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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Short Essay No. 29. Tips for Admission into Higher Instituttions in Nigeria

Tips for Admission into Higher Institutions in Nigeria
By Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde

JAMB yesterday released the results of Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UMTE. Our blessed children have done theirs. Now, with the UTME results, I will say that they have handed the baton to us, as they turn their attention away to prepare for their WAEC and NECO examinations. May God be with them.

I am writing this brief posting on what parents need to do with the UTME results in their hands in order to ensure their wards are admitted into our universities and other tertiary institutions without much difficulty. It is not my intention to write on university admissions in Nigeria generally. I have done that in 2006 (?) in the article, The Ten Commandments of University Admissions. Interested readers can refer to my blog.

This post, though prepared for some three yahoo discussions in Northern Nigeria, is in English for the benefit of other Nigerians who are not Hausa speaking, just in case they would be interested in it. What I will say is largely drawn from my experience in handling mass admissions for indigenes of my state when I was an adviser on Education in Bauchi and the recent efforts to secure admissions for my children in Nigerian universities.

The interest to write this advice, however was prompted by a bad experience last year. The best science student in St. Louise, Kano, a classmate of my daughter, applied to BUK last year. Her UTME score was 248. It is a catholic school. No cheating wo. She sat for the post-JAMB test after filling an online form provided by the university. Then the sad news: She didn't gain admission into the university, neither for the medicine she applied for nor for any other course due to a technical problem in processing the post-JAMB test forms. Her admission was vitiated along with that of over 3,000 applicants like her, many of them I believe excellent students too, for no fault of theirs.

When my daughter informed me of her sad case I instantly called Hadiza's father and got the details. Then I linked him with a lecturer friend at BUK. They tried but the university was adamant. Hadiza is now studying physics at Kano State University of Technology, Wudil. Wallahi, Kano has missed a fine doctor in that cool but exceptionally brilliant girl that was collecting prices in almost all subjects she was offering at St. Louise.

So parents and guardians, my first advise is take the admission of your children seriously. Don't leave it to chance or to Nigerian bureaucracy. It is a battle. Please let us fight it for our children who have read so hard, who grew lean as a result of hard work and who are yet to gain the capacity to survive the struggles for survival in Nigeria. I have been in this battle for the past ten years.

I will be very brief, giving just the important things to do.

1. Request from your child his UTME result. See what he scored. If he has anything 160 and above, depending on a number of factors, he may be admissible into a university, but even with slightly lower marks, he can gain admission into other types of tertiary institutions.

2. Weigh your chances, if need be a more inmformed person. If your ward has high scores like 240 and above, your worries may not be much, again depending on the course he applied for and the university.

3. If the scores are low, you may, depending on your assessment of chances, even need to change the course or institution he applied for, or both. Fortunately, even if your child was over ambitious in his choice, because children usually fill the forms while they are at school without consultation with their parents, you now improve his chances of admission by buying a GREEN CARD at the nearest JAMB office and making the necessary changes online. Please inquire from the JAMB office the dateline for effecting the alterations or else it may be too late. Just do it as quick as possible from the week following the one in which the result was released after taking an informed decision.

3. FIRST CHOICE of a polytechnic, College of Education or University, is what is used for admission. Hardly would any university listen to you if your child has chosen it as a second choice. From my experience, they often get annoyed with you. The list of applicants sent to the universities by JAMB is usually of the first choices of applicants only. Be very careful on this. It is a golden rule.

4. If you find out that your child is not likely to be admitted into a university, you may wish to try your luck in a polytechnic or college of education of his FIRST CHOICE. There, the cut-off points are usually much lower. This is one of the dividends of unifying the matriculation examination. Kudos to NBTE, NBCE, NUC and JAMB.

5. Also, play it safe by restricting your choices to your CATCHMENT AREA. The entire country is a catchment area for UNIABUJA.  Apart from it, I don't think there is any with that wide net. Please let me be corrected on this if I am wrong. Then ABU is a catchment university for all states in Northern Nigeria. The same thing I think are UI, UNILAG and IFE to the southwest. Then other universities and institutions have their respective catchment areas in their zones and neighbouring states. If you are an indigene of Bauchi for example, BUK is not your catchment university, but UNIJOS and all universities in the former Northeast are, as well as UNIABUJA and ABU as we mentioned. Please pay attention to this golden rule too, unless you are sure that your child has the high scores that will place him on the national MERIT LIST of the institution he has applied for.

6. Once you have finalized on where the child has the best chances of admission, immediately establish a link with someone you know in the university or higher institution of his FIRST CHOICE. If you don't know anyone, please find one by taking a trip to the place and meeting with someone in the department he applied for or in the academic office. Make sure you EARN his goodwill if you want him to be picking your calls and giving you the correct information. And depending on how well you EARN that goodwill, he may even be the one calling you and intimating you on the stage of the admission process. As a Nigerian you know what I mean. Haba! A beg, me I no dey for wahala if Lamorde catch una wo. But if you have a good friend there, ah, you may not need to go that far. It could even backfire especially in Northern Nigeria.

7. Maintain a regular contact with your link. Enquire from him when the admission exercise of the university will commence. (Note that different institutions in Nigeria have different academic calendars) Disturb him. Be on his neck, until your son is through, of course softening his mind with your polite mouth and smiling pocket, if necessary.

8. For universities especially, the post-JAMB, or post-UME test as it is called, may be necessary. Don't miss it. Don't joke with it. Ensure that your ward prepares for it as he prepared for UTME and WAEC, in fact even more. The post-JAMB scores are pooled with that of the UMTE to determine the admissibility of your child. But not all universities conduct it, and hardly do polytechnics and Colleges of Education.

9. Do whatever is possible to ensure that the name of your ward appears on the first list of admitted students; otherwise get it on the second. Even with the best promises, banking on the third list, or "VC's list" as it is called, must only be the last resort for people with long legs. If you are an ordinary Nigerian, your final chance is the second list. Otherwise, better start preparing for the worst.

10. Finally, for universities that do not conduct the post-JAMB test but admit solely on the basis of UTME scores, ensure your child works hard during the first semester. If he doesn't earn at least a certain GPA aggregate, he may be withdrawn immediately the results of the first semester are out.

THE CHILD OF THE POOR

11. One can easily foresee disaster for children of the poor in this Darwinina struggle given the fact that every parent or guardian will try to press all the buttons he has to ensure that his child is admitted. I will be very frank here.  Children of the poor must, first, put their trust in hard work to acquire merit. That is the reason behind the merit list.

12. If the child cannot be that meritorious, it will not be a bad idea to try his luck in less score-demanding institutions or courses. Or he may even choose to take the long route through A-levels and diplomas in order to gain admission into the university directly later.

13. State governments could be of assistance. By building a good rapport with institutions in their zones, they can easily, from my experience, gain mass admissions for their indigenes regardless of their social status. This has worked in Bauchi when I was the Adviser on Education. Following the difficulty I had with the admission of my first daughter into UNIMAID in 2003, I sought the approval of the then governor to officially seek admissions for all indigenes of Bauchi state regardless of where they stay in Nigeria, as much as I could.

I will approach a VC and say, "Sir, I have come for the admission of Bauchi State indigenes. If your total admissions this year is so and so, as our state belongs to your catchment area, we will at least be entitled to so much number of entries. Give me your JAMB list, biko, I will work on it overnight, sieve out the names of students from my state who meet your cut-off marks and meet you with it tomorrow morning."

The following morning the list will be there. Then a trick: I will remind him of a promise our governor made to build a lecture hall or hostel block for his university. I will mostly get all I requested and returned home happy. Back in Bauchi, I will usually exagerate to His Excellency the cooperation of the VC and demand that he instantly call the VC and thank him. The governor will set the machinery for redeeming his pledge, as I prepare to visit the next university.

Gladly, this effort was inherited by the Yuguda administration under the able leadership of his then Commissioner for Higher Education, Malam Bala Jibrin. I do not know much about the state of that programme now as I have lost touch with the government for quite a while now.

Other people can try it, depending on the "rules of engagement" relayed admissions on the ground.

Conclusion

The above, as I said is my advise to parents and guardians. It is a general guide because some universities ma deman for more or less. People more conversant with the admission exercises can please correct any error I might have committed, a point that I omitted, or shade more light in the comment space below.


Dedication

I dedicate this essay to Hadiza whose father was so devastated that despite his position in society he couldn't help his poor daughter. Let her concentrate on her Physics and do it to the best of her effort. God will bless it, in sha Allah.

Thank you so much.

Bauchi,
Northern Nigeria

31 March 2012

36 comments:

Muhammad Auwal Isah said...

Nigerian universities- making fish of one and foul of another. May Allah in His infinite mercy bring the end of all sorts of ill-practices within our country and beyond.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Dr Aliyu on your advice,we really appreaciate it may Allah (S.W.T) bless and increase your type in our society.ISHAQ ISMAILA KUMO.

Anonymous said...

To begin with, you have given us a very good manual on how to gain admission into higher institution. Tanx for the contribution.

But, I will however, act like Oliver Twist by askin for more. If you wouldn't mind pls, write on how a Direct Entry student can secure admission into the university.

Mustapha Kangiwa said...

Manin katibin illa sa yubla
ya yabqad dahru ma katabat yadahu.
Nice one Dr Allah ya saka

Gambo Lapai said...

This is marvelous Tilde, you have said it all.

Anonymous said...

There are so many Hadiza's that were frustrated in the cause of seeking admission after all effort in scoring required point. May God help us!

Anonymous said...

May God bless U n Prof. G.D Azare of B.U.K

Gidado said...

Very good enlightenment effort.Dr. Tilde,pls continue writing along this line and one day I believe you will give us a manual on how to secure employment especially in the federal civil service where most states in north are not able to fill their quarter . Allah walle.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this deep enlightenment, sir. We really appreciate. More greese to your elbow.

Actually, we need sound people like who will shed light especially at the when the students failed woefully due to lack of information.

And, please, write the piece for a DE applicants.

Mal.BALA ILIYA said...

Thank you DOC.Pls try and fix your inteligent and well behaved children,UMAR and OMER in an excellent university.they will do you froud.BALA their maths teacher

Anonymous said...

Slm,Dr aliu tilde is only GOD that can rewards you on all kind contribution u been contributing to society.may HE grand u jannatul-fiddaus Amin.bissalam.

AMINA ADO said...

Thanks Dr. for the nice article as usual. Why couldn't Hadiza apply for Medicine the next year? A degree in Physics offers limited options except in academics.Not that there is anything wrong in that but if Hadiza is not interested in teaching then a one year wait is not bad. She could also have done A levels and then applied for direct entry.

Nura S. Garba said...

kudus to u Dr. Aliyu Tilde.
Just keep it up & let us hear more of these from u.
Bless thee God do!

Shehu said...

Thank you very much for the very informative article. I believe many in the past loose out due to lack of sufficient guide on what they need to do in order to gain admission. I can testify to this as someone who has been involved as an admission officer of a department in a university.
I wish to however caution parents with regard to your advice about 'EARNING' the confidence of university staff. Many of us, though very young, feel 'insulted' when people try to offer us any form of financial inducement. Some of us are from poor families and appreciate how education has lifted our status. We believe others too should have the opportunity. So if you want to offer financial inducement, make sure the person is the type that 'appreciate' it. And I can say that these type are in the minority.
Allah ya taimake mu.

GALADIMA said...

This is a true reflection of Nigeria admission system,another strong advise,pls patronize your state universities,they tend to have sympathy for you if your ward did well,can't thank you enough doc for the insight you provided us,regards.

Anonymous said...

Thanks,jazakallahu khair for this very important article. It is an eye opener for me as a parent whose daughter is about to enter the university this academic year insha Allah.

Anonymous said...

.nice piece sir..with regards to "earn the goodwil of the someone"..bribe him?

Conflux said...

An interesting and very practical guide - Thank you. However, perpetuating and even rewarding illegal/unscrupulous behaviour on the part of admission official through palm greasing or sweet talk or whatever euphemism, no matter how ingrain, should be condemned especially at this level of discourse and for the future Nigeria that we are actively, willingly or not, creating.

Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde said...

Dear all,

Sorry I think this issue of EARNING goodwill is being misconstrued by some few readers. First, the entire article is based on the assumption that admissions should be on merit, subject to different provisions evolved to ensure fair play.

Two, the link that I advised parents to establish is for information purposes only, such that they will know when things like post-JAMB takes place and so on. I have already said that one ,UST prepare his children well for the Post-UME even harder than when they were sitting for JAMB or WAEC. The link, I suppose in the case of someone who doesn't know someone in the university. The best for him, from experience, is to establish what is called "connection in low places", withba clerk for example who must always be involved and wouldn't fond it difficult to call the parent and intimate him. To such categories of workers, who are definitely doing their best, a good wouldn't be out of place. In Hausa, we call it 'ihsani', not bribe.

Anonymous said...

Dr. You have succeeded in given us a comprehensive details of the problems and the methodology to be adopted by parents to make sure their respective child',s name is contained in the first or second list or at worst VC's list . All these in my candid opinion are temporary measures, and we cannot continue like this as this is not the international best practice. Our leaders must sanitise the educational sector among other seictors otherwise they have no business been there.I therefore most respectfully sir, request you in the interest of our children children's yet unborn to comment on the best way in solving these perennial problems in the educational sector. In a situation where even a state government has to do PR to the school for their children to be admitted is to say the least most unfortunate.

Ado Maaji said...

Dr. You have succeeded in given us a comprehensive details of the problems and the methodology to be adopted by parents to make sure their respective child',s name is contained in the first or second list or at worst VC's list . All these in my candid opinion are temporary measures, and we cannot continue like this as this is not the international best practice. Our leaders must sanitise the educational sector among other seictors otherwise they have no business been there.I therefore most respectfully sir, request you in the interest of our children children's yet unborn to comment on the best way in solving these perennial problems in the educational sector. In a situation where even a state government has to do PR to the school for their children to be admitted is to say the least most unfortunate.

Abdullahi Septari said...

Salam, candidates like Hadiza ought to have waited next year or even 2 years to get admission to read the course of their choice. More often than not, we are very impatient and hence missed our most desired ambitions. Please advise Hadiza's father to allow her to try again. After all, time is still by her side insha Allah. Those oppotuned to study in the south have seen it all. Allah ya kara muku hakuri Hadiza da sauran irinki a chikin wannan matsayin.

Ghazali said...

Salaaam Dr Tilde
Is there a possibility of linking up kind hearted Nigerians through your forum to set up a FUND to help out in Educating by funding school fees payment for such students anywhere in the world . My first thought is Sudan , i know students (girls) that have been sponsored in Universities there . It is a must for us to take this things seriously in order to help the pathetic situation we find ourselves in the north .
Gazali Tukur

Anonymous said...

Dr. You have succeeded in given us a comprehensive details of the problems and the methodology to be adopted by parents to make sure their respective child',s name is contained in the first or second list or at worst VC's list . All these in my candid opinion are temporary measures, and we cannot continue like this as this is not the international best practice. Our leaders must sanitise the educational sector among other seictors otherwise they have no business been there.I therefore most respectfully sir, request you in the interest of our children children's yet unborn to comment on the best way in solving these perennial problems in the educational sector. In a situation where even a state government has to do PR to the school for their children to be admitted is to say the least most unfortunate.

Anonymous said...

Dr. You have succeeded in given us a comprehensive details of the problems and the methodology to be adopted by parents to make sure their respective child',s name is contained in the first or second list or at worst VC's list . All these in my candid opinion are temporary measures, and we cannot continue like this as this is not the international best practice. Our leaders must sanitise the educational sector among other seictors otherwise they have no business been there.I therefore most respectfully sir, request you in the interest of our children children's yet unborn to comment on the best way in solving these perennial problems in the educational sector. In a situation where even a state government has to do PR to the school for their children to be admitted is to say the least most unfortunate.

Anonymous said...

Dr. You have succeeded in given us a comprehensive details of the problems and the methodology to be adopted by parents to make sure their respective child',s name is contained in the first or second list or at worst VC's list . All these in my candid opinion are temporary measures, and we cannot continue like this as this is not the international best practice. Our leaders must sanitise the educational sector among other seictors otherwise they have no business been there.I therefore most respectfully sir, request you in the interest of our children children's yet unborn to comment on the best way in solving these perennial problems in the educational sector. In a situation where even a state government has to do PR to the school for their children to be admitted is to say the least most unfortunate.

Anonymous said...

Dr. You have succeeded in given us a comprehensive details of the problems and the methodology to be adopted by parents to make sure their respective child',s name is contained in the first or second list or at worst VC's list . All these in my candid opinion are temporary measures, and we cannot continue like this as this is not the international best practice. Our leaders must sanitise the educational sector among other seictors otherwise they have no business been there.I therefore most respectfully sir, request you in the interest of our children children's yet unborn to comment on the best way in solving these perennial problems in the educational sector. In a situation where even a state government has to do PR to the school for their children to be admitted is to say the least most unfortunate.

Anonymous said...

I think doc is only talking about the present reality. We should not misconstrue him pls. About Hadiza, i remember an encounter wit one engineer, who had endeared himself to many through earning people confidence. When informed about a nephew‘s inability to secure medicine in university, he smiled and jokingly remarked “ i too struggled for medicine, but i thank GOD for not getting it now, and iam impacting on humanities ten times many doctors , i even settle several medical bills at a go.“ May Allah bless hadizas certificate.

Muhammad Garba Gashu'a said...

With sorrowful mind and tearful eyes i sympatise with Hadiza, let her not be diappointed, insha Allah it will be a blessing.

sani mudi said...

Thnx Dr. I was in the same boat as Hadiza's father in BUK two yrs ago. Mine is now in ND2 class at Fedpoly Bauchi. Maybe the authorities of BUK should, in the interest of the educational development of the North, change from this lamentable attitude of high handedness and face the realities of the situation in the context of the very low human development in the NORTH.

A.M.Gadzama said...

Fine write up Dr. Tilde, but are things suppose to be that way? i have been a victim my Daughter had to write JAMB three times before she could secure an admission and on each of those occasions she scored above 200, yet we are busy talking that we want to encourage female child education in the north particularly.

Hamisu said...

Good write up.
The whole issue is that of demand and supply. The supply in this case is fixed while the demand is increasing daily. The need to increase the carrying capacity of our institutions and to have more institutions cannot be over emphasized. That is increase access!

Anonymous said...

sir tanks for your contribution.but jamb office do also change our choice and i dont know why. It has happen to me which makes me to loss intress in university wit my 201 poits. @ m. Auwal tilde

Anonymous said...

Jazakallah khairan ..... my daughter scored 253 in her Jamb and also passed the post ume test but could not be admitted for Allah knows why.. EVentually i had to sent her to a private university..... the bottom line is the endemic corruption in our educational sector just like other sectors in the nation. Nigeria is sick we need Allah to come back to the path of honour. Thank you for the facts

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. I am not sure if the whole north is the catchment area of ABU or the university admits students on merit. My son had 200+ in his JAMB, As & Bs in his WAEC, ABU was his first choice & he comes from one of the northern states, yet he was not given admission In 2007. We were suprised to note that other less qualified classmates of his were given admission, may be because their parents established a relationship with the officials which I refused to do because it was against my conscience. I was therefore forced to send him to study a course of his dream outside Nigeria, which has turned out to be a good decision, though with heavy toll on the pocket. These are the issues that I expect our so called northern leaders to deal with as it used to be in our days in school. I could remember our principal traveling all the way from sokoto to zaria to collect admission forms which were given on merit to students to complete before they were returned to ABU for processing. It is never too late. Contray to your advise, I expect the States, ACF etc to engage the universities on admission of indigent students, except we are just paying lip service to the urge to uplift the youth. EFCC, ICPC could also be involved as a preemptive to corruption. Thank you.

Jack Hall said...

I was looking for a post like this because I am preparing for admission essay writing. So It will surely help me.