The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin (Unilorin), Prof. Abdul Ambali, has said that Nigerian graduates are competing favourably with their peers from across the world.
Ambali said that Nigerian graduates were able to compete favourably because of the acceptable standard of education in the country.
The vice-chancellor, who said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja, added that Nigerian graduates had always acquitted themselves creditably in the Diaspora.
“I think the standard is acceptable because if you look at our graduates anywhere you go around the world and you see them, they are working in high places and they are proving themselves.
“So if the standards were lower they would not be able to compete with their peers where they are now. So, to me it is a relative term because the standard in not falling to me.
“We have a lot of room to improve; for example, we need to improve the quality of our teachers especially at the primary and secondary school levels.
“I have been saying this; it is whatever we harvest at those levels especially the secondary school level that comes to the university and in the university you can do minimum modelling to shape them into what the country wants.“
Ambali, therefore, urged state governments to invest more in secondary education in view of its position as the bridge between basic and tertiary education.
He said: “Students should have better classrooms; they should have better teachers and better learning environment because it is the products of these three issues that make up a good candidate for the next level.
“For example, if the classrooms are crowded; if there are no teaching facilities in the classroom; no teaching aids in the classroom; no enough materials to carry out the necessary practical, then the quality of education will become questionable.
“If the teachers are not well paid; they are not well mobilised; they cannot concentrate on their primary assignments.“
On the issue of the cut-off mark for admission into Nigerian universities, Ambali said 180 had been pegged as minimum score required by Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) candidates.
He said though some universities were under pressure to offer admission to candidates, each university could still fix a score in conformity with its own standard to enable them to get the best applicants.
According to him, JAMB’s minimum cut-off mark for Medicine is between 230 and 235, but individual universities are at liberty to conduct post-JAMB screening to get the best of the candidates.