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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has said over 500,000 admission spaces were not allocated to candidates, representing 45.48 per cent of the total admission quota, in the 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

This was contained in JAMB’s policy document seen by PREMIUM TIMES.

According to the document, only 612,557 candidates secured admission, out of 1.12 million admission quotas available from the 2019 UTME. The figure represents 54 per cent of the total quota of admission for the year.

The document also showed that the total quota for all tertiary institutions in 2019 was 1, 123,514. Out of which, 612,557 were used and 510, 957 remain unused.

Quota system

The quota system is a selection method (for employment, school admission, among others) that allocates certain percentages based on specific qualitities, needs or profiles such as ethnic or racial background and gender.

This system of university admission was introduced in an attempt to provide admission for candidates into the university using the federal character policy of the federal government.

The quota represents the number of candidates that should be admitted into the tertiary institutions in one academic year from each state.

The system comprises important elements such as academic merit, which is determined by the candidates’ university matriculation examination scores, and it is allotted 45 per cent.

The second element is educationally disadvantaged states with 20 per cent, the catchment areas with 25 per cent, and 10 per cent to the discretion of Vice-Chancellors.

The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) is therefore guided by these provisions in the admission process, each year.

Breakdown of the unused admission quota by institutional category

In the 2019 UTME, a quota of 1,123,514 was given to all tertiary institutions, out of which 560,613 was allocated to all degree-awarding institutions, 403,225 was given to all institutions that award National Certificate Examination, 145,394 was given to institutions that award National Diploma, while 14,282 was allocated to National Innovative Diploma (NID) awarding institutions.

Out of the 560,613 allocated for the admission of students into Degree Programmes, only 444,947 got admissions. The other 115,666 remained unused.

Breakdown of the unused admission quota by institutional category

Also, out of the 403,225 allocated to admit students into NCE, only 69,810 were admitted. 333,415 spaces to admit more candidates remained unused.

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Similarly, only 96,423 candidates got admission out of the 145,394 allocation that was given to ND awarding institutions. 48, 971 remained unused.

Finally, only 1,377 candidates also got admissions out of the 14,282 allocation given to NID institutions. A total of 12,905 remained unused.

Top 10 Institutions by admission

According to the document, the 10 leading universities who nearly met their quota are:

1) University of Maiduguri

The University of Maiduguri had 46, 814 number of applications, and a quota of 12,536. The university admitted 12,523.

2) University of Calabar

The University of Calabar had a quota of 12,240 with 44,670 number of applicants. The university admitted 12, 237.

3) University of Benin

The University of Benin had a quota of 13,131 with 78,747 number of applicants. The university admitted only 11, 747.

4) University of Ilorin

The University of Ilorin had a quota 12,227 with 108, 917 applicants. The university admitted 11, 616.

5) University of Lagos

The University of Lagos had a quota 9,663 with 74,725 applicants but it admitted 9,625.

6) University of Port -Harcourt

The University of Port-Harcourt had a quota of 9,181 with 40,285 applicants. The university admitted 9,107.


7) Nnamdi Azikwe University

Nnamdi Azikwe University had a quota of 9,450 with 56,358 applicants. The university admitted only 8,880.

8) University of Nigeria

The University of Nigeria had a quota of 10,500 with 77,325 applications. The university admitted 8,585.

9) Ekiti State University

The Ekiti State University had a quota of 8,123 with 13,248 applications. The university admitted 8,119.

10) Rivers State University

Rivers State University had a quota of 7,850 with 22,582 applicants. The university admitted 7,843.

Reason for the development

The board said meeting the cut off is not enough for admission as students are required to have at least five O Level credits, which must include mathematics and English, in some cases.

The examination board also said apart from over-subscription of some programmes, wrong O Level subject combination, low screening (POST UTME) score, UTME-combination deficiency, non-acceptance of the admission offer, duplication of application, absence from Post- UTME screening, mismatch of catchment institutions and no O Level are other likely reasons candidates were not offered admission.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how two-third of about two million Nigerian candidates who applied for tertiary education in 2019 were not admitted across all the educational institutions in Nigeria.

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