Nigerian Students Seek Education Abroad Amid UK Visa Restrictions
Visa restrictions drive Nigerian students to seek education in alternative global destinations
A significant number of Nigerian students are choosing to study abroad in countries other than the UK due to the implementation of visa restrictions on dependent visas for families of international students. These students are exploring alternative destinations in Europe and Asia, where tuition fees are more affordable and restrictions are less stringent.
The PIE News reported a notable decline in interest in UK study programmes, with some platforms reporting a reduction of up to 40% in inquiries. This shift is attributed to the visa restrictions and the depreciation of the Nigerian naira, which has made studying abroad more expensive.
Italy, Finland, and Austria are among the European destinations gaining popularity among Nigerian students. Australia and New Zealand are also attracting increasing numbers of Nigerian students.
A survey conducted by QS revealed that nearly 25% of international students indicated that they would be less likely to consider the UK as a study destination following the ban on postgraduate taught students bringing dependents. This policy change has been met with criticism, with some labelling it as discriminatory.
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Canada has emerged as a popular alternative for Nigerian students, with nearly 18,000 study permits issued to Nigerians in the first six months of 2023. This represents a 44% increase compared to the whole of 2022.
The number of Nigerians studying in the US has also increased by 22.2%, with enrollment reaching 17,640 in the 2022/23 academic year. Nigeria is the only African country among the top 10 countries with the highest number of students in America.
Despite the challenges posed by the naira depreciation and visa restrictions, Nigerian students remain determined to pursue international education opportunities. They are exploring alternative destinations and seeking affordable options to fulfil their academic aspirations.