Universities Vs Polytechnics: Which is the Best or Higher?

One of the toughest and most heated debates that I’ve been apart of was when I was arguing with my best friend that Lionel Messi is a good racer.

Obviously, Lionel Messi only plays football but the first thing you should know about me is that Lionel Messi is my favorite athlete, so you’d have a hard time convincing me he’s bad at anything (because he isn’t).

That’s how I imagine the debate is between two students who debate whether university or polytechnic are better for anyone one to apply.

As a Student advocate, i understand that this debate can cause a long time confusion.

This is the obviously most concerned topic for students. In this era of advancement and competition, every student wants to compete and get better results than others. The decision of school, college, university, polytechnic, or any educational institute is really important in the development of the future and career of the student. In this race of professional degrees, you should not flow with the crowd, rather you should make your choice wisely and confidently.

So, if you are a student worrying about what to choose between university and polytechnic, or if you are a concerned parent, who wants to make the best academic decision for the child, this article is for you. In this article, we will compare and contrast the negative and positive points of both, university and polytechnic.

Have a keen look at this article and make your choice wisely.

First, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the University.

  • University is the more traditional approach, as compared to the polytechnic. The academic institution named as University has been developed since the old times. The procedure of University is different and more complex than the Polytechnic.
  • The students must have good grades, to take admission in a university.
  • Most Universities offer you bachelor’s, masters, and doctorate programs. You can choose the relevant field on your own. The major fields offered by universities are Arts, Science, Business, Mass media, and social sciences.
  • You can proceed with your studies, even after having passed out of the university. The admission in University is once, you don’t have to readmit yourself in university.
  • Once you have entered in the program, you have to complete the 4 or 5 years.
  • The university studies are more based on books, written text, and theories, rather than only practical applications.


  • If you want to grab a higher status in a job or business, then you should choose a university for your higher studies.
  • If you are an intelligent student, scoring exceptional marks, who can develop his future, you should go with the choice of university.
  • If you are from a rich family and can afford your semester fees, then you should choose a university.
  • If you are consistent and perspective, you should choose a university.

Some best universities in Nigeria are:

  • University of Benin
  • Covenant University
  • University of Lagos
  • University of Nigeria
  • University of Ibadan
  • AdekunleAjasin University

Now, let us discuss the Polytechnic institution

  • The polytechnic type of academic is the new approach. This academic institution was developed, to provide professional courses to the students in a short time, so that they can start earning by applying their skills. If you are a student, who is hardworking but gets average marks in academics, then you should go for Polytechnic. Because this institution can polish your skills by requiring average marks and you can choose your relevant fields.
  • Polytechnic institutes offer you short diplomas and technical courses, that you can study and polish your skills.
  • You can get a diploma, in just 2 or 3 years.
  • The fields offered by Polytechnic institutes are Engineering, medical sciences, mechanics, technical, or any professional fields.
  • There is no need to study further, after passing out from Polytechnic.
  • The main purpose to create Polytechnic institutes was to make lower-class people, accessible to professional studies. If the student cannot afford to study in top expensive universities, then he can have the diploma from any polytechnic in reasonable charges.
  • There is no need to wait, the student can directly start the job, just after completing his professional diploma from Polytechnic.
  • To take admission to the Polytechnic, there are two steps that you have to follow. There are ND and HND levels of the certificate, which you have to follow.
  • You can have admission to the Polytechnic, even after having average scores in JAMB or relevant criteria.
  • You can get the university equivalence certificate, in many reasonable charges.
  • The polytechnic studies are more based on practical applications, than books or theory.


  • If you are an average student and you aim to work and earn money, you should choose the polytechnic for higher studies.
  • If you don’t score much, then you should choose Polytechnic.
  • If you want to earn just after studying and want to support your family, then you should go for polytechnic.
  • If you belong to a mediocre family and can’t afford your semester fees, then you should go for Polytechnic.

Some best Polytechnic institutes in Nigeria are:

  • Institute of Management Technology, Enugu
  • Plateau State Polytechnic
  • The Polytechnic, Ibadan
  • Osun State Polytechnic
  • MoshoodAbiola Polytechnic

For better insights, 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 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 a 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.

Is University Certificate 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.

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

We hope by reading this article, you can have a complete analysis and comparison of both the academic institutions. Choose what is best for you. Read the article carefully and make your decision easy and efficient. We are here to guide you with the best.

You May Also Like