JAMB Lowers Cut-off Marks for Tertiary Institutions, as Post-UTME Returns

JAMB Lowers Cut-off Marks for Tertiary Institutions, as Post-UTME Returns

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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, Tuesday announced the minimum cut-off marks for admission into Nigeria’s tertiary institutions: 120 for universities, 100 for polytechnics and colleges of education, and 110 for innovative enterprises institutes.

In recent years, the cut-off for universities was upwards of 160 out of 400 marks. Institutions are, however, free to raise their cut-off marks above the minimum set by JAMB.

These decisions were taken at the 2017 Combined Policy Meetings on Admissions into Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria which ended this Tuesday.

The registrar of JAMB, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede said 569,395 or a third of the 1.7 million candidates that wrote this year’s UTME scored over 200 marks. He said 23.8 per cent of the total number of the candidates scored below 160 marks.

Post-UTME is back

The minister of education, Mr Adamu Adamu, has also formally announced a lift of the ban on the conduct of post-UTME examination as a prerequisite for admission into tertiary institutions.

“Cancellation of post- UTME is a mistake,” he said, noting that banning of post-UTME led to a lot of irregularities by candidates and some institutions.

The minister explained that with the lifting of the ban on the conduct of the examination, institutions are now at liberty to conduct the tests, adding that the fee for the examination should not exceed N2, 000.

He explained that the 2016 admission process was a huge success, while expressing optimism that government is working assiduously to make that of 2017 better.

Mr Adamu noted that government is also making efforts to expand access and ensure equality in the education sector.

He expressed optimism that a substantial number of candidates who sat for the 2017 UTME would gain admission into tertiary institutions.

“Over 1.6 million candidates applied for degree courses, over 17,000 for ND as well as NCE,” he said.

Deadlines for admissions

The JAMB announcement indicates that admissions into degree-awarding public institutions for the 2017 UTME examination will end on January 15, 2018, while those for private institutions end on January 31, 2018.

Decisions on first-choice candidates by universities will end on October 15, and second-choice candidates will end on December 15, after which the remaining students will be available in the marketplace for other institutions until the January closing dates.

JAMB registrar Oloyede said a Central Admission Processing System, CAPS, will be used to streamline admission processes among institutions, as it addresses challenges associated with the former approach.

He said that institutions could conduct dual mode system which involves both manual and the newly introduced CAPS.

Speaking on illegal admissions, he said the process is now automated because the registrar of JAMB must approve all candidates. “About 17,160 students were admitted without JAMB across institutions in Nigeria,” he said.

The registrar advocated a dynamic educational policy as related to admissions: “All over the world, there is agitation for dynamic educational policy… JAMB only admits for National Diploma, not Higher National Diploma; so why should we use the same requirement for ND and BSC?  That is unreasonable parity…We should not be sentimental in fixing our cut-off mark; we need not over-dramatize issue of cut-off mark.”

Oloyede said candidates’ applications to study agriculture were very low while applications to study medicine and health sciences increased.

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