University Vice Chancellors and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) describe the recent policy of 120 as JAMB cut-off mark for university admissions as FG’s ploy to destroy public universities and have so rejected the decision of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board to put admission cut-off mark at 120 for universities and 100 for polytechnics, monotechnics and colleges of education.
ASUU said the action, which it described as a “sad policy decision,” was in tandem “with the dream of the present government to destroy public universities in the country.” The vice-chancellors stated that the decision would add no value to the nation’s university system.
According to a statement issued by the Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof. Idowu Olayinka, on the issue and released by his Media Assistant, Mr. Sunday Saanu, on Thursday, the premier university stated that it would never admit any candidate that scored 120 in the UTME.
The statement added, “It should worry us as patriots that candidates who scored just 30 per cent in the UTME can be admitted into some of our universities. Yet, we complain of poor quality of our graduates. You can hardly build something on nothing. The consolation here is that since JAMB started conducting this qualifying exam in 1978, UI has never admitted any candidate who scored less than 200 marks out of the maximum 400 marks.
“This translates to a minimum of 50 per cent. This remains our position as an institution aspiring to be world-class. Reality is that only about four other universities in the country have such high standard. To that extent, apart from being the oldest, we are an elite university in the country at least judging by the quality of our intakes.”
Olayinka, however, commended the decision of the Federal Government to re-introduce the post-UTME test and exonerated the incumbent JAMB Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, from the cancellation of the test two sessions ago.
“It is gratifying to note that the Honourable Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, who chaired the meeting, apologised publicly for canceling the post-UTME screening last year.
“In effect, universities are now allowed to conduct the test using modalities approved by the Senate of each institution.
“To be fair to the incumbent Registrar of JAMB, he was not the Registrar when the policy somersault of cancelling the post-UTME test was made last year. As strongly canvassed by us at every opportunity, for UI, the need to admit the best admission seekers is the primary motivation for the test and not money, even though we do not pretend that you can run any university so properly called without funds.”
The Vice-Chancellor, Tai Solarin University of Education, Ogun State, Prof. Oluyemisi Obilade, said that the decision would ultimately fall on parents and employers of labour to decide “between a first-class graduate of a university which takes 120 as its cut-off mark or one that takes 180 as its cut-off mark.”
Obilade, who said that TASUED would never go below 180, insisted that many of the VCs at the Combined Policy Meeting during which the 120 benchmark decision was made, said they would not go below 180.
She said, “But some universities chose 120 at the meeting. What the JAMB has done is to transfer power back to the Senate of universities to decide their cut-off marks. What I can tell you is that many public universities and even private universities will not go below 200. We were told that some universities were doing what they called ‘under the table admission’ and then come back to JAMB after four years for regularisation.
“TASUED will not go below 180, not under my watch. Even in the United States, there is what we call Ivy League universities, and there are those you can call ‘Next Level Universities.’ There are also those that are termed community colleges. At the meeting, the outcome is that universities have been given the freedom to decide. It is not general legislation and it is not binding on everybody.”
Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigerian Students has described the reduction of the cut-off marks for admission into tertiary institutions as “a gross misplacement of priority and an exercise in futility.”
The organisation said that the reduction by JAMB, from 180 for universities and 165 polytechnics, to 120 and 100 respectively for the 2017 UTME, would translate to a disastrous outcome in the future.
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