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How we determine most popular Nigerian universities — JAMB

By Omono Okonkwo

October 04, 2016

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has said it does not use students’ checklist in determining applicants’ preferred schools, contrary to a news report.

PREMIUM TIMES had on Monday, published a press release from Economic Confidential, which named the University of Ilorin as the 2016 most preferred university among student applicants.

According to Economic Confidential, Unilorin had the highest student applicants of 103,238 (males – 51, 082 and females – 52, 156).

The report said that academic stability, popularity, affordability, available facilities and quality of lecturers were factors students considered before choosing their preferred institutions.

Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday, JAMB spokesperson, Fabian Benjamin, said the students’ checklist as outlined in the report was not determined by JAMB.

“JAMB has no way of determining these factors from information available to us through the frequency of schools chosen by Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) candidates,” Mr. Benjamin said.

“What we do each year, is to roll out data on the institutions with the highest number of applicants.

“For some years now, the University of Ilorin has been topping that chart, this does not mean that the school is the best in the country. It just shows students’ preferences,” he said.

Unilorin goes on Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike actions, a problem that plagues many federal universities in the country.

Also, Unilorin was said to have one of the fastest academic calendars of all institutions in the country.

However, in the 2016/2017 global ranking carried out by Times Higher Education (THE), University of Ibadan was the only Nigerian university that made the list at 801.

Teaching, research citations of scholarly publications, industry income and international outlook were the factors for determining the ranking. Yet, for 2016, Unilorin surpassed the University of Ibadan in preferred student choices.

As for the determinants earlier mentioned by Economic Confidential, Mr. Benjamin said JAMB was not in a position to know why students choose their institutions.

“We only have access to the number of students who choose these schools. We cannot determine why they do so. UTME candidates are not asked why they choose schools,” he said.

“For instance, if we have 1.6 million candidates applying through JAMB and 120,000 candidates choose University of Ilorin as first choice, automatically it becomes the most popular choice for that year, that is how we arrive at our data,” he explained.

He however said every other data as presented by the magazine were accurate as the figures were gotten directly from JAMB.

According to the report by magazine, University of Ilorin, University of Benin, Ahmadu Bello University, University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Bayero University, Kano were the most popular federal university choices for 2016.

Also, Nasarawa State University, Imo State University, Kaduna State University, Delta State University and Adekunle Ajasin University were the most popular state university choices for 2016.

While Covenant University, Afe Babalola University, Babcock University, Igbinedion University and Bowen University are the most popular private university choices for 2016.