By Martin Paul
A paltry 510, 000, representing 30 per cent of the 1.7 million candidates who sat for the 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) will be offered admission this year.
National Universities Commission (NUC) Executive Secretary, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, disclosed this yesterday at a one-day public hearing Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) on admission procedures into Nigerian universities.
At the hearing was organised by Senate committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFund, the NUC boss said limited spaces in tertiary institutions had made admission crisis inevitable.
“Admission crisis in this country is inevitable. Unless we expand spaces, we shall continue to have admission crisis in this country. Every exam has its own problem. We believe JAMB exam is credible and all of us operating in the system respect the results of JAMB exam,” he said.
JAMB Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, on his defence, said there was no conflict between JAMB and universities, emphasising that “most of the candidates who sit for its examination annually do not have the required qualification to gain admission.”
He said: “It is not true that we have 1.7 million candidates that are ready to go into the Nigerian university system. Of the 1.7 million that took the exam I can say conveniently that not more than 30 per cent of them are prepared for admission, they are just trying. They do not have the five O’ Level required to go into the university.
“Secondly, let me also let us realise that 10 per cent of the 1.7 million that we see, or 1.9 million as the case may be, they are not what can be categorised as net enrolment ratio for entry into tertiary education. They belong to the gross enrolment ratio.
“Eighty per cent of candidates, at the point of sitting, do not have the O’ Level at all. They are awaiting results. So, when we are building our theories and analysis, we need to be very cautious.
“If you score 400 over 400 and you do not have the five O’ Level, you cannot come into the university. This is the basic qualification for sitting for matriculation examination and that too, would guarantee admission.”