30% of the 1.7 million UTME candidates will be admitted, says NUC

National Universities Commission (NUC) has said that limited spaces for admission into Nigerian universities can only accommodate about 30 per cent of the 1.7 million candidates who wrote the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination in 2017.

The NUC Executive Secretary, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, said this in Abuja while appearing before the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and Tertiary Education Trust Fund on Wednesday.

He also noted that there was a regulatory conflict between the Joint Admissions Matriculation Board and the universities offering admission to candidates.

Rasheed said owing to the limited admission spaces in tertiary institutions, an admission crisis was inevitable in the country.

He said, “Out of about 1.7 million candidates who took the UTME, it is just about half a million that can be admitted into our universities. The crisis of admission in this country is inevitable. Unless we expand spaces, we shall continue to have an admission crisis in this country. Every examination has its own problem. We believe that the JAMB examination is credible and all of us operating in the system respect the results of the UTME.

“It is not about making money for the universities. JAMB is an excellent guide, but you cannot rely on it 100 per cent. There is a need to further examine the candidates for objectivity and to make the entire system credible.”

The JAMB Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, however, said there was no conflict between the board and the universities.

Oloyede said most of the candidates who sat for its examination did not have the required qualifications 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. Out of the 1.7 million that took the UTME this year, not more than 30 per cent of them have the five credits in their Senior School Certificate Examination required to go into the university.

“About 80 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 do not have the O’Level, you cannot come into the university.”

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