Improved A-level performance leads to higher cutoff points
Admission to public universities will be much harder this academic year, according to the just-released cutoff points for government scholarships. Sources have told The Observer that the cutoff points were ready, save for some minor adjustments still to be made. But what is glaringly clear is that the improved performance at A-level led to a significant hike in the admission points for most of the courses at public universities.
The stiffest cutoff point was reserved for the Bachelor of Laws degree at Makerere, which saw the cutoff points (derived from the pre-entry exams), hiked from 63 in the last year to 71, this year. Next in line is the Bachelor of Petroleum Geosciences and Production at 54.5 from 52.3; the Bachelor of Pharmacy at 54.4, up from 51.3; then the Bachelor of Population Studies at 53.7, from 51.6 last year.
Admission to the medical school for Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery is stiffest at Makerere University at 52.5, ahead of Mbarara at 51, with Gulu at 50.4. However, students applying to upcountry universities will realise a slight dip in admission cutoff points. For instance, cutoffs for seven of the 12 courses at Gulu University dropped, including the popular Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of Development Studies.
“Admission cutoff points are determined by the performance of the students applying to a particular institution; so, if there are a lot of students with a good performance, then the entry points are bound to be stiffer,” said a source conversant with the admissions.
Even at Makerere, the once popular Bachelor of Computer Science saw a dip in cutoff points from 51.4 last year to 49.6 this year. The Bachelor of Architecture dipped from 52 to 50.2, as did the Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from 43.3 to 42.2.
The cutoff points are an indicator to admissions for public universities, which are due before the end of this week. Some 4,000 students will be admitted under the government sponsorship scheme, the same as last year, however, many of those who performed well will miss admission, owing to the higher cutoff points.
Unlike the other public universities, Busitema University has separate admission cutoff points for male and female applicants for each of its courses. Only the Bachelor of Science in Nursing has separate cutoff entry points at each of the two universities, Makerere and Mbarara, where it is offered.