The Registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, has issued a stern warning to universities about engaging in illegal admissions, which later require ‘regularisation’ after the admission has been offered. He emphasized that the practice of seeking regularisation is illegal and must be stopped. Additionally, he cautioned against admitting underaged students.

JAMB regularisation is a process designed to validate and formalize the admission of students who were initially admitted into tertiary institutions without proper documentation or through informal means. Prof. Oloyede lamented that this issue has prevented many candidates from participating in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

Oloyede addressed these concerns in Lagos on Tuesday during the opening of the seventh biennial conference of the Committee of Pro-Chancellors of State-Owned Universities in Nigeria. The theme of the conference was ‘Effective University Governance: Role of Stakeholders’.

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“For the sake of accountability, data protection, and the integrity of our nation, these acts must be halted,” Oloyede stated, emphasizing that any irregular admission process is illegal. He highlighted that the need for regularisation indicates that the admission process was flawed from the start. “Many Vice-Chancellors don’t like the word, but the truth is that there’s no need to regularise what is regular. Calling for regularisation after admission is illegal. Some candidates can’t go for NYSC because they were not properly admitted.”

He also criticized the admission of underaged students and diploma candidates through illegal means. “About two months ago, I received a letter from a European country to confirm if a student graduated from a particular university because she is 15 years old and applied for a postgraduate program. The question they asked me was, ‘Is this possible in Nigeria?’” Oloyede shared, pointing out the absurdity of such cases.

He expressed alarm over the high number of diploma students admitted illegally, citing an instance from the previous year where about 9,000 diploma students were admitted, with 3,000 coming from a single university. “Every one of us should be accountable because all these acts can damage our education system.”

In April, the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, stated that the Federal Government was considering adopting 18 years as the minimum entry age for admission into universities and other tertiary institutions. He also criticized the admission of underaged students, noting that it was detrimental to the education system.

Prof. Oloyede’s remarks highlight a significant issue within Nigeria’s higher education system, where the integrity of the admission process is being compromised. The practice of admitting students through irregular means not only undermines the education system but also hinders students’ future opportunities, such as participating in the NYSC. By addressing these issues, JAMB aims to uphold the standards and integrity of the nation’s tertiary education system.

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