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1,456 Denied Admission Despite Scoring 300+ in UTME

Only 1,456 students who passed the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME)  exam with a score of 300 or above could not secure admission to Nigerian tertiary institutions for the upcoming academic year.

During the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, Ishaq Oloyede, the JAMB registrar, made the admission process disclosure in Abuja. Order to introduce the 2021/2022 admissions policy guidelines, which were subsequently approved.

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While speaking at the meeting, Mr. Ishaq Oloyede commented on the large number of applicants who scored 300 and above and stated that out of the 4,948 candidates, only 3,492 were admitted into higher education, leaving 1,456 others left behind.


Meanwhile, out of the 52,323 candidates who took the same examination, only 22,580 of them did not receive an offer of admission.

This also holds that out of 347,469 candidates who scored between 200 and 249, some 193,661 candidates were not offered admission.

In addition, the presentation included nine points explaining why the high-performing candidates were not accepted into tertiary institutions across the country.

The registrar explained the various factors that are included in the decision-making process, including candidates’ rigidity, which is defined as a candidate who wants a particular program, regardless of their current level of competence, and refuses to settle for anything else; subjects combination in the O’level; low post-UTME screening score; UTME-combination deficiency, and then not accepting the admission offer.

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Furthermore, other factors are duplicate applications, absence from post-UTME screening, and wrong catchment institutions.

The number of candidates who scored 300 or above but were unable to gain admission was around 679 in 2020, compared to only 189 in 2019.

Examination Process

There were over three million applicants this year in Nigerian universities who sit for the UTME examination, taking four subjects, and English is mandatory for all applicants.

The other three courses’ respective candidates will be selected based on what they would like to study.

Approximately 1,085 out of the 1,456 candidates who obtained a score of 300 or higher in the 2020 entrance exams applied to study Medicine.

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However, it was reported that candidates’ inability to include Mathematics in their UTME subject combination was a significant challenge.

Applicants Statistics

According to the JAMB registrar, in 2020, two million candidates of the Unified Tertiary and Matriculation Examination and the Direct Entry applied to 962 tertiary institutions across the country. These Higher institutions include universities, polytechnics, mono-technics, and colleges of education.

UTME Uniben

Mr. Ishaq Oloyede stated that only about 551,553 candidates gained admission out of the 1,112,057 candidates who scored 140 and above and who had also obtained O’ level credit in English and Mathematics.

As he stated, the figure of 48,372 direct entry candidates included a total of 48,372 people.

As of August 2021, 925,762 quotas had been allocated to tertiary institutions around the country, but 405,256 remained unallocated.


The registrar earlier said the entrance examination body expects the figure of admitted candidates to rise to approximately 600,000 by the end of the 2020 admission process on October 29, 2021.


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