college of EduPolytechnic

5 Significant Differences between a Polytechnic and College

College of Education in Nigeria: A Brief Overview

College of Education is an institution that students attend to study or obtain teaching training. The institutions were created largely to prepare students for careers as teachers and lecturers.

Nigeria has over 152 colleges of education: 21 federal, 54 state, and 82 private colleges of education.

Students go to this institution to study or obtain training on how to teach. For a better understanding, look at the table below.

Here are some of the approved colleges of education in Nigeria:

Federal College of Education                                                                                                          

  • Federal College of Education, Abeokuta
  • Adeyemi College of Education
  • Federal College of Education, Okene
  • Federal College of Education, Yola
  • Federal College of Education, Obudu
  • Federal College of Education, Pankshin

A picture of the Federal College of Education, Yola

Private Colleges of Education

  • St. Augustine College of Education
  • Havard Wilson College of Education
  • Corner Stone College of Education
  • Yewa Central College of Education
  • City College of Education, Mararaba

Polytechnic in Nigeria: A Brief Overview

A polytechnic is a higher education institution that specializes in scientific and technical areas.

Here are some of the approved polytechnics in Nigeria:

  • Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic
  • Dorben Polytechnic
  • Abia State Polytechnic
  • Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic
  • Heritage Polytechnic
  • Citi Polytechnic
  • Federal Polytechnic, Oko
  • Benue State Polytechnic
  • Petroleum Training Institute, Effurun
  • Auchi Polytechnic

A picture of the Petroleum Training Institute, Effurun

5 Differences Between a Polytechnic and College of Education

Below are five (5) significant differences between a polytechnic and a college of education:

  1. In Nigeria, colleges of education are the third tier of higher education institutions.

On the other hand, Polytechnics rank more than colleges of education, which fall in the second tier.

  1. A college of education graduate is awarded an C.E, which means Nigeria Certificate in Education. However, polytechnic graduates are awarded National Diploma (ND) or Higher National Diploma (HND) certificates.
  2. The duration of study at a college of education is usually three years. Afterwards, a National Certificate in Education (N.C.E) is awarded.

National Diploma (ND) programmes in a polytechnic last for two years. In addition, students are also required to obtain a one year Industrial Training (IT). Higher National Diploma (HND) programmes last for another two years. This gives a total of five years.

  1. Some colleges of education have been upgraded to a University of Education. This means that these institutions award degrees to students.

Polytechnics can only award ND and HND certificates. Therefore, they cannot award degrees to their students.

  1. Candidates aspiring to become professional teachers enroll in colleges of education. On the other hand, polytechnic students are usually interested in technical fields such as mechanical engineering and quantity surveying.

A college of education graduate can apply for a teaching position in a secondary school. On the other hand, a polytechnic graduate can decide to work in a multinational company.


Maryam A

Maryam AbdulWahab is a creative writer and lifestyle blogger. She is also a graduate of Economics from Al-Hikmah University. She lives and breathes literature. When she isn’t writing prose or blog posts, she is reading a fiction work or studying events around her. She writes from Lagos, Nigeria. You can find more of her works on her handles.

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