– The Sun News

Race for 2018 admission exercise

Gabriel Dike

What will play out in the 2018 admission exercise for the 2018/2019 academic session could best be captured by the popular saying; “Many are called, but few are chosen.’’

As reported exclusively in the Daily Sun of June 28, the 2018/2019 admission exercise is expected to start on July 17. It will see the 1, 653, 127 candidates who sat for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) struggle for the few available spaces in the public/private universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and other allied institutions.

Four months after 1, 653,127 candidates wrote the exam and waited anxiously, the 2018 policy meeting attended by key stakeholders took vital decisions on the admission exercise.

The policy meeting held on Tuesday, June 26 at Bola Babalakin Auditorium, Gbongan, Osun State, attracted the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, his counterpart from Ghana, Prof. Kwese Yankah, Governor Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of State for Education, Prof Anthony Anwukah, Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, Prof Abubakar Rasheed, board members of JAMB led by the chairman, Dr. Emmanuel Ndukwe, chairmen, Senate and House Committees on Basic Education, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr. Sonny Echono, over 650 heads of tertiary institutions, heads of education agencies and traditional rulers.

Mallam Adamu while declaring the meeting open, read the riot act to heads of tertiary institutions to shun illegalities, irregular admissions. He charged them to comply with decisions reached at the meeting.

The minister tasked the heads of tertiary institutions to let qualities of transparency, honesty, sincerity, equity, loyalty, integrity and commitment to nation building be their guiding principles, stressing.

“We should be dissuaded from doing any official business under the table. Heads of tertiary institutions are encouraged to institutionalise the qualities enumerated above.’’

He also warned that starting with the 2018 admission exercise, admissions into first degree, national diploma, national innovative diploma and the Nigeria certificate in education, part time, distance learning and sandwich programmes must be processed through JAMB.

Adamu directed heads of JAMB, NUC, National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) to ensure compliance with the policy directive and issue clear guidelines to institutions under their supervision.

He warned that government will not tolerate any tertiary institutions that charge post UTME fee beyond the approved N2,000 stating “firmer sanctions than those of last session shall be applied to cases of violation.’’

JAMB Registrar, Prof. Oloyede appealed to heads of tertiary institutions to abide and comply with decisions reached at the 2018 policy meeting as the board has put in place mechanism to ensure a hitch free admission exercise.


The 2018 UTME began with online registration by candidates amidst protest of poor network service and power supply. The mock examination which took place on Saturday, February 24 was meant to identify problems, test new system introduced and allow candidates familiarise themselves with new software as well as test their level of preparedness.

Except for minor issues and attempt by some CBT operators to manipulate the system, the UTME was conducted successful from March 9 to 17.

The UTME was also held in Benin Republic, Cameroun, Cote D’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and United Kingdom. The results of the matriculation examination were released in batches.

Half of the candidates who wrote the 2018 UTME did so as awaiting result applicants hoping that the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and National Examinations Council (NEC) will release the results before the start of admission on July 17.

Prof Oloyede revealed that the board allowed awaiting result candidates to register and sit for the 2018 UTME but warned that they will not be considered for admission on awaiting result status.

They must upload their O’level results on the board’s portal before the commencement of admission exercise. Their O’level results form a crucial part of their registration requirements, he said.

Statistics obtained from JAMB on 2018 UTME applications based on faculties indicated that Medicine/Pharmacy/Health Science recorded the highest number of candidates with 349,199, Social Sciences 326,595, Sciences 255,808, Engineering/Technology/Environmental 185,711, Administration 142,137, Arts and Humanities 97,070, Law 87, 974, Education 84,081 and Agriculture 30,111.

JAMB disclosed that every applicant is required to ‘accept’ or ‘reject’ his/her admission before the process is deemed to have been completed.

At the policy meeting, JAMB informed heads of tertiary institutions that candidates can protest their admission status if they feel they have not been fairly treated.

At the end of the first choice period, all candidates not admitted would be pulled out of the institutions’ platform on CAPS and be made available to other willing institutions noting that “any candidate who has chosen an institution as second, third or fourth choice did not need any change of choice or payment to JAMB to be considered for admission during the period of the second choice admission exercise, Oloyede explained.

The crucial meeting took several other decisions which in some cases were based on vote by the heads of tertiary institutions. Some of these resolutions reached included the start of admission exercise from July 17 to October 15 (merit list), second choice, October 17 and admission ends December 17. The meeting pegged cut-off marks at 140, 120 and 100 respectively for universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and allied institutions.

According to JAMB, admissions will be based on the approved institutional/programmes cut-off marks and minimum UTME score submitted by the institutions and minimum UTME score for admission prescribed for each schools subject to the respective National Minimum UTME scores.

It was also agreed at the meeting that cut-off marks for admission will be determined by minimum UTME score/direct entry grade, post UTME (if applicable), grading of senior school certificate grades, interview/practical scores and percentage allotted to UTME score should range from 50 percent to 100 percent.

The gathering also resolved that tertiary institutions must use 2018 UTME/direct entry

results, JAMB 2018 admission quota as prescribed by the regulatory agencies, 2018 UTME brochure, guidelines on admission as prescribed by the proprietors and policy decisions reached at the meeting and directives of the minister of education.

The board warned that no institution can consider for admission any candidate whose score in UTME is below the institution’s prescribed minimum score, stressing that institutions were to adhere to institutional/programme cut-off marks and comply with entry requirements as documented in the JAMB brochure.


According to JAMB, institutions are to recommend candidates for admission after having presented to the board, the approved general quota and distribution to various courses, minimum UTME score for each programme, minimum direct entry grades, components of cut-off marks and other admission criteria.

The board informed the heads of institutions that for a candidate to be registered in any institution from 2018 admission exercise, he/she must be recommended by the institution, admitted and approved by JAMB, accept the offer online on JAMB’s website at no cost, print both result slip and admission letter, screen and present acceptable credentials.


Oloyede reminded heads of tertiary institutions to adhere to the Federal Government’s admission ratio of 60:40 science/art ratio for conventional universities/colleges

of education, 80:20 for specialised universities and 70:30 for polytechnics and monotechnics, noting that “the state and private institutions will apply the criteria as approved by their proprietors.’’


The JAMB registrar told the gathering that candidates from outside Nigeria who applied for admission complained of difficulties in attending the post UTME test but were willing to be screened after admission. He further noted that prison inmates, blind and deaf also complained of difficulties in the postUTME test. Oloyede disclosed that such candidates are exempted from the post UTME test.

Issues that the heads of tertiary institutions could not agree on were resolved through voting and this was allowed by the JAMB management to avoid a situation where the board will be accused of imposing admission decisions on the institutions.

Oloyede urged the heads of tertiary institutions to conduct their admission exercise within the approved schedule for first and second choices, stating that “at the expiration of the period, any institution that failed to conducted its admission will no longer have the candidates on its platform in CAPS.’’

The JAMB boss also reminded heads of tertiary institutions not to wait to conclude their 2017/2018 academic session but start the 2018 admission exercise as agreed from July 17 to avoid not meeting the deadline for the close of admission exercise.

“JAMB and tertiary institutions are to ensure that admissions periods are sacrosanct and must be followed and adhered to, first choice admissions must be done during the period earmarked for 1st choice and other choices must be processed during the timelines set out for them,’’ he explained.

From July 17 to October 15 candidates will know their fate and admission status as the over 650 institutions are expected to havepickedtheirmeritlist.From previous exercise, the institutions in 2018 exercise can only admit less than 30 per cent of the 1, 653, 127 candidates.

In 2017 admission exercise 560,925 out of 1,722, 127 candidates were offered admission


The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) on Wednesday, July 4 ended the waiting game for 1, 572, 396 candidates who sat for the May/June 2018 West African Senior School Certificate (WASSCE) with the release of the results.

The Head of National Office of WAEC, Mr. Olu Adenioekun disclosed that 786,016 candidates, representing 49.98 per cent, out of 1,572,396 candidates obtained five credits including English Language and Mathematics.

The HNO also stated that 7786, 380 candidates, representing 50.02 per cent were not lucky as they failed to obtain five credits including English Language and Mathematics.

Adenipekun further said that 1,213,244 candidates, representing 76.84 per cent made credit and above in five subjects, without English Language and Mathematics. He also explained that 858, 424 candidates, representing 54.59 per cent obtained credits and above in five subjects, including English Language but without Mathematics.

With the release of the May/ June WASSCE results, the 786,016 candidates with five credits including English Language and Mathematics can now download their result ahead of the 2018/2019 admission exercise


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Tokunbo David
Tokunbo David

Writer and editor.

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