The statutory body charged with the responsibility for regulating the activities of universities in the country, the National Universities Commission (NUC), has commended the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), for successfully carrying out the 2016/2017 Pre-Admission Screening Exercise, for prospective students of the University.
The Senior Information and Monitoring Officer of NUC, Mr. Mohammed Tanko, who represented NUC at the occasion, lauded members of staff of FUNAAB and other government functionaries that actively participated in the 2016/2017 Pre-Admission Screening Exercise, for a job well done in terms of logistics, welfare, thoroughness and adherence to laid down procedures. Mr. Tanko stated that his task was to monitor the screening exercise, to ensure that the University does not breach the directive of the Federal Government given through the Honourable Minister of Education.
The Senior Information and Monitoring Officer added that, “I observed that the security arrangements were properly made. The traffic and strategy that were deployed by both the internal and external security personnel, the Department of State Services (DSS) officers, which I saw on ground and men of other sister-agencies, who participated in the screening, were very much commendable. The strategy of the decentralised screening centre (as adopted by FUNAAB) was commendable, as students were well taken care of while transportation logistic was also commendable.
He stated further that, “One thing that was encouraging was the inclusion of security agents among members of the screening panel, especially, those from the National Drug and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the DSS. They interviewed and studied the students and this helped to drop students, who are not competent enough to gain admission into federal universities, because federal institutions are the property of the Federal Government. I am very proud of the process and the formation of the panel because we have to ensure that candidates, who are qualified, are admitted while those who do not merit admission do not come and take the place of those who we really need to be productive agents in the future.”
The NUC official added that FUNAAB had a very beautiful campus, saying “I love the typography. The University is well maintained, the environment is serene, although, the students are not on campus. But from what I can see, I think that the Management of the University is taking care of its assets”. He charged the University Management to keep up the high standards, most especially, in the maintenance of the campus environment and continue to ensure quality as “we expect to have quality graduate output that would compete in private and public sectors within and outside the country. So, I advise that you adhere to NUC guidelines in the areas of admission quota, rules and regulations that would come from the government through the Federal Ministry of Education”.
The Vice-Chancellor of FUNAAB and President, Association of African Universities, Professor Olusola Oyewole, who was physically on ground to monitor the exercise, disclosed that the screening exercise was very important, to ensure that only responsible and qualified students, who would add value to the quality of the educational system were admitted, as he charged the prospective students to be up and doing, assuring all that they were in the right environment that would help them fulfill their destinies in life.
Speaking on the resumption date for stale students, the Vice-Chancellor revealed that the committee that was set up to investigate the recent students' unrest had just submitted its report, adding that the Senate would soon sit to consider the report and take a decision on the new resumption date for the University.
On the necessary machinery put in place to ensure a successful screening exercise, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and the Chief Coordinating Officer for the 2016/2017 Pre-Admission Screening Exercise, Professor Oluyemisi Eromosele, said that buses were stationed at the Camp area as well as the University Main Gate, to convey students to the main centres namely: the FUNAAB Ceremonial Building, College of Management Sciences (COLMAS), Unity Building, Directorate of Public Relations as well as the College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COLPLANT).
She added that for adequate security, “the Chief Security Officer worked with the Committee to ensure that there was adequate security within and outside the campus. We also engaged the services of Man O’ War, while some of our postgraduate students served as guides for the candidates”. Professor Eromosele disclosed that the procedures employed in the screening exercise included using biometrics, where students were subjected to finger-printing by using JAMB registration numbers, to verify whether the candidates’ data were captured on the JAMB list and examination/record points in which the credentials of the students were thoroughly examined, collated and finally screened by the panelists.
Professor Eromosele pointed out that of the 17,334 applicants that applied for admission into the University, only about 3,800 would eventually be admitted after conducting the exercise, both for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and Direct Entry candidates that spread across the 10 colleges of the University because FUNAAB had a quota of 3,850, as approved by NUC for the past two years. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) further stated that “We are also hoping that there would be a supplementary admission later on in the month while shortlisted candidates would equally be screened.”
Commending the various panelists that comprise former Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Deans, Heads of Departments, other Professors as well as Non-teaching Staff for adhering strictly to the time allocated to screening the students, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) further disclosed that on a daily basis, the panelists often made available the results of the candidates that were screened but for the public holidays, the results would have been available. “We ensure that the 45 per cent was on merit, 35 per cent was on catchment while 20 per cent was on educationally-less disadvantaged states (EDLS) quota, in order to ensure that all the states in the federation were captured, for those candidates that had applied to this University”, she added.
Speaking on the criteria used in inviting students for the screening exercise, Professor Eromosele said “we used the composite scores of 50 per cent of their school certificate results and 50 per cent of their JAMB scores. We have cases of some students with very high JAMB scores, who did not input their WAEC results properly and because of that, we could not process their results. There were also cases of those with high scores but wrong JAMB subject combinations and they were screened out at the first stage”.
Commenting on the screening exercise, the Deputy Registrar II, Senate and Admissions / Secretary, Admissions Committee of FUNAAB, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Dawodu, noted that the process was not really new to the University, as it was the same method that was previously used before the introduction of the Computer-Based Test (CBT), about three years ago. She said the screening exercise would enable the University test the communication abilities of the students in general, adding that the inclusion of security agents would help to fish out candidates, who are either socially deviant or have questionable characters.
Similarly, the Head of Information and Communication Technology Resource Centre (ICTREC) of the University, Dr. Olutayo Ajayi, said the screening exercise was in tandem with the directive of the Federal Government, saying “We were expecting about 4,000 candidates and what we did was that we streamlined the candidates to those that could strictly meet up with the admission criteria, which include meeting the cut-off point of 180 for agriculture-based courses and 200 for science-based courses”. Dr. Ajayi, who noted that over 16,000 students applied for admission into the University, said not everyone was invited, because some did not have their basic results, as some had one deficiency or the other which streamlined them. The Director of Academic Planning, Professor Olukayode Akinyemi, however, expressed optimism that the interactive screening exercise would assist the University in admitting candidates that are actually morally and mentally fit.
Speaking on why they had chosen FUNAAB as first choice, Miss. Ebunoluwa Adetola said “it is because it (FUNAAB) is one of the best universities in the country”, adding that although she applied to study Home Science and Management, she was offered Aquaculture and Fisheries Management, saying she was happy with the offer. Sharing her experience after the screening exercise, Ebunoluwa said “the process was well planned as there were buses to convey students to their various screening centres and a comfortable venue was also set up for students to sit before they direct them into their screening centres. With these arrangements, I do not feel stressed up or tensioned”. Another student, Samuel Bamikarere, who came from Ibadan, Oyo State, disclosed that he had chosen FUNAAB because it is a federal institution that is well loved and has a good reputation. “I love the environment here because it is very neat and tidy and in the next five year, I wish to see myself in a big company as a renowned economist”, he stated.
Helen Okanga from Benue State also expressed her satisfaction with the exercise, stressing that it was basically a friendly interaction, where she was asked questions about herself and her intended course of study. Helen, who could hardly hide her excitement, said she had chosen FUNAAB because “all the graduates of this University that I know are doing well in their various fields of endeavours”. For Taiwo Apadidun, who applied for Agricultural Economics and Farm Management and was offered Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, he expressed optimism for being offered admission into the University, describing the exercise as a great success. He pointed out that his choice of FUNAAB was based on the fact that the University had produced students, who are academically-sound and have good morals. The screening exercise took place between Wednesday, September 7 and Friday, September 9, 2016.
Meanwhile, the University’s Institute for Human Resources Development (INHURD), has announced the sale of admission forms into its Pre-Degree (Science and Management Science) and Cambridge Joint University Preliminary Examination Board ‘A’ level programme. The one-year residential Pre-Degree programme provides a pre-matriculation year of studies and is designed to prepare candidates for any degree courses offered by FUNAAB. Also, the JUPEB ‘A’ level and the JUPEB ‘A’ level examinations are 10-month intensive and residential programmes, whereby successful candidates would be admitted into the 200-level courses offered by FUNAAB and other universities in Nigeria, after completion. Procedure for online application is as follows: Log-in to: portal.unaab.edu.ng:93. From the homepage, kindly click on any programme of interest. For further enquiries or assistance, please call: 08115709032, 08169956665.
Applications are also welcomed from interested candidates for admission into the Part-Time Degree Programme (PTDP) of the University. The PTDP is a non-residential programme with lectures holding on weekends at the main campus of the University. Duration of programme for agricultural programmes is seven sessions while natural sciences is for six sessions.