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UNILAG: Nigerian student denied admission bags 2 US scholarships

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University of Lagos (UNILAG)

A Nigerian female student, name withheld, who was denied admission into the University of Lagos (UNILAG), has secured two scholarships in the United States.

A pilot, Mr. Arinze Odira, disclosed this on his social media account, @CaptainArinze, via X (formerly Twitter).

According to Captain Arinze, the “intelligent girl” scored 284 on her first Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) result.

She applied to study medicine in the institution but was rejected.

Another frustrated effort

She would later re-sit for JAMB and scored 320, yet was denied admission into UNILAG for the second time.

Odira tweeted: “My sister-in-law is an intelligent girl.

“She scored 284 on her first JAMB, but couldn’t get into UNILAG to study medicine.

“The next year, she scored 320, but still no admission into UNILAG (I can’t explain it)!”

Miffed by the institution’s perceived callousness, he swung into action, making her take American SAT examination.

The SAT is a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States.

It is an entrance exam used by most colleges and universities to make admissions decisions.

The SAT is a multiple-choice, computer-based test created and administered by the College Board.

The young lady, according to Odira, scored 1450 after just two weeks of training.

Odira narrated further: “I couldn’t just sit back and watch her talent go to waste.

“So, I got her to take the SAT exam. She prepped for only two weeks and scored 1450.

“We started applying for scholarships in the US, and she got two fully funded scholarships and one partial one.

“Last week, she went for her visa interview. In a few months, she’ll be heading to the United States.”

Something is definitely wrong with our system”

Odira expressed his obfuscation at the inconsistencies of Nigerian universities when it comes to gaining admission.

Recounting his confusion point by point, he stated:

1. I am still confused that she couldn’t get into UNILAG. Something is definitely wrong with our system.
2. I am happy she is going to somewhere she can truly shine and explore her full potential.
3. It’s a shame we keep losing our brightest minds.
4. To be successful, you need opportunity, information and access.  

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 An X user, Tomisin Olusola, @TomisinOlusola, countered that the lady may have been hasty with her decisions

Olusola noted that West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) may have been contributing factors to the rejection by UNILAG.

According to him, “there’s nothing wrong with the system”, hence, the lady would have taken other open chances.

He responded: “UNILAG admission is not based on UTME only.

“WASSCE AND POST UTME RESULTS are added too. There’s nothing wrong with the system.

“The cutoff mark for medicine is usually the highest every year. If she’d try other courses, she’d have entered.”

Odira responded, adding the lady’s enviable academic achievements:

1. Second-best graduating student in her set (Queens College). That answers the WASSCE question.
2. She scored 84 in post-UTME.
3. There was no post-UTME the year she got 320 in JAMB.

He concluded with: “I struggle to believe that everyone who got admitted had a better JAMB score, WASSCE, and post-UTME.”

Corruption and favouritism in UNILAG

An observer, Obiasogu David, @afrisagacity, placed the blame squarely on the shoulders on Nigeria’s system.

Obiasogu, in great details, narrated how the Nigerian Universities admissions go, highlighting the corruption, nepotism and favouritism that has smeared the Nigerian system, including UNILAG.

He narrated: “It irks me that most Nigerians don’t understand the Nigerian set up…

“Nigeria, as is currently set up, isn’t designed to promote intelligence, creativity and ingenuity of Nigerians.

“It’s a system designed to deplete, diminish, and when possible, kill her own citizens.

“Take for instance, the story by this poster. In the previous year, the sister scored 284 in Jamb.

“She couldn’t gain Admission into her preferred school.

“In the coming year, she studied harder and got a highly impressive score of 300+ – yet, no admission.

“But a Sodiq from one of the so-called “23 Educationally Less Privileged” states who manages to score 200 will be given admission – because of Quota System.

“Now, if critically analyzed, this system doesn’t favour both the girl and Sodiq. On her part, she’s being denied access to education and discouraged from pursuing further.

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“On the part of Sodiq, he’s being rewarded for poor academic performance and encouraged to be a mediocre.”

Admission in Nigerian Universities

Breaking down the ordeal of aspiring Nigerian youths in the hands of UNILAG and other institutions, he said:

“For broader context, here’s how Nigerian Universities admissions go:

Category 1: this is where the top 45% highest scores in the UTME are supposed to be admitted.

But, rather the children of the VC, members of the school Senate, and other top school officials with “long legs” are admitted, regardless of whether they’re even close to being qualified – hence, reducing the number of qualified applicants in the Top 45% category.

Category 2: here 25% is supposed to be allocated to the best-performing students from the state where the university is located.

Some schools may include people from their neighboring states – they call it catchment areas.

But rather, the traditional ruler will submit list, town president, House of Reps, and House of Assembly members who have “leg” will submit too – then, eventually, “best-performing students” from the catchment will have no chance.

Category 3: this one is for applicants who are from 23 “educationally less developed states (ELDS).” It’s where the quota system actually works.

So, here someone from Borno with a 200 UTME score will gain admission into UNILAG over someone from Oyo with 280 score.

Category 4: this is where the VC has 10% allocation to “pad up” the admission list as he wishes. He can now consider every other person who has “short leg” and “weak link” to him and or who can drop “small envelop”.”

Killing “passion for excellence”

After analysing the rot in UNILAG and other universities, he concluded with:

“Now this is the structure of the Nigerian admission process.

“The academic institutions that should be the beacon of truth, justice, and fairness – and should promote excellence – from its very recruitment foundation, works against everything it should stand for.

“Just like the story of the young lady, when these same Nigerians who are frustrated from getting admission into their own country-schools, try elsewhere in the world, they’re picked with speed.

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“So, tell me, what else does Nigeria exist for other than killing the “passion for excellence” in her own citizens?”

Another observer, Chuka Nduneseokwu, @Chuka_ndu, made a, rather, unpopular observation.

Nduneseokwu drew his conclusion in few words, blaming it on hatred for Igbos:

“Nwannem the answer is staring you in the face – It is Ìgbò-phobia.

“If she was Yoruba, she would have gotten the admission.

“For a Lagos that is systematically pushing Ndị Ìgbò out, to give a bright Ìgbò girl admission, to one day come out as best graduating?

“They won’t do it.”

About UNILAG

The University of Lagos (UNILAG) is a public research university located in Lagos, Nigeria.

Established in 1983, UNILAG has been instrumental in the production of academia with tremendous impact in Nigeria and beyond.

UNILAG prides itself as a domain of knowledge and a legacy of excellence.

It has provided qualitative and research-oriented education for over six decades to Nigerians and international students seeking knowledge.

According to the 2023 Times Higher Education World University Ranking and uniRank African University Ranking, UNILAG is recognized as one of the top higher-education institutions.

It reportedly has academic professors who are actively teaching, researching, and developing for humanity.

UNILAG hosts a diverse student body, including undergraduates and postgraduate students in various programs.

The institution has produced research outputs that have been patented within the past three years.

The Distance Learning Institute (DLI) hosts international colloquia.

Creative arts events, linguistics insights, and alumni achievements contribute to UNILAG’s vibrant community.

UNILAG boasts of must-visit areas on campus, including Sport Centre where club sports, recreation events, and group exercises thrive.


For Diaspora Digital Media Updates click on Whatsapp, or Telegram. For eyewitness accounts/ reports/ articles, write to: citizenreports@diasporadigitalmedia.com. Follow us on X (Fomerly Twitter) or Facebook

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