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Minimum entry age to tertiary institutions is 18 years – FG

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Favour Ishember, Abuja

In a bid to ensure that students are emotionally and mentally prepared for the rigors of university education, the Federal Government has announced plans to review the age requirement for entry into tertiary institutions from 16 to 18 years.


Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, who made this known while monitoring the ongoing Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in Abuja,  emphasized that many students who apply to universities are too young to understand the demands of higher education, leading to difficulties in managing their affairs.


According to Prof. Mamman, “We’ve noticed that some students who apply to universities are as young as 15 and 16. This is not good for us. We need to ensure that students are mature enough to handle the responsibilities that come with university education.”


The Minister commended the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) for a seamless examination process, attributing the success to the adoption of technology; noting  that the use of technology has significantly reduced cases of examination malpractice, with only 100 out of 1.2 million candidates caught cheating.


Prof. Mamman also emphasized the importance of skills acquisition in preparing youths for a brighter future. He noted that with only 20% of candidates gaining admission into tertiary institutions, it is crucial to equip students with skills to navigate life and become productive members of society.


In his part, Minister of State for Education, Dr. Tanko Sununu, praised JAMB for setting high standards, resulting in the UTME being held in Saudi Arabia. He highlighted the examination’s objectivity and reliability, ensuring that students are comfortable and guided throughout the process.


“The government’s plan to raise the age requirement for tertiary institutions aims to ensure that students are better equipped to handle the challenges of university education and become productive members of society”, he said.

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