According to the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), the minimum score required for universities to take into consideration when making admissions decisions is 140 in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
In response to candidates’ widespread belief to the contrary, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) clarified that it is the role of tertiary institutions, not JAMB, to decide and determine their admission cut-off score.
The board has come under fire after setting the admission cut-off mark for university admissions at 140 at the just concluded policy meeting in Abuja.
However, in a statement issued on Monday, Benjamin emphasised that there is no such thing as a uniform minimum national UTME score for tiers of tertiary institutions, nor does JAMB decide any such criteria for any institution for admissions purposes.
He stated that the transparent admission method elucidated by former President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dr Nasir Fagge, and published in the media was the same approach being followed in the conduct of admission exercises into the country’s tertiary institutions.
“This procedure has even been improved with the elimination of human involvement through full automation with the implementation of the Central Admissions Processing system (CAPS),” he stated.
He went on to say that, for the sake of emphasis, JAMB administered the UTME and handed over the results to institutions for admissions.
“However, before the admissions process begins, a Policy Meeting is convened with all of the Institutional Heads in attendance and led by the Minister of Education.”
“At the meeting, the admission criteria, which include recommendations from different universities and their recommended minimum admission scores, are presented and deliberated upon, rather than JAMB, which is merely one of many participants.”
“However, more than half of the institutions must have submitted in writing their minimum scores of 200 and above to the Board for presentation and deliberation at the meeting prior to the meeting.” The same was true for the other levels of tertiary education. This approach implies that no institution will be allowed to admit any candidate with a score lower than the one they specified as their minimum score.
“Perhaps it is also appropriate to dispel a number of myths about what is commonly referred to as a ‘universal minimum national UTME score’ for admission into Nigerian higher institutions.” For some time now, many applicants and members of the public have been under the mistaken assumption that the Board has set a minimum national UTME score, which they also refer to as the cut-off point.
“The truth is that there is no such thing as a nationwide minimum UTME score for all Nigerian Universities, Polytechnics, or Colleges of Education.” Only individual institutions decide their minimal entry scores based on their unique characteristics. JAMB plays no involvement in the decision of the institutions as to how and with what criteria they would accept students. JAMB’s responsibility is to ensure that the goalposts are not moved in the middle of the game. Candidates should also be aware that their UTME result is not the sole determinant of their placement in tertiary institutions. As a result, paying undue attention to the so-called UTME cut-off point is a major misconception among many ill-informed candidates who believe they have finally attained the benchmark after attaining the so-called minimum national score or cut-off point for admission.
“It is thus a double trap for many candidates who believed the widespread myth of a uniform UTME score for all Nigerian Universities, Polytechnics, and Colleges of Education.” The myth includes the mistaken belief that solely the UTME score serves as a criterion for admission. This is far from the case, and as a result, such candidates celebrate in advance of their imminent placement in their institutions of choice, which may or may not occur at the end of the day,” the statement stated.