Admission Barriers Into Nigeria University (A Case Study Of Lagos State University)
THE STUDY INVESTIGATED THE BARRIERS OF ADMISSION TO UNIVERSITIES IN NIGERIA A CASE STUDY OF Lagos state university. A structured open ended interview questionnaire was used for the study. The sample comprised of 50 respondents who were 20 applicants of university admission, 20 individuals from different the FESTAC community and 10 university lecturers from LASU Raji Rasaki campus, who represented administrators. Six (6) research questions were formulated to guide the study. Four were to be answered with the questionnaire structured whilst two research question answered from secondary data. Percentages were used to analyse the data collected in sectional A of the questionnaire while section B of the questionnaire was analyzed qualitatively.
The results revealed that limited access to university education had implications on the generality of the society which included the applicants, the parents and the society.
It was equally found that policies put in place such as the NUC Carrying capacity for universities, JAMB Quota, Post UME and the Catchment Area rule had to be reviewed and reformed in order to increase access to university education. Based on the findings, it was recommended among others, that government funding was a major factor in increasing access to the universities. JAMB examinations should be effective and credible so that there can be a high standard in the educational system. Also, gender equality in admission into universities should be encouraged and the catchment Area rule should be reviewed to accommodate students from other regions if there is space in such departments. Also, government should make it a matter of urgency to accommodate all courses by expanding university facilities and establishment of new universities. If all these are put in place, it is believed that the access into the universities would increase.
1.1 Background to the Study
With 100 recognized universities across the country, comprising 27 federally owned, 34 states controlled and 39 privately established, millions of Nigerian youths who are desirous of university education are finding it extremely difficult to access higher education. Some, who have tried unsuccessfully, times without number, are becoming frustrated and about to give up.
Of course, the number of available universities in Nigeria could be said to be inadequate compared to the preponderance of eligible candidates seeking admission, thus creating the first problem: access. Other problems confronting an average university admission seeker include cost and quality. Where the problem of access is overcome, a successful candidatee who gained admission into any university is confronted with the Siamese problems of cost and quality.
A deeper analysis of this scenario will no doubt reveal that, of the three categories of university in Nigeria, only the children of the rich could easily go to private and probably state universities where the access is relatively much easier and the cost higher. Consequently, the institution yearly has between 60,000 to 65,000 subscriptions when the actual carrying capacity is just 5,000 or less (Daily Champion, January 19, 2010).
According to Plant (1990), without intervention programmes, the number of those affected by this problem may rise rapidly. Strategies to reduce these problems primarily focus on the use of Criteria that are well spelt out so that each candidate can easily know if he or she is qualified or not. Some of the criteria include;
- Access rates
- Definition of Catchment areas
- Examinations conduct
- Available spaces in universities
- Over-population of applicants into university in some areas like Lagos state.
After a candidate has been screened using the above criteria then, the first short listing which is purely on merit would be considered. Candidates are invited for oral interviews where only the best and the well-prepared can scale through the academic standards set by various departments. To say the fact, a combination of SSCE result and JAMB result is a formidable weapon.
Then we can truly say that any student that fails at this stage of interactive session has failed because not even the Vice-Chancellor can save him or her. The admission process when critically examined is indeed a respite for many Nigerian youths because you need not know anybody before you are admitted. It should be so transparent that many candidates who never expected to be admitted because they had no god-father could rejoice for gaining admission to the university.
Thus, Nigeria as a country needs to work hard to create enabling environment for everyone to thrive. The present situation in which a candidate seeks for admission into university without hope of succeess is unpalatable. Many have been frustrated in their search for university and are eventually left to seek for admission abroad if they will be able to finance the high cost. (Source: Daily Champion, By Sunday Saanu, January – 19 – 2010).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The number of available universities in Nigeria could be said to be inadequate compared to the preponderance of eligible candidates seeking admission yearly. Many are frustrated when they could not gain access to the university. Some students have opted out of the university when they could not cope with the cost leading to a waste of educational resources which in itself is scarce.
Out of the 1,493,000 candidates that sat for the JAMB examination in 2010/2011, a total of 2,892 candidates scored 300 and above, while 842,941 candidates scored below 200 marks. The Registrar and Chief Executive of JAMB, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde said that Other figures showed that a total of 7,504 results were withheld and are still under investigation by the examination body. About 15,160 cases of various forms of examination malpractices were also recorded. The statistics showed that candidates from Imo State topped list of applicants with 113,543, representing 7.60 per cent, followed by Delta with a total of 93,971 candidates representing 6.29 per cent. In contrast, the Federal Capital Territory recorded the lowest number with 3,093 candidates, representing 0.21 per cent, while Zamfara had 5,253 candidates, representing 0.35 per cent of the total applicants.
As for the highest number of applicants, the University of Lagos received 99,195 applicants, but can only admit 9,507 candidates. The Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and University of Nigeria, Nsukka, had 89,760 and 88, 177 applicants respectively.
The Registrar and Chief Executive of JAMB, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, noted that while the UTME was created out of the need to expand access, candidates continued to have higher preference for universities ahead of other tertiary institutions and unfortunately, the universities still contend with the constraints of carrying capacities,
This study particularly addresses the University education policy which is a higher level education that seeks to advance a higher form of knowledge that could make rapid developmental strategy possible in Nigeria. It basically criticizes the problems caused by some of theses rules.
1.3 Purpose of Study
The main aim of this study was to:
- To find out the ratios between applications and admission to Nigerian universities over the period 2010 to 2011.
- To find out if government funding of Nigerian universities is a barrier to access to university education.
- To find out if the implications of Limited access to universities on the applicants, parents and society.
- To determine the competence of Jamb examination and procedures in ensuring more access to the universities.
- To find out if the catchment area rule aids access and equity into Nigerian universities.
- To find out if there are gender imbalances in admission into Nigerian universities.
1.4 Research Questions
The researcher provided answers to the following research questions:
- What are the ratios between applications and admissions over the period 2000 to 2010?
- Is Government funding a barrier to access to university education?
- Are there implications of limited access to universities on the applicants, the parents and the society?
- Is JAMB’s examinations and procedures competent in ensuring more access to universities?
- Does the catchment area rule aid access and equity to university education?
- Are there gender imbalances in admission into Nigerian universities?
1.5 Scope of the Study
This study was limited to the following;
- Lagos State university lecturers of Raji Rasaki Campus.
- A self structured open ended interview questionnaire.
- FESTAC community members comprising of parents, undergraduates, graduates, market women etc.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will help provide information to both the government and seekers of admission into higher institution and reduce the rate of admission problems in these institutions. It would also serve as an eye-opener to providing an intervention institutional admission mechanism to address incompetence and variations in higher institutions admission processes. It may also provide clues to the areas in which private institution might be faulty and need some adjustment.
1.7 Limitation to the Study
- It is envisaged that there might be reluctance by the respondents to research instruments. However, the persuasion method will be used.
- Also, there might be difficulty in retrieving the questionnaire on-the-spot administering of the instrument will therefore be adopted.
- To overcome the problem of ambiguity in the questionnaire, statements would be made easy.
- The interview questioning would be an open ended question style.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
Accepting into an institution
Method or a system for achieving something
University or college student who is studying for their first degree
A large important organization that has a particular purpose such as Lagos state University.
Information and Communication Technology
An institution where learners study at their own pace, time and choosing their own method.
The people, who plan, organize and run an institution.
Anything that slows down development or progress, particularly in an organization
The right or opportunity to use or benefit from something irrespective of individual differences
An acronym for Open Distance Learning.
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