*Considers 140 as cut-off point for admission
*Proposes use of phones, other devices for UTME
Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has disclosed that 557,626 candidates from 1.8 million applications were admitted into tertiary institutions across the country in its 2022 admission processes.
In the same vein, the board has considered 140 benchmarks and above as the cut-off mark for 2023 admission into universities across the country, while 100 have been advised for polytechnics and Colleges of Education.
The Registrar of the board, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, disclosed this during a presentation at the 2023 Policy Meeting on Admissions to Tertiary Institutions and Awards yesterday in Abuja.
Oloyede said the 2022 admission process is still ongoing due to opportunities given to some key players in the sector to conduct admissions. The registrar, who discredited notions from the public that JAMB gave admissions, said admission depended on the availability of candidates’ five O’Level requirements as UTME was only meant for admission ranking.
“As of June 19, tertiary institutions have admitted 557,626 candidates but as we speak today, the admission is up to 600,000 as we target about 700,000. This is because admission is still ongoing.
“We hear about cut-off marks by JAMB but the truth is that not the best candidate who scored the highest mark in UTME is the best candidate.
“Admission is based on the five O’Level results that a candidate possesses because we only make use of UTME for admission ranking. JAMB has not initiated admissions since 2016,” he said. Speaking on gaps in admission vacancies and why candidates were not admitted, Oloyede said rigidity of programme choice and mismatch of demand and supply were responsible.
He also listed a lack of interest in existing vacancies and trail candidates (number of O’Level results or awaiting results) as responsible for admission gaps in the tertiary institutions.
He, therefore, said that the onus lay with institutions to determine the national minimum tolerable UTME score, often called the ‘Cut-off marks’.
Oloyede also said JAMB is contemplating a new policy to allow the UTME candidates to write the examinations with their phones and other devices.
He said this proposed policy was based on the rising cost of logistics in taking the UTME nationwide.
According to him, it cost the JAMB over N1.2 billion to equip a Computer Based Test (CBT) centre in Kaduna State, particularly in procuring computers, which candidates use to take the examination.
“The policy which falls under the ‘Bring Your Own Device’ may require candidates wishing to take UTME in the future to bring their own devices to the examination hall,” he said.
At the policy meeting, the registrar expressed concern over the craving for university education among candidates to the detriment of polytechnics and colleges of education.
While condemning the wide disparity in admission quotas in the country, he advised aspiring candidates to explore other options within the tertiary education sector for admission.
The Permanent Secretary, of the Federal Ministry of Education, David Adejo, urged the stakeholders to ensure fairness, transparency, and accountability in the admission processes, which determined the fate of millions of students.
Adejo called on admission stakeholders to ensure credibility in the process so that no candidate would be denied admission and no undeserving candidate was given admission.
“The Federal Ministry of Education has resolved that the fundamental principle of the ministry is openness and this has been provided by JAMB through inclusiveness in the UTME.
“JAMB must ensure sanity and integrity of exams and admission must be based on agreed guidelines to deepen accountability, transparency, and fairness.
“Criteria for admissions remained critical by JAMB and all institutions must abide by them as we need to stick to the approved quota for admission,” he said.
In a goodwill message, the executive secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Abubakar Rasheed, commended the board on its role in ensuring sanity in the education sector.
Rasheed, represented by the deputy executive secretary of the commission, Chris Maiyaki, pledged the commission’s commitment to JAMB to fulfill its mandate.
He said that the policy meeting was a game-changer moment for tertiary institutions to take the leading role in the education sector.
In the same vein, the chairman, of the JAMB equal opportunity group, Peter Okebukola, commended JAMB for its interest in the education of the visually impaired and other physically challenged candidates.
Okebukola said in the last several years, the board had processed admissions of 2,700 visually impaired candidates, those in the correctional centres and the Down syndrome candidates.
He added that the Nigerian higher education system was the ‘move and shaker’ of the African higher education sector, hence the need to get things right, especially in the area of admission processes.