The federal Government through the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and tertiary education stakeholders on Thursday in Abuja adopted 180 as the cut-off mark for 2016 admission into universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.
The decision was reached at the 2016 Combined Policy Meeting on Admissions to Degree, Nigerian Certificate of Education (NCE) and National Diploma (ND) chaired by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu.
In his opening remark, Mr. Adamu said if there was confidence in JAMB’s conduct of the University Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME), there should be no need for post-UTME.
The post-UTME is organised by various tertiary institutions to screen candidates who applied to such institutions and who had scaled through JAMB’s UTME.
“If the universities have problem with what JAMB is doing, they should come forward with it and we will address it.
“JAMB is one of the most active parastatals in the ministry; I expect that policies that would be beneficial to Nigerian students should be discussed at this meeting.
“I believe there should be no ground to lower the quality; Nov. 30 remains the closing date for 2016 admission.
“No institution should exceed its quota in admission; we will start issuing penalties to defaulting institutions.’
Mr. Adamu urged JAMB to provide permanent scratch cards for candidates per session so that they do not need to buy new cards to effect changes or corrections.
In his speech, JAMB Registrar, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, said the screening of candidates at institution level would no longer be written examinations.
He said that the 180 cut-off mark was the minimum benchmark as different institutions could modify according to their specifications, capacity and other variables.
Mr. Ojerinde said more candidates performed better in 2016 than in 2015.
The JAMB boss said that Imo state retained its position as the state with the highest number of candidates while FCT had the least number.
He said there was also a significant reduction in irregularities because of the introduction of the Computer-Based Test (CBT).
Earlier, Monday Joshua, the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Colleges of Education, said that whatever cut-off mark adopted for universities should also apply to colleges of education.
Prof. Joshua urged universities to carry out their admission processes early enough in order to release students who could not secure admissions to universities to fall back to other institutions.
However, Joe Ahaneku, the Vice-Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, argued that post-UTME was vital for quality assurance and maintenance of standard.
He said that his institution arrested 183 impersonators during its 2015 post-UTME, who were able to evade JAMB’s UTME.
No fewer than 1.5 million candidates sat for the 2016 UTME.