The federal government has stated that over 1 million candidates that sat for the University Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) on Saturday, may not gain admission into the nation’s tertiary institutions due to lack of space.
The Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Rufai, made this known at a news conference in Abuja on Saturday while invigilating the UTME that the current capacity of tertiary institutions across the country is only about 500,000.
This she notes cannot cater for the 1.7million candidates sitting for the UTME.
Professor Rufai who bemoaned the gross inadequate number of universities in the country appealed for more public private partnerships for the establishment of more institutions to increase access to university education in Nigeria.
She made the plea noting that the growing number of students who enrol for admission into tertiary institutions annually is alarming as revealed by the number of students siting for this year’s UTME.
The Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) announced that over 1.7million candidates registered for the UTME, an increase of 13.35 percent compared to last years.
According to the Minister, there is only space for one-third of these applicants and the remaining candidates, who may even pass the admission cut-off mark, may never get admitted.
She further lamented that this vicious cycle is bound to continue if the appeals of the federal government goes unheeded.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) recently approved provisional licenses for the establishment of five new private universities in Nigeria.
This brings the total number of universities (government owned and private) in the country to 122. With over a hundred universities, the federal government claim, the institutions are not enough to address the challenge currently facing the nation’s tertiary education.
The problem of accessing admission into the nation’s tertiary institutions is further accentuated by the over subscription of applicants to federal universities because of its low and affordable tuition.
Prof Rufai revealed that during the 2011/2012 admission year, a total of 99,195 candidates applied for placement at the University of Lagos that has a carrying capacity of a little above 6,000.
The picture is similar in all public universities. Many hope for increased collaboration to bring an end to this menace. Channels TV
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