The Federal Government guidelines for admissions into its institutions of higher learning are based on 45% Merit, 35% Catchment/Locality and 20% Educationally Less Developed States.
ADMISSION ON MERIT
Candidates with very high scores in UTME and post-UTME each year are given first consideration for their first choice of course in their institution of choice before other candidates. Forty-five percent (45%) of the available spaces are reserved for such applicants.
To give equal opportunities to all applicants, the States of the Federation are grouped into catchment areas of each Tertiary Institution. It is also called Locality which, in most cases, is the geographical and/or socio-cultural areas contiguous to the institution candidates apply to. Consideration is given to students who fall within the catchment area of the Tertiary Institution. Some Institutions have all the states of the Federation as their catchment area while state-owned Institutions have all the local government areas of their states as their catchment area. According to the admission guidelines, thirty-five percent (35%) of the available spaces are reserved for applicants from such states or locality.
EDUCATIONALLY LESS DEVELOPED STATES (ELDS)
Certain states are considered educationally less developed or disadvantaged. The following states are considered Educationally Less Developed or Disadvantaged States (ELDS): Adamawa, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Ebonyi, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Kastina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, and Zamfara. Candidates from these states are given special concession for admission. The Tertiary Institutions assign lower cut-off marks to this category of candidates so that they can be given opportunity to forestall a lopsided development of education in the country. By this system, it means that a candidate in the southern states, considered to be educationally advantaged, who scores very high, may not get admission into the university while his counterpart in the north who scores less would be admitted.
CHALLENGES TO ACCESS TO UNIVERSITY EDUCATION
One major challenge to access to universities in Nigeria is the Carrying Capacity of the universities. The demand for university education is expanding coupled with the population growth in the institutions. The universities need to be expanded according to the demand. Instead of the expansion to meet the demand, the National Universities Commission (NUC), the regulatory body for all Nigerian Universities, at a time came up with what is known as carrying capacity. The NUC inspected some universities and found out that many are over-populated and facilities are overstretched. The carrying capacity means that students are admitted based on the facilities available. These facilities include adequate lecture rooms, well stocked libraries, good staff/student ratio, accommodation, etc. The policy was expected to enhance quality. However, this policy has become an impediment to access to university education as universities are careful not to exceed this capacity by high margins in order not to incur sanctions from the NUC.
Which university in Nigeria has the largest carrying capacity?
Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria has the largest with about 7,000 spaces, followed by University of Maiduguri, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, University of Lagos and University of Nigeria, Nsukka with about 6,000 each.
Parents want their children to study law, medicine, engineering, pharmacy and some other courses like that. There is need for counseling of both parents and students to know that not every person can go to university because of limited placements. For instance, UNN once had 7,000 qualified candidates to study medicine but it has only about 150 slots.
Only 500,000 out of the 1.8 million candidates seeking admission in 2014 can be offered placements. Carrying capacity of universities in Nigeria is not high enough and that is very disturbing. There are children who want to go to university, but can not go because the carrying capacity is defined by National Universities Commission (NUC), considering personnel, infrastructure, etc. For example, in pharmacy, there are specific number of cubicles for students. Admission is not meant to go beyond the number of cubicles available – course by course, department by department, faculty by faculty.
Out of the three basis for admission, the best is admission on merit. You have to make up your mind to get admitted not because of any other reason but because you merited it. This implies that you need to go the extra mile in your preparations bearing in mind that JAMB tests these four things: knowledge, aptitude, speed and accuracy. All these are acquired and increased through adequate preparation and constant practice. In order to ensure adequate preparation through constant practice, you need the unique UNN Admission Preparatory Handbook called SURE SUCCESS. The book is designed to equip you with everything you need to come out victorious in your admission search. Click Here
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I would also like to point out here that having the right knowledge, aptitude, speed and accuracy is not still a guarantee that someone would gain admission. This is true considering the so-called carrying capacity of Nigerian universities and the fact that a great number of people already possess the required qualities. Recall that in a particular year, about 7,000 candidates qualified to study medicine in UNN but the school had only about 150 slots for medical students.
Now the question is: how were those 150 students selected if all the 7,000 of them were qualified? The answer is the GOD-FACTOR. The Almighty God rules in the affairs of men. God is all you need to have all your admission needs met. Do you have Him? If you don’t, you can ask Him to come into your heart right now to be your Lord and personal Savior. Remember, without Him you can do nothing.
Best Wishes from yours sincerely, Henry Divine.