The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has said the 250 marks outlined by the University of Lagos (UNILAG) as its cut-off marks for the 2015 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination is justified.
The Board said the mark is aimed at ensuring that Nigerian universities admit only the top best in line with international best practices.
Dr. Fabian Benjamin, spokesperson for JAMB, gave the justification in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.
JAMB said it was “aware that some universities have their own admission cut-off marks acceptable by it for courses they offered.”
But it maintained that the national cut-off marks of 180 for universities and 150 for polytechnics, Colleges of Education and Innovative Enterprise institutions in the 2015 UTME remained the benchmark for 2015 admission.
It added that the decision to have the national acceptable cut-off marks during its recent policy meeting was to serve as a guide and a pruning mechanism to give the tertiary institutions qualitative candidates to choose from a pool of candidates desirous of tertiary education.
JAMB explained that universities and other levels of tertiary institutions were at liberty to go higher, but not lower, depending on their peculiarities and the performance of candidates that chose them, provided these cut off marks were uniformly applied to all candidates based on existing admission criteria by proprietors of these institutions.
It promised that no candidate would be denied his right to aspire to tertiary education, but that it is aware that some universities have their own admission cut-off marks acceptable for various courses they offered.
“The policy witnessed in UNILAG is aimed at ensuring that our universities admit only the top best as done globally. Please be informed that JAMB ensures that these institutions apply these cut-off marks uniformly across all candidates without discrimination.
“The decision of JAMB on the print-out for this year’s exercise was done in good faith, not to jeopardise the rights of candidates due to individual cut-off set by some Nigerian tertiary institutions
“The candidates who do not meet the cut-off marks of such institutions will be placed in needy institutions within their geopolitical zones depending on available space in such institutions. The aim is to accommodate as many candidates as possible instead of just pushing them to schools we know ab initio does not have the carrying capacity to admit all.
“For instance, UNILAG with a carrying capacity of about 9,000, has over 60,000 applying to it. The question is: what happens to the over 50,000? We have other institutions like that and what we are doing is to ensure that the balance is also placed in other needy institutions,” JAMB said.