LASG backs 18 as minimum age requirement for undergraduate admission

Lagos State Government on Tuesday threw its back to the proposal to increase the minimum age requirement for university admission to 18 years, saying physical and mental maturity needed at higher education level.

This was disclosed by the State Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Mr Tolani Sule during a ministerial press briefing to mark the first year of the State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s second term in office at Alausa, Ikeja.

Sule, who expressed the readiness of the state government to implement the policy, explained that graduates of universities are expected to be fit for societal challenges after graduation.

The Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, had recently hinted that the Federal Government would review age requirement for admission into tertiary institutions in the country.

The minister who pegged 18 years as benchmark for admission into universities, advised parents not to push their underage wards to higher education, especially university education, below the age of 18.

Prof. Mamman made the pronouncement after monitoring the just-concluded Unified Tertiary matriculation Examination, UTME, in some of the centres in Abuja.

The minister said he was not happy with the age of some candidates that applied to write the examination, noting that they were still far before required age to seek admission into universities.

“The other thing which we noticed is the age of those who have applied to go to the university. Some of them are really too young. We are going to look at it because they are too young to understand what the university education is all about.

“That’s the stage when students migrate from a controlled environment where they are in charge of their own affairs. So if they are too young, they won’t be able to manage properly.That accounts to some of the problems we are seeing in the universities,” the minister stated.

While defending the policy, Lagos Commissioner stressed that there is an automated system in place in the state tommake the implementation worked seamlessly.

Sule said, “As per the age of entering universities, it is a national policy. Before the new pronouncement, it is 16 years. Even LASU, it is so strict and to some extent it is said we are over strict.”

He reiterated, “LASU administration process is digitalized, the system will cut you off if you are not 16 years by October 21. The NIN has indicated your date of birthday and this is indicated in your data process, there is no way LASU can admit you if you are not 16.

“The decision to increase it to 18 is well informed one going by what is happening in our campuses. Some of our children get negative intervention because of their ages. They are not physically prepared for university education. You have to prepare mentally.

“You see parents will be carrying their children from one class to another, this comes with naivety. They can be tricked and they can be lied to. The idea is good for the students, for the parents and for the society.”

The Commissioner cited a scenario where a fresh graduate got a job and squandered the first salary he received because he did not know the value.

“Being prepared for work, most of them cannot take bus to office for themselves. So physical capacity, maturity of mind is needed.

“A graduate who received first salary and went to eatery and invited other people because he didn’t know the value.

“The idea of making it 18 is as a result of of loopholes,” adding three is not students can bypass the process in the state universities because it is digitalized.

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