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Number of Nigerian students coming to Britain rises by 686% in three years to record high of 65,929

The number of Nigerian students coming to Britain rises 686% in three years to a record high of 65,929 – while the number from India rises 215% to 117,965

  • Nigerian citizens are now the UK’s third largest international student group
  • 65,929 Nigerians were granted a sponsored study visa in the year prior to June
  • It represents a 686 percent increase in pre-pandemic numbers
  • While the cost for home students has been capped at £9,250, international students now pay £24,000

Nigerian students have become the third largest foreign student group in the UK, following in the footsteps of India and China – following a 686 percent earthquake since pre-pandemic.

Figures from the Ministry of Interior show that 65,929 Nigerian nationals were granted a sponsored study visa in the year ending June 2022.

This is an increase of 57,545 (686 percent) from 2019, when 8,384 were given.

In total, the number of international students increased by 71 percent during that period, with 486,868 student visas granted to main applicants and their family members in the year to June – 202,147 more than 2019.

Nigerian students have become the third largest overseas student group in the UK, following in the footsteps of India and China

Nigerian students have become the third largest overseas student group in the UK, following in the footsteps of India and China

A spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior said: “[This] is the highest ever in our time series, with the substantial increase representing both a recovery from lower numbers during the Covid-19 pandemic and an increase in the pre-pandemic period.”

There were 117,965 grants to Indian citizens this year, up 215 percent from 2019.

Chinese citizens were the second most common nationality with 115,056 visas granted, albeit 4 percent lower than in 2019.

Non-Russell universities now account for 56 percent of all CAS used in study visa applications. This is the highest CAS percentage of the non-Russell group since the start of the sponsorship time series in 2010.

The head of student processing group Ucas has said more students from Nigeria, Ghana and Vietnam should be recruited amid a row over international admissions – accusing some universities wanting to take advantage of the higher fees paid by foreign students.

Figures from the Ministry of Interior show that 65,929 Nigerian nationals obtained a sponsored study visa in the year ending to June 2022.  This is an increase of 57,545 (686 percent) compared to 2019

Figures from the Ministry of Interior show that 65,929 Nigerian nationals obtained a sponsored study visa in the year ending to June 2022. This is an increase of 57,545 (686 percent) compared to 2019

Clare Marchant said she has been working with vice chancellors across the country to improve acceptance between the three countries.

“There is a significant Chinese presence in that international market,” Ms Marchant said. “But it might be good to see that in five years it will be better balanced with other parts of the world.”

Unlike home student fees, which are capped at £9,250, international scholars now pay nearly three times that amount – an average of £24,000.

Professor Alan Smithers, director of the Center for Education and Employment Research at Buckingham University, said: ‘It is good that our universities receive students from all over the world.

‘But it is important that we limit recruitment from abroad, so that British universities develop British talent to the full.

‘Because foreign students pay higher tuition fees, there is always the risk that this benefit outweighs the importance of developing British talent.’

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