Nigerian students are no longer interested in studying in the UK, new report finds

Monday, February 19, 2024 -Nigerian students are increasingly turning away from pursuing their undergraduate studies in the United Kingdom. Official statistics released last week reveal that the number of applicants from Nigeria has declined by a staggering 46 per cent, more than any other country in the period under review.

According to reports, the notable decrease in applications from Nigerian students is believed to be closely associated with the weakening of the naira and the visa restrictions preventing them from bringing along dependents or close family members to the UK. The report highlighted that Nigerian students had the highest number of dependents brought in by international students as of September 2023.

In comparison, Nigerian applications witnessed a sharp decline of 46 per cent, totalling 1,590 applications, more than any other country.

Data from the UK Universities and College Admissions Service (UCAS) on undergraduate student applicants for the 2024-25 academic year also revealed a 1% decline in UK applicants from a year earlier. However, the overall number of The Economic Times of India also reported a mirroring trend observed among Indian students who are increasingly losing interest in pursuing their undergraduate studies in the United Kingdom. The report noted that Indian student applications fell by 4 per cent compared to the previous year, amounting to 8,770 applications.

applicants remains well above pre-pandemic levels

Nigerian students had the highest number of dependents brought in by international students as of September 2023.

"While today's data shows a decline in applications from mature students, which will be more keenly felt in some subjects such as nursing, we know that these applicants are more likely to apply later in the cycle," Dr. Jo Saxton, Chief Executive at UCAS, said.

"For any students who missed the deadline or are still undecided on their next steps into higher education, they can still apply until June 30, and afterwards directly to Clearing, and plenty of choices still remain. There is a wealth of support, guidance, and tips on the UCAS website to help anyone make informed choices about their futures," she added.

In December 2023, the Rishi Sunak-led government announced a review of the Graduate Route visa, allowing graduates to stay and gain work experience in the UK for at least two years after completing their degree. According to experts, potential changes to the UK's visa policy may reduce the appeal of UK universities to overseas students.

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