UTME: Students, parents allege admission racketeering by schools

UTME: Students, parents allege admission racketeering by schools

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Some students and parents have alleged large-scale bribery, corruption and other malpractices in this year’s admission exercise conducted by various universities and other tertiary institutions across the
country.
Already, some institutions such as the University of Lagos, have been compelled by the widespread allegations of bribery and corruption in the admission process to withdraw the list of students offered admission for the 2017/2018 academic year.
But parents and students have continued to decry the “shady and non-transparent” method allegedly employed by many institutions in offering admissions to prospective students.
Investigations revealed that some universities offered admission to students who did not even sit for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, while others like the Lagos State University did not release an admission list. They rather instructed candidates to log onto their individual examination portal accounts to check their admission status, a method which many students and parents had decried as not
transparent.
A student, who just secured admission to study Political Science at the University of Lagos revealed to our correspondent how his parents, with the aid of some academic staff, paid the sum of N300,000 to get him into the school to study Economics, but was eventually given Political Science, which he did not apply for.
He further revealed that, at first, his parents paid the sum of N100,000, but were told that a highly competitive course like Economics was only given to the highest bidders, adding that the development created worries for his parents, who had to cough out more money to secure admission for him.
The student expressed regrets that even after paying the N300,000 demanded to secure admission to study Economics, the school only offered him Political
Science.
“I feel the situation of the nation’s education sector has made things to go bad this way; because all of us want to study, especially in Federal Government-owned schools, nobody wants to go to a state-owned school. So, if there is anything one can do to achieve that, our parents would not hesitate to do it,” he
said.
Another candidate (names withheld), who had just been given admission to study Philosophy at the Ekiti State University, alleged that some students, who got admitted for courses such as Law, paid as much as N2million to
N3million.
She noted that over 33,000 students applied to study Law at the institution, but only 100 candidates were given provisional admission after they had allegedly paid huge sums of money.
She said, “I chose Law as my first choice. The cut-off mark for law was 63 and I scored 61. Apart from the students who got the course on merit, some students got admission to study Law in my school with just 55 marks; yet someone that scored 61, just two points away from the cut-off mark, was given
Philosophy.
“Even some students that were given English Language, but didn’t meet up with the cut-off mark for Law, paid their way through to secure admission into Law. I have accepted my fate to study philosophy, because I cannot afford to sit at home and wait for another academic year to apply. All we need is that the Federal Government and, may be, JAMB, should look into this matter and ensure
justice.”
A parent, Mr. Yusuf Ali, whose ward just secured admission to study Accountancy at the Federal Polytechnic, Bida in Niger State, alleged that the 2017/2018 admission process was very “shady” as many students, who did not write the UTME secured provisional admission because their parents could afford to pay the bribe demanded from
them.
Ali explained that on the day he took his son for the post-UTME screening, he was approached by some people, who were inviting people to buy admission quota for their children.
He said he had dismissed them as some smart touts trying to make money from unsuspecting candidates until some parents told him how their wards secured admission without even sitting for the UTME.
“At first, I thought some people wanted to defraud me the day I took my son to write his screening examination. As we approached the gate of the examination centre, some young men told me that they could give my son admission without even writing the examination; I felt it was impossible until I learnt from some close friends, whose children did not write UTME at all, that their wards secured admission into the institution,“
Ali said.
He decried the development, saying it was a big shame that Nigerians always had to pay their way through everything without regard for merit.
Ali said that was where corruption began, adding that the earlier the government put a check to these malpractices, the better for the country.
In his reaction, the Deputy Registrar (Information) at the University of Lagos, Mr. Oluwatoyin Adebule, said, “As a responsible institution, the management withdrew the list to investigate the veracity of the allegation of irregularities levelled against it.”
According to Adebule, the withdrawal of the list became important so as to protect the integrity of the university, saying, “It is not in the character of the institution’s management to simply gloss over any such allegation.”
He said as soon as the issues were resolved, the list would be released, again.

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