With more universities opening across the country in the last decade, the number of students gaining admissions into specialised and competitive degree courses has steadily grown.
But when it comes to Medicine, four states have dominated admission trends for at least five years, consistently trouncing the other 32 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
The states are Imo, Anambra, Delta and Enugu.
Between 2011 and 2015, these states had more students gaining admission to study Medicine than any other state, data from the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) show.
In the five years, the four states — except Anambra — remained in the top five, an analysis of the data by PREMIUM TIMES has shown. Anambra took second position for four years, before dropping to sixth position in 2015.
Only two other states managed to break into the top five briefly. Osun took fifth position twice and fourth position once; while Edo took third position once, and fifth position once.
The data, covering 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, are for students admitted through test-based examinations conducted by JAMB.
JAMB’s admission process is guided by merit, university catchment area and grants advantage to educationally-less developed states.
The JAMB data were verified and validated by the National Bureau of Statistics, the bureau said.
Together, they provide an important glimpse into how the nation’s 36 states and Abuja compete when benchmarked by university admissions into various academic disciplines each year.
PREMIUM TIMES analysis is focused on three of the most competitive courses: Medicine, Engineering and Law.
In follow-up reports, this newspaper will evaluate the trend in Engineering and Law.
For Medicine, while Imo had 1,940 students admitted into various universities in 2011, Anambra followed with 1,536 and Enugu was third with 1,280. Delta came fourth with 1,137 and Abia was fifth with 931 students.
In 2012, the four states again made the top five. Imo emerged first with 1,841 students, Anambra followed with 1,473 and Delta came third, while 1,305, Enugu came fourth with 1,247.
That year, Osun placed fifth with 958 students admitted into Medicine.
Imo continued its leadership of the chart in 2013 with 2,395 students admitted to study Medicine, while Anambra again followed with 1,645 and Delta came third with 1,618. Enugu came fourth with 1,422. Fifth position was snatched by Edo with 1,256 students.
In 2014, Imo had 1,588 students, Anambra followed with 1,511; Delta came third with 1,170, Enugu came fourth with 1,161.
Osun reclaimed the fifth position with 1,146.
In 2015, positions changed significantly, with Delta jumping to first position with 1814 students.
Imo dropped to second with 1,727, while Edo came third with 1,510. Osun was fourth with 1,447 and Enugu, with 1,390, took fifth.
For the first time in five years, Anambra slumped to sixth position.
Hassan Soweto, who coordinates a civil rights group, Education Rights Campaign, said the admission pattern reflects the funding of education in the country.
Mr. Soweto assessed the states doing better as “one-eyed kings in the land of the blind”, saying even they have poor funding for education.
“It means that some states are doing a bit better while some are doing poorly in the midst of crisis because it does not mean the sector is well funded,” he said.
At the lowest rung of the admission table are FCT, Yobe, Zamfara and Jigawa.
FCT had the least in the five years with only 24 students admitted into Medicine in 2011.
It had 20 students in 2012, 46 students in 2013, 38 students in 2014 and 40 students in 2015.
Six other states also had a poor record of students who got admission to study Medicine.
In 2011, Yobe had 64 students, followed by Zamfara with 68 students. Jigawa had 74 while Taraba had 82 students.
Similarly in 2012, Yobe had 36 students that studied Medicine, followed by Bauchi with 48 students, Adamawa with 56 students and Zamfara had 69 students.
In 2013, Zamfara had 117 students who got admitted to study Medicine, followed by Adamawa with 121 students. Yobe had 124 students while Taraba had 128 students.
In 2014, Zamfara had 49 students who got admission to study medicine. Zamfara had 49 students, Kebbi had 78, Nassarawa had 106 and Taraba had108 students.
Also in 2015, Zamfara had 54 students who got admission to study medicine , kebbi had 95 students, sokoto had 105 and Jigawa had 111 students.
Mr. Soweto said the resources provided for states that are educationally disadvantaged in the northern states especially are not used for what they are provided for.
According to him, the pattern reflects the decline in funding in the northern state, decayed facilities in schools in the far north and quality of teachers in schools.