How Slots, “Runs” and Admission Processing work in OAU
I want to start this article going straight to the point as early as possible, because I know very well anyone who is interested in this write-up because of its title wouldn’t want to spend so much time on reading something too long. So let’s get to this already.
Being a “runsman” (as they address us), I have gotten to be in conversations with candidates and parents who only know there are things called slots, “runs”, and admission processing, but really don’t understand how they work. I have also conversed with candidates and parents who don’t even know a thing about all these things I just mentioned. Hence, it becomes a call on a runsman cum blogger like me to take advantage of blogging to explain this issue which causes problems for OAU runsmen like me. I’ll start from explaining how slots work in OAU.
As far as I know, every higher institution of learning in Nigeria gives a certain number of slots to many of their staffs and executives, and OAU is not an exemption to this. Also, all of these schools have how their own slots work, so does OAU. Now this is how slots work in OAU; staffs and executives of the school are given slots because working in a school makes people always come to them to make requests for admission, and this is why the departmental cutoffs don’t affect people who slots are used for. Meaning, if a slot is used for you, all you just have to do is have the basic requirements for the department you are considered for and you are good for admission. For better explanation (before the advent of this current post-UTME scoring system OAU is using) the basic requirement for consideration for admission to OAU was having at least 200/400 in the UTME and also 200/400 in the post-UTME. When you have gotten these, and you are a slot candidate, it wouldn’t matter what the cutoff of the department you are considered for is, you will be offered the admission. What I'm saying is, let’s say you are a slot candidate aspiring the Department of Economics, the cutoff of Economics is 270 but you have only scored 200. Don’t worry; if truly a slot in Economics is used for you, you are gaining your admission; this is how slots work, and as it was then, so it is now that we are using the “aggregate score” to determine who is “Eligible for Admission” and who is “Not Eligible for Admission”. This time, all you just have to do is be “Eligible for Admission”, whether you have the departmental cutoff or not, if a slot is used for you truly, you are surely gaining your admission to the department the slot is from. However, if you are getting a slot, just always make sure it’s genuine; there are fake slots out there.
I know too many people think slot and runs mean the same, but I tell you verily, they may in other schools, but I assure you they don’t mean the same in OAU. Now, let’s set this record straight once and for all. I have explained what slots mean in OAU and how they work, so compare that with this explanation of runs I'm about to give. Generally, the term “runs” (as a noun) is no English word, it’s only generated to fit the mention of all the running around you will have to do in the course of seeking a thing or wanting something to happen, and it fits well into describing all the seeking and wanting something to happen in admission processing; that’s why all the running around in seeking admission is referred to as “runs” while the person/people doing the running around for others is/are called “runsman”/“runsmen” . This makes the job of the runsman limited to just helping you do what you want to do but can’t do. You already have your strategies, your people, your links or even your qualifying admission requirements, but you need someone on ground for prompt and reliable information and for responsiveness to your admission needs, a runsman is what you need here. However, most runsmen—though the school doesn’t give them slots but because of the relationship they have with so many staffs and the executives of the university—they have more slots even than the Vice-Chancellor; I’m not joking here. For instance, I’ve been a runsman in OAU since 2007, I have built this paddy-paddy relationship with at least 30 OAU lecturers (ranging from the level of Mr. to Prof.), I have cordial relationship with at least 50 nonacademic staffs and good number of Personal Assistants and Personal Secretaries of the executives of the school; so just imagine how many slots I have access to per session. All I'm saying is, a runsman is the person you need if you need a slot, because they have more slots and they put you in mind even than the staffs and excos. However, even when the runsman has used a slot for you, you still have to hold on to him very well as there is something called slot-swapping here in OAU (my next write-up will explain this).
However, of all that’s been explained, admission processing covers them all. Admission processing starts from when the UTME form is obtained, to the level of guidance for the appropriate course, to the level of providing materials, information and strategies for gaining the admission, and doing the running around till the admission is gained. I only get to have 10-15 of candidates like this per session. In fact I bring them down to Ife for specialized tutoring for the UTME and post-UTME with fine hostel provided for them. It is almost impossible for any candidate to not get admission to their aspired department on merit when all these processes are gone through as recommended. There is slot, there is “runs”, but admission processing covers them all. There are reasons why sending your ward/child to Ife as early as they are ripe to write UTME works; the school environment itself is a motivation to aspirants, and also, the best tutors who understand how to get into OAU easily can only be found around OAU. Send your kid to Ife sir/ma if you really want that admission for them, they will not die! Quote me anywhere sir/ma, the tendency of being admitted on merit to the desired department in OAU after studying in Ife for the UTME and also for the post-UTME is almost 100%.