greater good of Nigerian citizens. Also, more awareness and education should be given to Nigerian families on family planning and other important measures to control the population, incentives can even be given to make people more interested in complying.