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BREAKING: FG Sets New Minimum Age Requirement For University Admissions

The Federal Government of Nigeria has instituted a new policy requiring candidates to be at least 18 years old to qualify for admission into tertiary institutions (or university admissions).

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BREAKING: FG Sets New Minimum Age Requirement For University Admissions
Nigerian Students

The Federal Government of Nigeria has instituted a new policy requiring candidates to be at least 18 years old to qualify for admission into tertiary institutions (or university admissions).

Announced by Education Minister Prof. Tahir Mamman during a UTME monitoring exercise in Bwari, the policy aligns with the national 6-3-3-4 educational system to ensure students are mature enough for higher education.

The Federal Government of Nigeria has mandated that candidates must be at least 18 years old to gain admission into tertiary institutions.

VerseNews reports that this directive was announced by the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, during his visit to monitor the ongoing 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) at a center in Bwari, Federal Capital Territory, on Monday.

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Expressing concerns over the pressures exerted by some parents on educational institutions to admit their underage children, Prof. Mamman emphasized that the decision to set the age limit is consistent with the national 6-3-3-4 educational system.

This Online News Platform understands that this system structures educational stages into 6 years of primary education, 3 years of junior secondary, another 3 years of senior secondary, and 4 years of tertiary education, suggesting that students typically reach the age of 18 by the time they complete their secondary education.

“The minimum age of entry into the University is 18, but we have seen students who are 15, 16 years going in for the entrance examination.

“Parents should be encouraged not to push their wards too much. Mostly, it is the pressure of parents that is causing this.

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“We are going to look at this development because the candidates are too young to understand what the whole university education is all about.

“This is the period when children migrate from controlled to uncontrolled environments; when they are in charge of their own affairs.

“But, if they are too young, they won’t be able to manage properly. I think that is part of what we are seeing in the Universities today,” he said.

On skill acquisition for those who will not be able to gain admissions into tertiary institutions, Mamman said the ministry is taking skills to pupils from primary school.

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“ In overall, it is 20 per cent that can be admitted into the University, Polytechnic and Colleges of Education system.

“So, where will the 80 per cent go to? That is why the issue of skills acquisition is very important.

“Any student who is unable to proceed to tertiary institutions should be able to have a meaningful life after primary and secondary school’s education and the only solution to this is skill acquisition,” he said.

Corroborating the minister’s position on the benchmark of 18 years for admission to tertiary institutions, the JAMB spokesperson, Dr Fabian Benjamin said 18 years is in line with the 6-3-3-4 education system.

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The Minister of State for Education, Dr Yusuf Sununu who was in the monitoring team applauded the conduct of the 2024 UTME, particularly, the introduction of online examinations as a way of checking malpractices.

He said the Computer Based Test (CBT) had reduced examination malpractices to the barest minimum.

Sununu commended the Board for setting a simple but high standard for the examination.

VerseNews understands that the minister’s directive aims to ensure that students entering tertiary institutions are adequately mature, both academically and emotionally, to handle the rigors of higher education.

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This policy is intended to align the admission process with the structured educational pathway that supports proper developmental progression.

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