Thursday, August 24, 2017

We’ll not lower our standards, VCs tell Oloyede

Vice- Chancellors have expressed divergent views on the recent decision the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board to peg admission cut- off mark at 120 for universities and 100 for polytechnics. While some of the VCs have maintained that they will not lower admission standards in their respective varsities , they also admitted that the JAMB has done the right thing in “returning autonomy to the Senate of universities to determine who to admit. ’’

Speaking to our correspondent on Thursday, the Vice- Chancellor, Tai Solarin University of Education, Ogun State, Prof. Oluyemisi Obilade , said that the onus would ultimately fall on parents and employers of labour to decide “between a first - class graduate of a university which takes 120 as its cut- off mark or one that takes 180 as its cut- off mark . ’’

According to Obilade , who said that the TASUED would never go below 180 , many of the VCs at the Combined Policy Meeting which resulted in the new cut- off mark chose not to go below 180 .

“But some universities chose 120 at the meeting . What the JAMB has done is to transfer power back to the Senate of universities to decide their cut - off marks. What I can tell you is that many public universities and even private universities will not go below 200 . We were told that some universities were doing what they called ‘under the table admission ’ and then come back to JAMB after four years for regularisation .

“TASUED will not go below 180 , not under my watch. Even in the United States, there is what we call Ivy League universities , and there are those you can call ‘Next Level Universities’ . There are also those that are termed community colleges . At the meeting , the outcome is that universities have been given the freedom to decide. It is not a general legislature and it is not binding on everybody, ’’ she said.

Efforts to get the reaction of the vice -chancellors of the Obafemi Awolowo University , Prof. Tope Ogunbodede and the University of Lagos, Prof. Rahaman Bello , on Thursday were not successful as they did not respond to calls and messages sent to their lines. On his part, the Vice - Chancellor of the Lagos State University , Prof. Lanre Fagbohun, sent a message that he was in attending a retreat.

However, in a statement issued by the Media Assistant to the Vice- Chancellor of the University of Ibadan , Mr . Sunday Saanu , the premier university stated that it “ still maintains her position in academic excellence and standards in order to continue to aspire towards becoming a world - class university . ’’

The statement added that , “ It should worry us as patriots that candidates who scored just 30 per cent in the UTME can be admitted into some of our universities . Yet , we complain of poor quality of our graduates . You can hardly build something on nothing. The consolation here is that since JAMB started conducting this qualifying exam in 1978 , UI has never admitted any candidate who scored less than 200 marks out of the maximum 400 marks. ”

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