TODAY NICARAGUA – Less than 7% of recent high school graduates who took the National Engineering University’s (UNI) entrance exams this month passed, marking a slight improvement from last year’s results.

Of the 2,656 aspiring university students who took the entrance exam to compete for one of 1,500 spots in the 2014 freshman class, only 203 passed with a grade above 60 (the average score of those who passed was 75%), according to UNI officials. Only four students scored a perfect 100.

uni-insideThe other 1,297 spots in the freshman class will be filled by students who failed the exam, but were accepted anyway based on geographical, gender and socio-economic quotas. Those students are expected to catch-up with their peers along the way. In other words, 90% of the UNI’s freshmen class will start the year as stragglers.

Some of the students who were not elected to enter the freshmen class will be given a prep year by the university to make up for their faulty high school education.

While the numbers are troubling to some, they look like progress in the eyes of extreme optimists. Only 136 of 2,400 perspective freshmen (6%) passed last year’s entrance exams. At that rate of improvement, 50% of incoming freshmen will pass the UNI entrance exam by the year 2057.


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