During the 2019 admissions process, tertiary institutions in Nigeria did not exhaust over Five Hundred and Ten Thousand, Nine Hundred and Fifty-Seven (510,957) of their admissions quota for the year.
This is despite the availability of qualified candidates to fill such spaces.
The figure represents a marginal increase from the Three Hundred and Eighty Thousand, Four Hundred and Seventy-Seven (380,477) admissions quota not utilised in 2018.
Data EduCeleb.com obtained from the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) shows that not less than Six Hundred and Twelve Thousand, Five Hundred and Fifty-Seven (612,557) qualified candidates were offered admissions.
That is 52.9 percent of all the One Million, One Hundred and Fifty-Seven Thousand, Nine Hundred and Seventy-Seven (1,157,977) qualified candidates for the admissions year.
In 2019, Eight Hundred and Eighty-Three (883) institutions including universities, polytechnics, monotechnics, colleges of education and Innovation Enterprise Institutions (IEIs), offered admissions to candidates.
Over 1.8 million candidates registered for the 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) out of whom 109,472 were Direct Entry candidates.
JAMB had, in the past, always maintained that only qualified candidates would gain tertiary education admissions. That is its response to concerns over the disparity between the number of candidates apply and those admitted annually.
For a candidate to be qualified for admissions, they must score a minimum qualifying UTME score, otherwise known as cut-off mark and they must have the minimum grades in their Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) results. Institutions might, at times, add their additional screening called the post-UTME before offering admissions.
In this case, it means scoring not less than 140 in the UTME and credit passes in the SSCE subjects including Mathematics and English.
JAMB noted that the subject combinations with the grade may or may not necessarily be for the proposed course of study.
Qualified candidates not offered admissions
The data indicates that for various reasons, other qualified candidates did not gain admissions into institutions.
27.4 percent of candidates were qualified but had the wrong subject combinations in their UTME in relation to their proposed course of study.
JAMB classified them as ‘not suitable’ for admissions.
Furthermore, 2.5 percent of candidates were qualified and suitable for admissions but were rigid candidates.
These candidates got admissions offers but refused to accept these due to reasons best known to them.
Some 17.5 percent of the candidates were qualified and suitable for admissions. Yet, they were not admitted.
Scoring high does not guarantee admissions
As already partly insinuated above, the data further shows that scoring high does not necessarily guarantee admissions.
Out of the Four Hundred and Thirty-Three Thousand, Four Hundred and Forty-Five (433,445) candidates who scored 200 and above in the UTME, Two Hundred and Twenty-Two Thousand, Six Hundred and Eighty-Four (222,684) did not gain tertiary education admissions.
That is 51.38 percent of such candidates who did not gain admissions.
200 is the minimum UTME score to qualifying to write the post-UTME in high-demanding universities.
Even among those who scored above 300 as shown in the infographics below, 22.89 percent of them did not gain admissions.
Unused 2019 UTME admissions quota
Admissions quota refers to the maximum number of candidates a tertiary institution can admit during a given academic year.
Regulations for this is usually set by the various higher education regulatory agencies.
The National Universities Commission (NUC) oversees universities and other degree awarding institutions, while the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) is in charge of colleges of education and other teacher education institutions. We also have the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) that regulates monotechnics, polytechnics and IEIs.
The regulators do so based on the available facilities and staffing in each institution.
In some cases, professional bodies are involved in determining these quota in congruent with the demands of the labour market.
The total admissions quota for the 883 institutions was One Million, One Hundred and Twenty-Three Thousand, Five Hundred and Fourteen (1,123,514) candidates.
As the infographics below shows, universities and other degree awarding institutions failed to exhaust 20.63 percent of their quota.
Colleges of education and other Nigeria Certicate in Education (NCE) did not utilise 82.69 percent of their admissions quota.
Monotechnics and polytechnics and National Diploma (ND) awarding institutions had 33.68 percent of their admissions quota left unused.
National Innovation Diploma awarding institutions could not exhaust 90.36 percent of their admissions quota for the year.