It’s good for universities to raise entry points — UNEB boss

It’s good for universities to raise entry points — UNEB boss

Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) chairperson Prof. Celestino Obua says it is good for public universities to raise admission cutoff points this year.


Obua, who is also Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) vice-chancellor, made the remarks on March 9, 2024, while featuring on the weekly Urban TV morning talk show, Press Wall.


Saturday’s two-hour show, which starts at 9:00am, also had Kampala International University vice-chancellor Prof. Mouhamad Mpezamihigo and Ndejje SSS deputy director of studies Brenda Ampumuza.


Also on the show was the national chairperson of the Uganda Science Professional Teachers’ Union Vincent Elong and Nabisunsa Girls’ School’s Aaliyah Ssanyu, who scored 19 points in science subjects in the recently released Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) examination results.


Asked whether he expects public universities to raise entry cutoff points following the improved performance in the 2023 UACE exams, Obua said: “Yes, it is likely that the cutoff points might be high this year because of the good performance of students, but that is good for the admitting institution because you know you are getting good quality students into your programme”.


Cut-off points are not predetermined


He added that cutoff points are not predetermined.


“Universities do not set cut-off points before admitting students. Cutoff points are determined by the number of students who have applied and the number of students the institution wants to admit. We normally rank the students from the best performers to the lowest performers for that particular programme and the points that would have been generated by those candidates,” Obua said.


Obua noted that if there are a thousand students and they want to admit 20 as MUST, for example, they admit the first 20 and the point where the 20th candidate gets would be the cutoff point.


“So, it is not something predetermined; it can be high, it can be low depending on the number of students that the institution wants to admit,” he said.


An analysis of the overall candidates’ performance in the examination shows that a very high percentage of candidates (99.1%) qualified for the award of the UACE, just as was in 2022.


UNEB executive secretary Dan Odongo said while releasing the results on March 7, 2024, that university admissions to degree courses have, up to date, been considering two principal-level passes as the minimum requirement.


“If this consideration is maintained, 80,643 (73.7%) qualify to be admitted, compared to 67,815 (70.3%) in 2022. This is consistent with the fact that there was better overall performance and a significant increase in entries for the examination in 2023. In cases where one principal and two subsidiary pass levels are considered for admission to other tertiary institutions, 90.7% of the candidates will qualify,” he said.

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