An estimated 1.7 million candidates are sitting for for the University Tertiary Matriculation Examinations, UTME, a test that should secure the avid learners admission into university, but according to the Federal Government over 1 million candidates may not gain admission due to lack of space.
Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Rufai, revealed that at present institutions in Nigeria can only take in about 500,000 freshmen.
Rufai said the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), organizers of the UTME noted a 13.35 per cent increase in candidates who signed up for the exams.
The education minister also noted, with trepidation, that the number of students who are seeking admission into the university continues to increase every school year.
Getting a great score on the UTMEs is no guarantee of admission into a good school in Nigeria and Professor Rufai says a endless pleas to the Federal Government to fix the country’s failing education system goes unheeded.
Channels Television reports that the Federal Executive Council have so far approved licenses for the establishment of five new private universities, bringing the total number of universities in Nigeria to 122.
The ill-equipped institutions are hardly enough to educate Nigeria’s young minds.
Public institutions also see a major portion of the applications due to its low and affordable tuitions. The University of Lagos, during the 2011/2012 admission, received applications for a total of 99,195 candidates. Professor Rufai said the university could only accommodate 6,000.