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FG announces scholarship awards for Nigerian students

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FG announces scholarship awards for Nigerian students

The federal government of Nigeria has announced its scholarship awards for tertiary students in the country.

The announcement was made by the Federal Ministry of Education on Wednesday night, April 2, 2024, in a statement signed by Mrs Didi Esther Walson-Jack, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary.

Tagged, “2023/2024 FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS (NIGERIAN SCHOLARSHIP AND EDUCATION BURSARY AWARD)”, the Federal Ministry of Education invited interested and qualified Nigerians to participate in the 2023/2024 Nigerian Scholarship Award (NSA) and Education Bursary Award (EBA) tenable in Nigerian Public Tertiary Institutions.

Eligibility For the Nigerian Scholarship Award

All applicants must be full-time students of any tertiary institution in the country.

The ministry stated,

  • “Applicants for Postgraduate studies should possess a minimum of first degree with Second Class Honours in the Upper Division. Applicants must be registered Full-Time students of Federal or State Universities.
  • “All other applicants (UG, HND & NCE) must be registered full-time students in their second year or above, in Federal or State Universities, Polytechnics, Monotechnics or Colleges of Education.
  • “All undergraduate Scholarship applicants including Persons with disabilities must have at least 4.0 Cumulative Grade Points Aggregate (CGPA) on a five (5) point scale or 5.0 on a 7 point scale or its equivalent.
  • “All NCE and HND applicants must have a CGPA of 3.5 and above on a scale of 4.0.”

All qualified candidates were advised to visit the Federal Ministry of Education’s website www.education.gov.ng and click on Federal Scholarship Board ICON on the Home Page.

They are expected to read the guidelines and then complete the Application Form online and print the completed Form.

The ministry warned that a double Application would be disqualified.

  • “Attach the following documents: Letter of Admission to the Institution CGPA result, National Identity Number, State of Origin Certificate, the ministry stated, adding the registration portal will be opened from 2nd April 2024 to 13th May 2024.
  • “Attach the following documents: Letter of Admission to the Institution CGPA result, National Identity Number, State of Origin Certificate, the ministry stated, adding the registration portal will be opened from 2nd April 2024 to 13th May 2024.
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Education

Nationwide strike imminent – ASUU

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Abuja chapter, has begun an indefinite strike to draw attention to developments bordering

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, had reiterated that it would declare a nationwide strike anytime soon following the federal government’s refusal to meet its demands despite consistent appeals.

While addressing journalists on Tuesday during a news conference at the University of Lagos, the coordinator of the Lagos zone of the union, Prof. Adelaja Odukoya, said the union was fast losing patience over government’s insensitivity to the plight of its members and that of the public universities.

Odukoya said the only saving grace that could stop them from embarking on the proposed industrial action is for the federal government to do the needful fast.

He spoke against the backdrop of the union’s National Executive Council, NEC, meeting held at the Obafemi Awołowo University, Ile-Ife, on May 11 and 12, 2024.

“Our union assessed the outcomes of its engagements with the state and federal governments over the last few months on matters pertaining to the status of developments around the renegotiated 2009 Agreement, payment of owed salaries and earned academic allowances (EAA), unremitted deductions made by the disruptive and discredited IPPIS, proliferation of universities, and a number of other matters.

“NEC also had a critical review of government policies and actions that had led to the present deteriorated living and working conditions across the country and in our universities, particularly,” he said.

According to him, most of the issues mentioned had been lingering and unaddressed by the government for many years.

He also debunked the threat of a ‘no work, no pay’ rule by the government, adding that the policy is unknown in global labour laws of which Nigeria is a signatory.

On the newly-constituted governing councils for federal universities, Odukoya described them as ‘illegal.’

He said ASUU had urged the federal government to recall them about a year ago to complete their tenures in line with the University Act upon which they were constituted.

“So, we are not talking about the personalities and composition of the list but the illegality of constituting new councils,” he added.

Odukoya called for proper funding of public universities rather than creating new ones, noting that it is far better to enhance the capacity and access of these universities and make them globally competitive.

He said ASUU would not relent in its struggles for better public university education and the country.

Source: Daily post

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How to apply for a student loan in Nigeria

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Students in federal government-owned tertiary institutions will be the first batch of beneficiaries of the student loan scheme.

The chief executive officer of Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND), Akintunde Sawyerr, stated this on Monday, May 20, while unfolding the conditions would-be beneficiaries will be required to meet.

The Nation reports that President Tinubu on April 3 signed into law the bill on the scheme in line with his electoral promise that no Nigerian student would drop out of school on account of lack of funds.

Applying for a student loan can be a daunting task, especially with the numerous forms and requirements involved.

However, with the right guidance, the process can be a smooth and straightforward one. In this essay, we will explore the step-by-step process of applying for a student loan, specifically through the NELFUND platform.

Here is how to apply for a student loan in Nigeria

  1. The first step in applying for a student loan through NELFUND is to log into the loan application portal on the NELFUND website (www.nelf.gov.ng).
  2. Once on the website, navigate to the student loan portal and create an account or log in if you already have an existing account. Creating an account is essential as it allows you to save your progress and access your application at any time.
  3. Once you have logged into the portal, you will be required to provide certain documents to complete your application. These documents typically include:

Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) admission letter,

National Identification Number (NIN),

Bank Verification Number (BVN).

These documents are necessary to verify your identity, academic status, and financial need, which are crucial factors in determining your eligibility for a student loan.

  1. After gathering all the necessary documents, you can proceed to fill out the loan application form. The form will require you to provide personal details such as your name, contact information, and date of birth, as well as academic information like your course of study, institution, and level of study. Additionally, you will need to provide details about your financial need, including information about your income, expenses, and any other sources of funding you may have.
  2. After completing the application form, it is essential to review it thoroughly before submitting it. Check for any errors or missing information and make sure all the required documents are attached. Once you are satisfied with your application, you can submit it through the portal.
  3. After submitting your application, you will receive a confirmation email from NELFUND with further instructions. This email may contain details about the next steps in the application process, such as providing additional documentation or attending an interview. It is crucial to follow these instructions promptly to ensure that your application is processed efficiently.

Applying for a student loan through NELFUND can be a straightforward process if you follow the steps outlined above. By logging into the loan application portal, creating an account, providing the necessary documents, completing the application form, and submitting it, you can increase your chances of securing the financial assistance you need to pursue your education.

Remember to review your application carefully and follow any instructions given to you by NELFUND to ensure a smooth application process.

Source: The Nation

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Student loan: 1.2m beneficiaries listed as scheme begins Friday

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The long-awaited student loan programme will take off on Friday with 1.2 million students in federal tertiary institutions across the country, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Education Loan Fund, Akintunde Sawyerr, has said.

Sawyerr, who spoke at a pre-application sensitisation press conference in Abuja, on Monday, said 1.2Student loan: 1.2m beneficiaries listed as scheme begins Friday million students in federal universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, and technical colleges would benefit from the first phase.

Data obtained from the National Universities Commission website indicated that the nation has 226 federal tertiary institutions comprising 62 universities, 41  polytechnics, 96 monotechnics and 27 colleges of education.

President Bola Tinubu, on April 3, signed the Student Loans (Access to Higher Education) Act (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, 2024, into law.

The assent was sequel to the separate considerations by both the Senate and the House of Representatives of the report of the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and the Tertiary Education Trust Fund.

The executive bill titled, ‘A bill for an Act to repeal the Students Loans (Access to Higher Education) Act, 2023 and Enact the Student Loans (Access to Higher Education) Bill, 2004 to Establish the Nigerian Education Loan Fund as a body corporate to receive, manage and invest funds to provide loans to Nigerians for higher education, vocational training and skills acquisition and related matters,’  was signed in the presence of the leadership of the National Assembly, ministers and major stakeholders of education.

The Act empowers the Nigeria Education Loan Fund to provide loans to qualified Nigerian students for tuition, fees, charges and upkeep during their studies in approved public tertiary institutions and vocational and skills acquisition establishments in the country.

The new law which repealed the Student Loan Act, 2023, removed the family income threshold so students can apply for loans and accept responsibility for repayment, according to the Fund’s guidelines.

Access to education

Speaking after he signed the bill, Tinubu said no Nigerian, regardless of their background, would be excluded from obtaining quality education.

This is to ensure that no one, no matter how poor their background is, is excluded from quality education and opportunity to build their future,” said the President at the State House, Abuja.

Although the government initially announced that the scheme would be launched in September, it suffered several delays leading to an indefinite postponement.

The Presidency had linked the delay to Tinubu’s directive to expand the scheme to include loans for vocational skills.

Last Thursday, the Nigerian Education Loan Fund announced May 24 as the official date for the opening of the portal for loan applications.

Addressing journalists on Monday, ahead of the opening of Friday’s portal, Sawyerr said, “There are approximately 1.2 million students in federal tertiary institutions owned by the government. Today, by inference, 1.2m  students maximum at the federal level (will benefit), but there might be an opportunity to increase the capacity in terms of more institutions, and when we begin to bring in state-owned institutions, then the numbers can go up.’’

He explained that only students whose institutions had uploaded their data on the Fund’s dashboard would be eligible to apply.

While calling on students in federal tertiary institutions to visit the website, www.nelf.gov.ng to apply from May 24, the CEO added that students in state universities and vocational skills centres could apply at a later date.

He said the requirements to apply include the admission letter from the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, National Identity Number, and Bank Verification Number as well as completed application forms from its website.

“The loan application process has been streamlined to ensure easy access for all eligible students in federal tertiary institutions. Applicants can access online support to assist with any questions or concerns during the application process.

“We believe that education is a vital investment for the future. We envisage that the student loan initiative of Mr President is a testament to this commitment,” he said.

One of the key features of the programme, he stressed, is the absence of physical contact between the loan applicant and NELFUND.

According to him, the portal provides a user-friendly interface for students to submit their loan applications conveniently.

Ex-minister, others urge FG to monitor student loan disbursement

He encouraged students in federal tertiary institutions to take advantage of the opportunity to secure the required financial assistance for their education, even as he urged the applicants to submit their applications as soon as possible to ensure timely processing.

He revealed that in addition to the interest-free loan, applicants will also receive monthly stipends for upkeep.

He, however, did not state the amount, saying, “That figure will be capped. And we will look very closely at each application and make a decision based on several factors as to what fees will be paid to them.’’

“The fees for the institution are going to be paid not to the students but to the institution. And that will be paid at the maximum of that fee per session. We will only pay for a session at a time because people drop out of institutions, they change institutions,” he clarified.

The NELFUND boss also pointed out that the institutions have vital roles to play in providing the Fund with data on fees payable by students at the departmental, faculty and other levels.

According to Sawyerr,  the agency is also working with security agencies to ensure that people do not take advantage and defraud the process.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has called on state governments to ensure responsible and transparent use of the matching grants allocated for the implementation of the Universal Basic Education Commission programme.

The Executive Secretary of UBEC, Dr Hamid Bobboyi,  emphasised the directive during the inauguration of a six-day training programme for accountants and auditors from UBEC and State Universal Basic Education Boards in Abuja.

Addressing the participants, Bobboyi condemned the undue pressure often placed on financial officers by state officials, urging SUBEBs’ financial officers to uphold integrity and resist such pressures to avoid compromising standards.

“The training aims to update participants on the revised accounting manual and to provide a comprehensive understanding of financial infractions and sanctions,” Bobboyi stated, adding, “This knowledge is essential for ensuring effective service delivery in basic education.”

Highlighting the mandates of UBEC and SUBEBs in implementing the Universal Basic Education programme, Bobboyi stressed the importance of a robust accounting system to ensure the judicious use of government funds.

He stressed the imperative of fidelity to accountability regarding the management of the Federal Government’s UBE Intervention Fund.

To achieve these objectives, continuous enhancement of professional competence among UBEC and SUBEB staff is necessary, he noted.

Bobboyi lamented that despite previous training efforts, there has been limited improvement in financial practices.

He cited findings from regular quarterly financial monitoring by UBEC, which revealed poor record-keeping and infractions against established guidelines.

He explained that the findings and recommendations from these monitoring activities had been communicated to SUBEBs for corrective actions.

Bobboyi stressed the importance of adhering to existing rules and guidelines to ensure accountability and transparency in financial transactions.

“As finance officers, it is your duty to comply strictly with these government stipulations. Engaging in or condoning wrongdoing will not be excused. Remember, reports from UBEC’s financial monitoring can be requested by agencies enforcing compliance with laws and regulations,’’ he warned the officials.

He further urged the participants to fully engage with the training and return to their offices equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to improve accounting practices at both the commission and boards.

To protect the FGN-UBE Intervention Fund, the Director of Finance and Accounts at UBEC, Adamu Misau, noted that a new sanction regime developed in 2022 had been approved for implementation.

The delay in its implementation, he said, was to ensure all financial managers received adequate training, which the current programme aimed to provide.

“We expect that by the end of this training, financial officers will be better prepared to manage the FGN-UBE Intervention Funds responsibly, adhering to financial regulations and due process,” Misau concluded.

Source: The punch.ng

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Student loan: 1.2m beneficiaries listed as scheme begins Friday

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The long-awaited student loan programme will take off on Friday with 1.2 million students in federal tertiary institutions across the country, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Education Loan Fund, Akintunde Sawyerr, has said.Student loan: Tinubu appoints new management team for NELFund

Sawyerr, who spoke at a pre-application sensitisation press conference in Abuja, on Monday, said 1.2 million students in federal universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, and technical colleges would benefit from the first phase.

Data obtained from the National Universities Commission website indicated that the nation has 226 federal tertiary institutions comprising 62 universities, 41  polytechnics, 96 monotechnics and 27 colleges of education.

President Bola Tinubu, on April 3, signed the Student Loans (Access to Higher Education) Act (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, 2024, into law.

The assent was sequel to the separate considerations by both the Senate and the House of Representatives of theStudent Loan Bill: Tinubu to establish education bank report of the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and the Tertiary Education Trust Fund.

The executive bill titled, ‘A bill for an Act to repeal the Students Loans (Access to Higher Education) Act, 2023 and Enact the Student Loans (Access to Higher Education) Bill, 2004 to Establish the Nigerian Education Loan Fund as a body corporate to receive, manage and invest funds to provide loans to Nigerians for higher education, vocational training and skills acquisition and related matters,’  was signed in the presence of the leadership of the National Assembly, ministers and major stakeholders of education.

The Act empowers the Nigeria Education Loan Fund to provide loans to qualified Nigerian students for tuition, fees, charges and upkeep during their studies in approved public tertiary institutions and vocational and skills acquisition establishments in the country.

The new law which repealed the Student Loan Act, 2023, removed the family income threshold so students can apply for loans and accept responsibility for repayment, according to the Fund’s guidelines.

Access to education

Speaking after he signed the bill, Tinubu said no Nigerian, regardless of their background, would be excluded from obtaining quality education.

This is to ensure that no one, no matter how poor their background is, is excluded from quality education and opportunity to build their future,” said the President at the State House, Abuja.

Although the government initially announced that the scheme would be launched in September, it suffered several delays leading to an indefinite postponement.

The Presidency had linked the delay to Tinubu’s directive to expand the scheme to include loans for vocational skills.

Last Thursday, the Nigerian Education Loan Fund announced May 24 as the official date for the opening of the portal for loan applications.

Addressing journalists on Monday, ahead of the opening of Friday’s portal, Sawyerr said, “There are approximately 1.2 million students in federal tertiary institutions owned by the government. Today, by inference, 1.2m  students maximum at the federal level (will benefit), but there might be an opportunity to increase the capacity in terms of more institutions, and when we begin to bring in state-owned institutions, then the numbers can go up.’’

He explained that only students whose institutions had uploaded their data on the Fund’s dashboard would be eligible to apply.

While calling on students in federal tertiary institutions to visit the website, www.nelf.gov.ng to apply from May 24, the CEO added that students in state universities and vocational skills centres could apply at a later date.

He said the requirements to apply include the admission letter from the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, National Identity Number, and Bank Verification Number as well as completed application forms from its website.

“The loan application process has been streamlined to ensure easy access for all eligible students in federal tertiary institutions. Applicants can access online support to assist with any questions or concerns during the application process.

“We believe that education is a vital investment for the future. We envisage that the student loan initiative of Mr President is a testament to this commitment,” he said.

One of the key features of the programme, he stressed, is the absence of physical contact between the loan applicant and NELFUND.

According to him, the portal provides a user-friendly interface for students to submit their loan applications conveniently.

Ex-minister, others urge FG to monitor student loan disbursement

He encouraged students in federal tertiary institutions to take advantage of the opportunity to secure the required financial assistance for their education, even as he urged the applicants to submit their applications as soon as possible to ensure timely processing.

He revealed that in addition to the interest-free loan, applicants will also receive monthly stipends for upkeep.

He, however, did not state the amount, saying, “That figure will be capped. And we will look very closely at each application and make a decision based on several factors as to what fees will be paid to them.’’

“The fees for the institution are going to be paid not to the students but to the institution. And that will be paid at the maximum of that fee per session. We will only pay for a session at a time because people drop out of institutions, they change institutions,” he clarified.

The NELFUND boss also pointed out that the institutions have vital roles to play in providing the Fund with data on fees payable by students at the departmental, faculty and other levels.

According to Sawyerr,  the agency is also working with security agencies to ensure that people do not take advantage and defraud the process.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has called on state governments to ensure responsible and transparent use of the matching grants allocated for the implementation of the Universal Basic Education Commission programme.

The Executive Secretary of UBEC, Dr Hamid Bobboyi,  emphasised the directive during the inauguration of a six-day training programme for accountants and auditors from UBEC and State Universal Basic Education Boards in Abuja.

Addressing the participants, Bobboyi condemned the undue pressure often placed on financial officers by state officials, urging SUBEBs’ financial officers to uphold integrity and resist such pressures to avoid compromising standards.

“The training aims to update participants on the revised accounting manual and to provide a comprehensive understanding of financial infractions and sanctions,” Bobboyi stated, adding, “This knowledge is essential for ensuring effective service delivery in basic education.”

Highlighting the mandates of UBEC and SUBEBs in implementing the Universal Basic Education programme, Bobboyi stressed the importance of a robust accounting system to ensure the judicious use of government funds.

He stressed the imperative of fidelity to accountability regarding the management of the Federal Government’s UBE Intervention Fund.

To achieve these objectives, continuous enhancement of professional competence among UBEC and SUBEB staff is necessary, he noted.

Bobboyi lamented that despite previous training efforts, there has been limited improvement in financial practices.

He cited findings from regular quarterly financial monitoring by UBEC, which revealed poor record-keeping and infractions against established guidelines.

He explained that the findings and recommendations from these monitoring activities had been communicated to SUBEBs for corrective actions.

Bobboyi stressed the importance of adhering to existing rules and guidelines to ensure accountability and transparency in financial transactions.

“As finance officers, it is your duty to comply strictly with these government stipulations. Engaging in or condoning wrongdoing will not be excused. Remember, reports from UBEC’s financial monitoring can be requested by agencies enforcing compliance with laws and regulations,’’ he warned the officials.

He further urged the participants to fully engage with the training and return to their offices equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to improve accounting practices at both the commission and boards.

To protect the FGN-UBE Intervention Fund, the Director of Finance and Accounts at UBEC, Adamu Misau, noted that a new sanction regime developed in 2022 had been approved for implementation.

The delay in its implementation, he said, was to ensure all financial managers received adequate training, which the current programme aimed to provide.

“We expect that by the end of this training, financial officers will be better prepared to manage the FGN-UBE Intervention Funds responsibly, adhering to financial regulations and due process,” Misau concluded.

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Meet the UTME top scorers from 2013 to 2023

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The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) on Monday, April 29, 2024 announced the release of the just concluded Unified

The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) on Monday, April 29, 2024 announced the release of the just concluded Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) results.

The tertiary institutions entrance examination for 2024 commenced on Friday, April 19, and was concluded on Monday, April 29, 2024.

Ishaq Oloyede, the registrar/chief executive officer at JAMB, announced this at a press conference held at the board’s headquarters, Bwari, in Abuja, when he explained that more than 1.94 million candidates registered and sat the examination in 118 towns and over 700 centres across the country.

However, the board is yet to announce the top scorers of the 2024 UTME against the tradition of announcing candidates who performed so well in the examination for special media and public applause.

Here is a throwback of how some students came tops in past JAMB-UTME.

In 2013, Olise Israel Chukwunalu with a record score of 299 emerged as the top scorer in the examination. He gained admission into the University of Ibadan, where he studied medicine and surgery.

Similarly, Onomejoh Princewill with a score of 299 emerged as the top scorer in 2014. Onomejoh gained admission into the University of Benin (UNIBEN) where he graduated with first class.

2015 witnessed double winners in the UTME in the persons of In Ilukwe Lottachukwu Geraldine emerged as the highest-scoring candidate in 2015 with a 332 score. Ilukwe from Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja, later went to study at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in England.

In 2016, there was a tie as Akenbor Adesuwa Osarugue and Anonye Victory Emenike both scored 359 to emerge the top scorers in the examination.

Adesuwa was admitted as a medical student at the University of Benin, while Anonye was a student of medicine and surgery at the University of Jos.

Akingbulugbe Precious Ayomide emerged as the highest scorer in 2017 with 353. While in 2018, Galadima Israel Zakari was the top scorer with 364. He gained admission into Covenant University, where he studied electrical and electronics engineering.

2019 saw Ezeunala Ekene Franklin, a 15-year-old student emerge top scorer with 347. Maduafokwa Egoagwuagwu Agnes emerged as the highest-scoring candidate in UTME with 365 in 2020.

Monwuba Chibuzo Chibuikem was announced as the top scorer in 2021 having recorded 358 over 400.

Adebayo Eyimofe Oluwatofunmi emerged as the highest-scoring candidate in 2022, while Nkechinyere Umeh was the top scorer in 2023 with 360 over 400.

JAMB was established in 1978, and since then, some candidates have stood out due to their academic performance. Who will wear the academic top scorer’s crown for UTME in 2024; all eyes are on JAMB, the umpire board for the examination.

 

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JAMB, NCC examine specialised SIM cards for students

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said the suspension of issuance of the three telecoms licences namely: Interconnect

The Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Ishaq Oloyede, has disclosed ongoing dialogues with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) concerning the provision of specialised SIM cards for students, which would feature limited services.

Professor Oloyede, accentuating the mounting importance of candidates’ registered telephone numbers, underscored that these SIM cards have become indispensable for executing sensitive operations.

Addressing the media in Lagos on Monday, the Registrar revealed the novel procedure for admission acceptance.

He stated, “A candidate may either transmit ACCEPT or REJECT via their dedicated telephone line to 55019/66019, or personally endorse or decline any offer of admission (inclusive of programme alterations) using their fingerprint at an authorised CBT centre or any JAMB office.”

“These freshly devised methods for admission decisions are designed to safeguard the candidates’ information and maintain the integrity of the admission process.”

“With the introduction of this method, the significance of the candidates’ registered telephone (SIM) has escalated, as it is now pivotal for conducting increasingly sensitive operations. We are currently in negotiations with the NCC to establish dedicated SIMs for students with restricted functionalities.”

Out of the 1,842,464 candidates whose results from the 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination were released by JAMB on Monday, seventy-seven percent scored below 200.

Professor Oloyede provided a detailed analysis of the released results, noting that “8,401 candidates achieved scores of 300 and above; 77,070 candidates attained 250 and above; 439,974 candidates scored 200 and above, while 1,402,490 candidates scored below 200.”

JAMB anticipates declaring the minimum threshold for admissions for the 2024/2025 academic year at its forthcoming policy meeting.

Historically, the admission benchmark for universities has fluctuated between 180 and 200.

 

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