The Academic Staff Union of Universities and some universities Vice-Chancellors have rejected the decision of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board to peg admission cut-off mark at 120 for universities and 100 for polytechnics, monotechnics and colleges of education, Punch report.
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.
Some universities vice-chancellors maintained that they would not lower admission standards in their respective varsities. They stated that the decision would add no value to the nation’s university system.
The Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof. Idowu Olayinka, in a statement issued and released by his Media Assistant, Mr. Sunday Saanu, on Thursday, 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.’’
Vice-Chancellor, Tai Solarin University of Education, Ogun State, Prof. Oluyemisi Obilade while speaking with Punch said the decision was not binding on all institutions.
She added 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.’’
Dean of Students Affairs, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Prof. Kayode Alese, said the institution will unveil its own cut-off mark.
He said, “However, I can assure you that FUTA has never gone as low as 120. It has never happened and it will never happen,”.
“Having spoken for the university, my personal opinion is that the 120 cut-off mark will not add value to our education system. The Federal Government has just increased the pass mark from 40 to 45 in universities. What that means is that you must score at least 45 for you to pass any course. We have enough candidates and yes you may try to increase access but tertiary education should be for those who have the capability.’’
Vice-Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University, Prof. Tope Ogunmodede said will not change its policy of not admitting students who scored below 200.
He said, “Traditionally, OAU has never admitted students who scored below 200 in the UTME. For us, we are sticking to 200. The minimum benchmark is 120 but you can go higher than that. I expect that an institution should be able to determine the quality of its graduates because there are internal exams. What has been done is to provide a leeway for universities to decide their cut-off marks.”