We can’t take 180 as cut-off mark – OAU

The Public Relations Officer of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Mr. Abiodun Olanrewaju, has said that the institution cannot adopt the JAMB’s cut-off mark of 180.

Olanrewaju told our correspondent on the telephone on Wednesday that adopting the 180 peg would lower the standards that define the institution.

Although he said the OAU had not decided the cut-off marks for the current admission process, he said 180 could only apply to institutions that were ‘looking for candidates.”

Olanrewaju said, “The OAU has a particular standard of excellence below which we cannot drop. We have to maintain that standard so that when they see our graduates anywhere, all the marks of excellence that define us will be there.”

While the PRO said that the university would determine its cut-off marks only after it would have conducted the post-UME, he explained that about 50,000 candidates applied for admission to OAU this year, out of which it would take 6,000.

Also, the JAMB 2015/2016 admission document indicated that 60,402 candidates applied to the university this year.

‘UI yet to decide’

Candidates who applied to the University of Ibadan will, however, have to wait for some time before they can know its cut-off marks.

According to the university’s Director of Public Communication, Mr. Tunji Oladejo, relevant authorities had not deliberated on the matter.

He, however, said that the average cut-off mark in the school was usually 200.

180 is the national benchmark – JAMB

Reacting to the allegations preferred against the body, the JAMB Head of Public Relations, Dr. Benjamin Fabian, said what the board did on July 14 was just to fix the national benchmark cut-off, which is 180 marks for universities.

According to him, agreed that universities are at liberty to fix their cut-off marks, none is to allow any candidate with a score below the national benchmark.

Fabian, who also dismissed insinuations that the board was liaising with private universities to shore up their enrolment figure, denied the posting of candidates outside their places of origin.

He said, “By next week, the national distribution list for the candidates will be out and they will find out that we did not move candidates out of their zones. We are also focusing on private universities as well as state universities. We are just trying to ensure that as many candidates as possible are accommodated in the process. The true situation is that many high-flyer universities, such as UNILAG, ABU, and OAU, have many candidates, while some do not.”

Few candidates applied to private universities

Meanwhile, despite the stable academic calendar in private universities, they still do not fascinate the majority of the Nigerian students and their sponsors.

As recently reported by our correspondent, for the second year running, information from the same JAMB document shows that only about two per cent of candidates seeking university education in the country prefer private ivory towers.

In fact, findings show that of the 1.4 million candidates, less than 20, 000 candidates – representing two per cent – chose to study in the more than 60 private universities in the country.

In other words, 98 per cent others prefer the public universities.

Of the candidates seeking admission to private universities, the Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, has the highest number of applicants with 3,042 candidates. Last year, the school belonging to the Living Faith Church, led by Bishop David Oyedepo, had 3,315 candidates.

The three oldest private universities – Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo; Madonna University, Okija and the Igbinedion University Okada – have 2, 101; 686 and 426 in that order. In 2014 UTME, the trio had 2,139, 1,021 and 658 applicants respectively.

The Bells University, Ota, Ogun State, owned by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, has only 173 candidates; while the American University of Nigeria, Yola, belonging to a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has 198 candidates.

With only five candidates, the Kwarafa University, Wukari, occupied the last position in getting patronage from potential candidates seeking admission to private universities in the country this year. The Obong University, Obong, Ntak, Akwa Ibom State and the Southwestern University, Okun-Owa, Ogun State, occupied this position in 2014. They had only four candidates seeking placement in each of the institutions.

Again, whereas Obong University, Ntak, has increased its profile by having 16 candidates this year, Southwestern University, Okun-Owa, upped its ranking by having two more candidates. The Wellspring University, Ogbaneki, Benin, Edo State, has seven candidates while each of Renaissance University, Ojiagu-Agbani, Enugu and Rhena University, Obeama, Rivers State, has eight and 10 candidates respectively.

With 107,491 candidates, the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, again topped the chart, dusting the nation’s premier university, the University of Ibadan, to a distant seventh position. UNILORIN also topped the slot in 2014.

The University of Benin, Edo State, is occupying the second position this year with 71,497 candidates; Nnamdi Azikwe University, Awka, Anambra State, is third with 70,609 candidates, while the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is fourth with 66,791 candidates.

The University of Lagos has 62,473 candidates, placing it in the fifth position; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, has 60,254 candidates to occupy the sixth position, while UI has 47, 501 candidates. The Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, which had 60,402 applicants in 2014, attracted only 43,967 candidates this year.

The University of Maiduguri, which used to attract a high number of students before the invasion of the North East by Boko Haram, appealed to only 20, 322 candidates.

Copyright PUNCH.

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