Nigerian students are finding it harder to gain admission into post-secondary institutions in Canada as some institutions in the country have begun to cap the number of applications coming to their campuses.
According to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), study permit approvals have spiked between 2019 and 2023.
Approvals for Nigerian students went from 2,788 in 2019 to 23,930 in 2023 (over 758 percent) and more than doubled between 2022 and 2023.
And the college only takes 1,183 regular students from all countries.
“We have more students from Nigeria at NSCC than any other country. So we do welcome them, but given an increase of 400 per cent over five years, we’re seeing more and more students coming our way without doing any international recruitment,” Jill Provoe said in an interview with Global news.
According to Global News findings at the New Brunswick Community College, there are many factors as to why a specific country would be capped.
And this has led to African students including Nigerians finding it harder to get into Canadian post-secondary institutions.
Mary Butler, president of the New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) explained in a statement that when setting strategic enrolment targets for countries of citizenship the college considers many factors, including programme availability, visa processing times and approval rates, under-represented regions, diversity of the study body, and more.
“We are reviewing our enrolment strategies, admissions processes, and student services to ensure we are well-positioned for continued responsible and sustainable enrolment that supports our students, staff, and communities,” Butler said.
International students coming to the Maritimes from select parts of Africa are being stopped at the door, according to the Nigerian-Canadian Association of New Brunswick.
Adebayo Ogunleye, president of the Nigerian-Canadian Association of New Brunswick in an interview with Global News disclosed that students from Nigeria have been treated unfairly compared with other countries in Canada.
Ogunleye said that students who had their applications approved by New Brunswick Community College had letters sent back months later saying they would not be attending school for the academic year because they were not on campus in time.
“NBCC gave an initial deadline of December. They wouldn’t be able to wait for the students anymore, and their applications had been revoked,” he said.
In addition, Ogunleye said; “Many of the students had been waiting for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to return visa applications. He said students were told that the college had met its cap, thus revoking some applications.”
Similarly, Zack Power explained that some institutions in the Maritimes have begun to cap the number of applications coming to their campus from certain countries.
In 2018, applicants from Nigeria increased from nine percent of international applicants in 2018 to 42 percent of international applicants in 2023 across Canada.
Ghana, a cousin country to Nigeria had an increase from two percent to 10 percent.
NSCC says it hopes to process all 6,000 applications from Nigeria.
Additionally, permits for Ghana quadrupled between 2022 and 2023.
The situation has prompted some schools, like Nova Scotia Community College, to cap how many applicants from the area can be admitted to their institutions.
According to Jill Provoe, the academic and equity vice-president at NSCC, the community college has nearly 6,000 applicants from Nigeria alone for the 2024 academic year.