Should UTME results be valid for three years? Vice-chancellors, professors speak!
I don’t support it
I do not believe in the extension of the validity of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination results. No student wants a carry-over and my mantra on it is that there should be no carry-over. Every admission is supposed to ascertain the currency of the performances of candidates. The universities should be allowed to test the ability of each of the candidates every year. Let there be a common platform for every candidate every admission year. If a candidate is not good enough this year, he or she can do better next year. I know that the three-year validity will save money for the candidates. But the system will be better if candidates are rated on the currency of performance.
— Ex-Vice-chancellor, Caleb University, Lagos, Prof. Ayodeji Olukoju
One academic year validity better
I believe in currency because what is current today may be stale tomorrow. I am of the view that UTME results should be valid for an academic year. The knowledge today will be stale tomorrow hence there is a need for us to increasingly measure our knowledge level. Three years are too far because knowledge is now on the super highway.
— VC, Babcock University, Prof. Tayo Ademola
It’ll worsen admission problems
I will be disappointed if this bill is eventually passed by the National Assembly. Making UTME result valid for three years will compound admission problems. It means universities will have more candidates to pick from each additional year. This will be unwieldy. It is a pity that Nigerian universities have not been able to admit more than 15 per cent of qualified candidates in spite of the increase in the number of universities from 73 in 2006 to 141 in 2016. There were no private universities in Nigeria until May 10, 1999 when the departing military administration of Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd) granted operating licenses to four private universities. Now we have 61 private universities and the majority of qualified candidates still roam the streets. The solution to this problem is not to make prospective candidates mentally lazy for three years. What should be done is to provide the enabling conditions for all eligible candidates to gain university admission by expanding the facilities in existing government universities so that they can accommodate more students and make it possible for the average Nigerian parent to afford fees charged by private universities by way of scholarships and revolving loans.
— Pioneer VC, Wesley University, Ondo, Prof. ‘Tola Badejo
Not a bad idea
This is a new one. If this scales through, it is good. It is not really a bad idea. What this means is that the results of the UTME will now be used to secure admission within three years. It will be good for poor parents who cannot afford the cost of having to pay for the UTME forms for their children who do not pass the examination in an admission year. Also, another thing is that the extension of validity may be a way of cutting cost which the current administration is trying to bring to the table. Now that the Nigerian economy is having problems, it will be wise to cut cost.
— Professor of Literature at OAU, Segun Adekoya
Let research precede policy
Policy without research is not good. We do not say because a country is doing this and another country is doing that, we then adopt it. It is bad. There is need for a performance index of the UTME results over a period of time for the government to analyse and see the performance of candidates with high marks in the UTME and who didn’t pass the post-UTME. Then analyse the difference. It is by analysing the result of that kind of data that anything good can come. I am very unhappy about the syllabus we run on our education. It is based on what was given to us. It gives knowledge but does not give understanding. That is why we have many high-flyers. And when they are told to do something practical, they cannot. The youth are too important to be neglected. There must be scientific index and the level of consistency of those who scored high marks in the examination at a given period to determine the adoption of any policy on the examination. If this planned policy is not based on research, it is a guess work and it is wrong to hinge any decision on guess work.
UTME is still not a perfect examination. It is an aptitude and scholastic test and still being influenced by many factors. The US SAT, which started in 1901, is a competency examination used for college admissions and even at that, it does not last forever though some universities can pick a score of two years to determine admission. It is better for those who fail the UTME to try again the following year so as not to create problems for the universities that will have to cope with results from influx of admission seekers.
— Ex-VC, OAU, Prof. Wale Omole
Not a wise proposal
I do not think it is a wise thing to do. It is going to affect other candidates who are going to take the UTME because there will be some admission seekers with old results valid for three years. I feel frightened about this because of the population of candidates who take the examination yearly and we are proposing extending the validity of the results. I am yet to see a country where this kind of thing happens.
It will be more difficult to track records of the candidates and this is a country where we do not keep records. Even the idea of reducing the cut-off marks for federal varsities is not good. If we keep lowering the standard, how can the students catch up with the rest of the world?
— Prof of English, Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo, Dept of Languages, Linguistics and Literary Studies, Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State
It ’ll breed academic misfits
It is not a bad idea only that making UTME results valid for three years can make candidates not to be on top of their academic situation.
With the quality of life in Nigeria out of the regulating academic system, their level of performance may be reduced as they seek admission with results valid for three years. People age even in two years and within that period, their competence level would have deteriorated. The idea is to help the candidates, but it is not proper for the education system to absorb candidates who would not have the mental capacity for university education having been out of academic relevance for three years.
— Senior lecturer, Dept of English, UNILAG, Dr. Adetokunbo Pearse.
The intended policy will kill academic drive and initiative. It is retrogressive. Every candidate is supposed to be tested on current level of competence and not on the basis of what he or she was before. Do we say that because a candidate has a good score and within the three years he or she goes insane (God forbid), admission must be offered on the basis that he or she has a good result valid for three years before the situation? Also, do we say those who passed the UTME for the first time should wait for the old candidates with results valid for three years to first secure admission?
You do not sign a player because he had been a good player. You engage him based on current form and performance. This should the same for admission seekers. Every candidate should be tested on current level of competence.
— Former Dean of Law, Faculty of Law, ESUT and Director, ESUT Graduate School of Professional and Legal Education, Prof Agu Gab Agu
Compiled by Gbenga Adeniji
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