Between 2015 and the end of 2022, a total of 128,770 Nigerian students registered at British institutions in quest of a better education and quality of life, according to a study of data acquired from the UK’s Higher Education Statistics Agency.
As Nigerians attempt to flee the horrors of poor governance and the disruption of academic activities by tertiary institutions-based unions like the Academic Staff Union of Universities and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, among others, the number of Nigerian students has increased over time.
Statistics show that 16,100 Nigerians were enrolled at UK institutions during the 2015–2016 academic year.
Only 12,655 Nigerians signed up for classes during the 2016–2017 academic year, a dramatic fall that analysts attribute to the recession in Nigeria. The number of Nigerian students enrolling decreased from 10,685 in 2017–2018 to 10,810 in the 2018–2019 academic year.
In the academic year 2019–2020, there were 13,020 students registered in total. In the next year, 2020–2021, there were 21,305 students enrolled, a 64 percent increase.
The most students have been registered for a session since Nigeria’s independence in 1960—44,195—according to the most recent data made available by HESA. Nigeria placed third in the top 10 foreign students list, after China and India, according to a breakdown of the HESA figures. The movement of Nigerian students to overseas schools has continued to be advantageous for foreign postsecondary institutions and their home nations.
For instance, according to a survey by SBM Intelligence, Nigerian students and their dependents in the United Kingdom contributed an estimated £1.9 billion to the UK economy in 2021.
Poor government policies are one of the reasons Nigerians look for better prospects overseas, according to Ayodamola Oluwatoyin, a prominent advocate for education and the director of Reform Education Nigeria.
Meanwhile, The United Kingdom is set to announce new restrictions that will most likely stop Nigerian students and other nationalities studying in the UK from bringing their families over. According to an exclusive report by The Sun UK, this crackdown will be announced this week.