The 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, recorded poor performance by the candidates, as only 168, 613 scored above 200 out of the available 400 marks.
A perusal of the document issued by the Board after its Policy Meeting in Abuja early in the week, a copy of which was made available to Vanguard on Thursday, showed that the performance was a far cry from the 404, 740 that scored over 200 out of the 1.9 million that sat for the examination in 2020.
In 2020, a total of 2.11 million applicants sought admission into tertiary institutions in Nigeria, with over 300,000 direct entry applicants who needed not to write UTME.
This year, 1, 428,208 applied and over 300,000 were also direct entry candidates.
The breakdown of the performance of candidates in 2021, as given by JAMB, showed that 168, 613 scored 200 marks and above, 64,323 scored 190-199, and 90, 688 scored between 180 and 189 marks
Others are 117,970 scoring between 170 and 179 marks, 149,421 scoring between 160 and 169 marks.
For the range of 140 to 159 marks, 369,023 candidates fell into that category, while 170,816 scored between 130 and 139 marks.
With JAMB now allowing institutions to fix their own cut-off points, other things being equal, majority of those that may be admitted could fall within the range of those who scored 140 marks and above as there are about 600,000 spaces to be filled.
The cut-off points for 2021 admission are yet to be fully decided by the schools.
Even the admission spaces for year 2020 have not been fully filled as only 551,553 out of the 600,000 spaces were filled as at August 27, this year.
Incidentally, for 2020, 4,948 candidates scored 300 and above and could still hot secure admission because of a number of factors.
Hard hit are candidates who applied to read medicine in various universities, as 1,085 candidates who scored over 300 marks last year were not admitted to read medicine, 4 not admitted for Law, 214 not admitted for Engineering, 92 for Sciences, 43 for Social Sciences, 13 for Administration and one for Arts.
Reasons why they could not secure admission included wrong subject combination, non-acceptance of offer, duplication of application, absence at post-UTME screening etc.
For the most subscribed university, the University of Ilorin, Kwara State had 72, 869 last year and 78, 466 this year, the Kaduna Polytechnic, Kaduna led at the Polytechnic level for two years and Babcock University, Ilisan Remo in Ogun State led at the level of private universities.
For 2021, Oyo State presented the highest number of candidates with 82,521, followed by Osun with 74, 234 and Ogun with 70,971