The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) said yesterday that 120 marks in Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination will be the minimum marks required by candidates to get admission into any university.
The minimum cut-off marks for admission into polytechnics and colleges of education was agreed to be 100 marks at the meeting while innovative enterprise institutions had 110 as minimum admission marks.
JAMB Registrar Professor Is-haq Oloyede made the announcement at the end of a policy meeting with authorities of higher institutions in Abuja.
He said only 569,395 out of the 1.7 million candidates that wrote this year’s UTME scored over 200 marks, adding that 23.8 per cent of the total number of the candidates scored below 160 marks.
He said on no account should any higher institution offer admissions to candidates who scored lower marks.
The meeting agreed that admission into first choice universities should close on October 15 while December 15 was set as the closure date for admission into second choice institutions.
Institutions would have the liberty to choose from candidates who could not secure first choice admissions, he said.
The registrar said candidates offered courses other than their preferred choices may be given up to three days to accept or reject the courses. Those who accept new courses given to them would be required to make changes on JAMB website.
He said admissions would be given by institutions based on agreed quotas prescribed by regulatory bodies including National Universities Commission, National Commission for Colleges of Education and National Board for Technical Education. Merit, catchment areas and educationally disadvantaged states would be among the criteria.
He said: “What JAMB has done is to recommend. We will only determine the minimum, whatever you (higher institutions) determine as your admission cut-off mark is your decision.
“The senate and academic boards of universities should be allowed to determine their cut-off marks.”
He said 17,160 students were admitted by higher institutions but that some of them were regularized.
“Thirty per cent of those in higher institutions do not take UTME or have less than the cut-off marks.
“The admission process is now automated with direct involvement of the Registrar of JAMB for final approval.
“We have agreed to regularize admissions that were done under the table this year. From next year we will not accept anything like that,” he said.
Meanwhile, Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, said government’s ban on examinations usually organized by universities for admission seekers otherwise known as post-UTME last year was an error.
The minister said the government banned post-UTME because the examination had become an avenue for corruption in some higher institutions.
The minister asked higher institutions to conduct aptitude tests for candidates seeking admission but mustn’t charge a fee of over N2,000 per candidate.