2020 UTME: 1,456 candidates scored above 300 but didn’t gain admissions

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A total of 1,456 candidates who scored 300 and above out of the possible score of 400 in the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), have failed to secure admission to Nigerian tertiary institutions for the 2020/2021 academic session.

The registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Is-haq Oloyede, made the disclosure in Abuja on Tuesday during the 2021 Admission Policy Meeting where guidelines for admission processes for the 2021/2022 academic calendar were approved.

In his presentation at the meeting, which was tagged, “Titbits on 2020 admission and 2021 UTME,” Mr Oloyede said out of the 4,948 applicants who scored 300 and above, only 3,492 gained admissions into higher institutions, leaving out a total of 1,456 applicants stranded.

Meanwhile, about 52, 323 candidates scored between 250 and 299 in the same examination, out of which 22,580 candidates were also not admitted.

In the same vein, some 193,661 candidates out of 347,469 who scored between 200 and 249 were not offered admission.

The presentation also highlighted nine reasons why the high-performing candidates did not gain admission.

The registrar said the factors include applicants’ rigidity, that is when a candidate who wants a particular programme refuses to settle for anything else; wrong O’level subject combination; low post-UTME screening score; UTME-combination deficiency, and non-acceptance of the offer.

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Other reasons are duplication of application, absence from post-UTME screening, mismatch of catchment institutions, and also where candidates fail to upload their O’level with five credits in the required subjects.

The 2020 figure of candidates who scored 300 and above but could not gain admission indicated a significant increase from that of 2019 which is about 679 candidates.

Millions of applicants seeking admission into Nigerian tertiary institutions usually sit the UTME examination annually, completing four subjects, with English Language made compulsory for all applicants.

The remaining three subjects depend on the courses respective candidates want to study.

Of the 1,456 candidates who scored over 300 in the exams in 2020, a total 1,085 applied to study Medicine.

However, JAMB said part of the challenges some of these candidates face was their failure to include Mathematics in their UTME subject combination.

Mr Oloyede said of the 1,112,057 candidates who scored 140 and above and also made five O’ level credit passes in English and Mathematics, only about 551,553 secured admissions.

He added that a total of 925,762 ‘quotas’ were allocated for admissions across the nation’s tertiary institutions during the year, but a total 405,256 spaces remained unused as of August 31.

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The registrar said before the end of the 2020 admission process on October 29, 2021, the examination body hopes the figure of admitted candidates could increase to about 600,000.

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