The National Universities Commission, NUC, has told prospective candidates into higher institutions that only 30 per cent of the 1.7 million candidates who wrote the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, will be admitted this year owing to limited spaces in the universities.
The executive secretary of the commission, Abubakar Rasheed, was quoted as saying this at a one-day public hearing on the regulatory conflict between JAMB and universities in offering admission in Nigeria.
The hearing was organised by the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFund on Tuesday.
Mr. Rasheed said the limited spaces in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions have made admission crisis inevitable.
“The crisis of admission in this country is inevitable. Unless we expand spaces, we shall continue to have admission crisis in this country,” Mr. Rasheed was quoted as saying by The Nation newspaper.
According to Mr. Rasheed, the only way to avert admission crisis is to either expand access or create more universities to accommodate students.
“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.
Meanwhile the registrar of JAMB, Ishaq Oloyede, said there was no conflict between JAMB and universities.
Mr. Oloyede said most of the candidates, who sit for its examination annually do not have the required qualification to gain admission.
“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 not prepared for admission; they are just trying. They do not have the five O’Level required to go into the university,” he said in the report by The Nation newspapers.
“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 belonging to the net enrolment ratio for entering tertiary education.”
According to him, 80 per cent of candidates sitting for the UTME do not have the O’Level qualifications when writing the examination.
“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 if you do not have the five O’Level, you cannot come into the university. The basic qualification is the five O’Level,” he said.