Of the 1,595,773 applicants for the 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, 1,453,797, representing 91 per cent, are seeking admission into universities.
On the other hand, 141,976 candidate, representing only nine per cent of the total candidates, are seeking admission into polytechnics, Colleges of Education and other enterprise institutions.
The figures were obtained on Tuesday by from the Joint Admissions Matriculation Board.
Already, available statistics over the years have shown that the admission quotas available in Nigerian universities are not enough to cater for the high number of young school leavers who desire university education.
It is reported that the system still has to deal with individuals, who after the completion of their National Certificate in Education and the Ordinary National Diploma, still wish to proceed to universities for undergraduate studies through the Direct Entry option introduced by JAMB
The National President, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, Anderson Ezeibe, blamed the low patronage of polytechnics and Colleges of Education on the belief that a university degree ranks higher than degrees from polytechnic and Colleges of Education.
Ezeibe believes that if the dichotomy is eliminated, polytechnics will become vibrant and will attract more students leading to reduced pressure on universities.
Already, the National Assembly has passed a bill to harmonise both university and polytechnic degrees. The bill is awaiting the assent of the President.
Speaking on the bill sponsored by Senator Ayo Akinyelure, a former Minister of Education and the senator, who represented Kano Central in the 9th Senate, Ibrahim Shekarau, submitted that: “The enactment of the bill to abolish and prohibit discrimination between first degrees and Higher National Diploma for the purpose of employment in Nigeria will no doubt free holders of HND from stagnation and ensure balanced treatment with their counterparts from other higher tertiary institutions in Nigeria.”
Seventy-three per cent of respondents in an online survey conducted by The PUNCH newspapers on Monday want President Bola Tinubu to assent to the bill eliminating the dichotomy between B.Sc and HND.