Only 4,522 of 55,223 candidates who applied were able to secure admission into University of Calabar for the new academic session, the institution’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. James Epoke, has said.

Epoke who disclosed this while administering the oath of matriculation on the new students on Friday in Calabar described the matriculation ceremony “as the occasion for a privileged few”.

He said the 50,701 applicants were rejected at the point of screening since the university could only admit few new students.

“Based on our quota, we could only admit 4,522 into our various departments,’’ the vice-chancellor said.

He said 3,467 of the candidates admitted were for Science-based courses while 1,055 were for Arts-related courses.

Epoke pointed out that those admitted account for about eight per cent, with about 92 per cent of those who applied unsuccessful.

He however explained that the high rate of failure was not as a result of academic defficiency.

“It was not as if all the 50,701 candidates were not admissible. Rather, it was all due to our `carrying capacity’.

“Cut-off points were set to accommodate the numbers we can carry in the different programmes,’’ the vice-chancellor said.

He noted that competition for admission was made stiffer by more subscription into the professional courses like Medicine and Surgery and Law.

?“There were limited spaces in such programmes.

“Thus, candidates who ordinarily would have easily secured admission into other programmes are annually unable to get places in the over-subscribed courses,'' Epoke said.

He also advised candidates to diversify their interest in order to reduce frustration.

“You should regard yourselves as the very privileged `chosen few’ as it is said. In fact, `many are called but few are chosen’,” the vice-chancellor said.