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[ICYMI] Four million UTME candidates not admitted in four years – Investigation

[ICYMI] Four million UTME candidates not admitted in four years – Investigation.

No fewer than 6.9 million candidates sat the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination between 2019 and 2022 with only 2.03 million of them admitted into tertiary various institutions while 4.87 million candidates failed to secure admission.

Among the 4.87 million candidates, who failed to secure admission, are 4,385 candidates who scored 300 and above out of the possible 400 score.

This was revealed by an analysis of the data obtained from the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board by our correspondent on Thursday.

The UTME, which is organised by JAMB, is the only acceptable examination taken by individuals seeking admission into tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

Though some tertiary institutions may still schedule post-UTME for candidates seeking admission into their institutions, no individual can be admitted without a result verified by JAMB.

Various factors were listed by JAMB as responsible for the low rate of admission of candidates, as our correspondent observed that even candidates with scores as high as 300 failed to secure admission.

The UTME is usually based on four subject combinations with each subject marked over the sum of 100.

Though students are at liberty to choose their subject combination in line with their choice course of study, the use of English is compulsory for all students who wish to be admitted into the country’s tertiary education system.

In 2019, a total of 1,792,719 candidates sat the UTME across the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

Available data obtained from the policy meeting document of the following year suggested that only 612,557 candidates were offered admission, leaving 1,180,162 without admission.

In 2020, a total of 1,949,983 candidates sat the UTME but only 551,553 admission quotas were filled according to the JAMB policy meeting document for 2021. This left 1,398,430 candidates without admission.

In 2021, a total of 1,400,000 candidates sat the examination but only 312,666 were admitted while 1,087,333 did not secure admission.

In 2022, there was a major boost in the number of candidates who sat the UTME as a total of 1,800,000 reportedly sat the examination. However, only 557,625 admission quotas were filled according to the report released during the 2023 JAMB policy meeting held in Abuja. The data revealed that 1,242,375 candidates failed to secure admission.

Further analysis of data obtained revealed that a total of 4,385 candidates who scored 300 and above in the UTME in the years under review failed to gain admission.

While tertiary institutions are at liberty to determine their respective cut-off marks for admission, there is a widely held belief that candidates who score higher marks have advantages over those with poor UTME scores.

In 2019, a total of 2,967 candidates scored 300 and above but only 2,288 of them were admitted, leaving out 679  candidates.

In 2020, a total of 4,948 students scored 300 and above. While 3,492 candidates were admitted, 1,456 were denied admission.

A total of 715 candidates scored 300 and above in the 2021 examinations but only 590 were admitted, while  125 were denied admission. JAMB noted that 35 out of the 125 candidates, who were denied admission, applied to study Medicine and Surgery.

A total of 64 applied for engineering-related courses; one for education; 18 for science-related courses.

In 2022, a total of 5,833 scored 300 and above. While 3,708 were admitted, 2,125 failed to secure admission into tertiary institutions.

JAMB’s explanation





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