The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, has said it will re-distribute candidates who scored above 180 but whose scores are less than cut-off-marks of their first choice universities to needy institutions .
This is contained in a statement signed by the Head, Media and Publicity of the board, Fabian Benjamin, and made available to journalists on Sunday in Lagos.
It said that the recent admission policy witnessed at the University of Lagos was aimed at ensuring that Nigerian universities admit only the top-best as was done globally.
It would be recalled that candidates and their parents had on Wednesday, July 22, staged a peaceful protest at the University of Lagos gate over the high cut-off marks for 2015/2016 post-UTME screening.
“Sequel to this development, the board has redistributed the other candidates with cut-off marks less than what their first choice required to needy institutions.
“The board, equally, urges candidates and their parents to check its website from Friday, July 31, 2015 for their names and institutions they are placed in,’’ the statement said.
According to the statement, universities are centres of excellence anywhere in the world and that of Nigeria should not be an exception.
It said that JAMB was working round the clock to ensure that Nigerian universities were among the best in Africa and perhaps the world in the next ranking.
The statement explained that the board was also cautious about utilizing the available spaces in admitting more candidates bearing in mind the admission criteria of various needy institutions.
“The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has reiterated that the national cut-off marks of 180 for universities.
“We also have 150 for Polytechnics, Colleges of Education and Innovative Enterprise institutions in the 2015 UTME as a bench mark to set the tone for 2015 admission exercise.
“The decision to have a national accepted cut-off mark at the policy meeting was to serve as a guide and pruning mechanism.
“It will also give the tertiary institutions qualitative and manageable candidates to choose from a pool of candidates desirous of tertiary education.
“However, universities and other levels of tertiary institutions are at liberty to go higher, but not lower, depending on their peculiarities and the performance of candidates that choose them,’’ it explained.
The statement added that the board wished to state that no candidate would be denied any right to aspire to tertiary education.
According to the statement, the board is equally aware that some universities have their own admission cut-off marks acceptable by the board for the various courses they offered.
“Please be informed that the board will always ensure that these institutions apply this cut-off marks uniformly across all candidates without discrimination.
“The decision of the board on the print-out for this year exercise was done in good faith and not to jeopardize the right of candidates due to individual cut-off set by some Nigerian tertiary institutions.
“Those candidates who do not meet the cut-off marks of such institutions will be placed in needy institutions within their geo-political zone depending on available spaces in such institutions.
“The board’s aim is to accommodate as many candidates as possible instead of just pushing them to schools we know abinitio does not have the carrying capacity to admit all,’’ the statement said
The statement asked that if UNILAG, with a carrying capacity of about 9,000 candidates, has over 60,000 applying to it, what happens to the over 50,000 others?
It said that in such occasion, the board would ensure that there was balance by ensuring that those remaining candidates who were not too fortunate to meet the cut-off marks were also placed in other needy institutions.
According to the statement, candidates are to note that the policy is only meant to ensure that every candidate with a reasonable score of 180 and above is placed somewhere.
It added that Nigerians were also urged to believe in the board as it continually strives to give the entire education system the best.
“We are not comfortable with the large number of candidates that sits for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), year in year out without gaining admission.
“It is the belief of the board that this policy will address the shortfall and accommodate more,” the statement said. (NAN)