Nigerians recently woke up to news of a possible university admission age increase from 16 years old to 18 years old, and many people weren’t pleased. Students already have to worry about increased school fees and multiple ASUU strikes, yet the Federal Government wants to add to it?

What do Nigerians who’ve passed through university think about this? We spoke to Nigerian graduates who were admitted into university between the ages of 15 – 16 years old and asked if they’d change anything about becoming undergraduates so young. 


I’m petite, and I was extra small when I got into university that my classmates called me baby of the class. It wasn’t great at the time, but I wouldn’t change a thing now. 

ASUU strikes increased my four years to six years, and I left uni at 22. If I’d been older in my first year, I probably wouldn’t have left until I was 24 or 26. Yet banks don’t even accept graduates older than 26. 

The age I graduated allowed me to do some career trial and error and take up jobs just for the money. I’d have felt pressured if I was older.


I got into university at 15 and graduated at 19. I liked it because I had a delusional plan — make bastard money at 22 and marry by 25.

Now, I’m not sure entering uni so early was a good idea. I was immature and made a lot of mistakes. I was just following friends and dating people I shouldn’t have even been friends with. Parents need to think twice about sending impressionable children away to school so early. 17 for university is a good age.


I left university at 20 and went on to study another four-year course a year later because I only went for my first degree to please my parents. I wouldn’t have had the courage to do that if I’d finished my first degree at 24. 

Not everyone will have the privilege to get into uni early, but we shouldn’t take away that option. Most of us don’t enter school knowing what we want to do with our lives. Starting early gives you time to experiment.


I entered university at 16, but if I knew what I know now, I’d have convinced my parents to let me wait till I was 18 years old. At least it’d have delayed my journey to adulthood by a few years. There’s nothing we’re rushing to do in this world. Now it’s just to work and work every day.


If I had the chance again, I’d still choose to get admitted into university early. There’s no point delaying the move if you’re done with secondary school. Young people everywhere are doing great things. It’s not until you’re 18 that you’ll automatically have sense. That’s a limiting mindset.


I don’t think 16 is too young for university. I was admitted at 16 too, and I like to think I’m a well-rounded adult today. If not for JAMB delays, I might’ve entered at 15. I’d have been okay with that, too. We need to understand that young people grow up faster these days. They need to know what they’re doing early so they don’t put that excess energy into something else.


I’m glad I entered university early because of the multiple ASUU strikes. I ended up spending seven years in school instead of five and still graduated at 23. Maybe in a world without strikes, I’d advocate for allowing young people to stay kids for longer. But that’s a luxury in Nigeria.

*Some names have been changed for anonymity.

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