The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has fixed minimum cut-off marks for admission into universities at 120, the lowest in recent history.
That of polytechnics and colleges of education were pegged at 100, and 110 for innovative enterprising institutes.
Previously, the cut-off mark for universities had hovered between 180 and 200, while that for polytechnics and colleges of education ranged from 160 to 180.
Speaking at the end of 2017 Combined Policy Meetings on Admissions into Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria on Tuesday, Ishaq Oloyede, Registrar of JAMB, said 569,395 of the 1.7 million candidates who wrote this year’s UTME scored over 200 marks.
He said 23.8 per cent of the total number of the candidates scored below 160 marks.
Oloyede said the stakeholders unanimously agreed that the minimum cut-off mark for the university degree should stand at 120.
He defended the new cut-off marks, saying, “All over the world, there is agitation for dynamic educational policy.
“JAMB only admits for National Diploma, not Higher National Diploma, so why should we use the same requirement for ND and BSC? That is unreasonable parity.
“We should not be sentimental in fixing our cut-off mark; we need not over-dramatise issue of cut-off mark.”
However, Oloyede said the institutions could set admission benchmark above the minimum set by JAMB.
He said the timelines for admission of first choice is October 15, while second choice would be December 15.
He said the regulatory body had put measures in place to prevent illegal admission.
“JAMB has a Central Admissions Processing System to aid you on the admission exercises,” he said.
“CAPS will not replace admission processes of institutions. It will enable institutions to simply communicate with JAMB in a more dynamic and timely manner.
“It will also allow for flexible cut-off marks and candidates are allowed to make their choice of institution and course.”
Adamu Adamu, Minister of Education, also suspended the ban on the conduct of Post-UTME examination as a prerequisite for admission into tertiary institutions.
“Cancellation of Post- UTME is a mistake,” he said, noting that banning of post-UTME led to a lot of irregularities by candidates and some institutions.
The minister explained that with the lifting of the ban on the conduct of the examination, institutions are now at liberty to conduct the entrance exam but the fee should not exceed N2,000.