Why UK Scholarships to Nigerians is rising
Nigerians are now becoming an important asset to the United Kingdom (UK), especially its universities as the developed country has become more lenient in opening its borders to them.
According to Information from the UK’s immigration statistics government, in the top five nationalities, Nigerian nationals saw the largest increase of 368 percent in sponsored study grants compared in September 2021 from 7,860 in the same period of 2019.
Likewise in terms of visas issued to the UK, Nigeria recorded a rise of 234.7 percent to 18,580 in the first nine months of 2021 from 5,551 in the same period of 2019.
In March last year, the UK government issued a Graduate Route post-study work visa. The visa helps bachelors and masters graduates to be able to live and work in the country for up to two years, while Ph.D. Graduates can live and work for up to three years.
Here are five reasons why the UK is scouting for NigeriansBright TalentsNigeria is known to have a high intellectual capacity and this has reflected in the UK, where many in a highly-educated diaspora work in financial services, Information Technology, and the legal and medical professions.
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Some Nigerian outstanding individuals such as Oluyinka Olutoye, Joseph Ladapo, Njideka Udochi, Onyema Ogbuagu among others have worked hard to distinguish themselves and have earned the respect of their contemporaries in countries such as the United States of America, Canada, Australia, Europe among others.
For example, in 2016, Olutoye, a renowned foetal and pediatric surgeon successfully operated on a baby-in-utero. For this groundbreaking feat, he was appointed surgeon-in-chief at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in the US. He now leads one of the largest children’s hospital surgery departments in the world.
Likewise, in the literary field, 10-year-old Nigerian twins made waves in the UK United Kingdom.
In 2018, Hills and Wills Nwokedi, authored Dominik’s Diaries (Grandma: Desperate Measures), a book written to inspire other children. The book has gained popularity in the UK.
“Nigeria’s intellectual capacity makes it attractive to offer scholarships because their good result makes the schools in the UK look good, thereby making them get more funding and be more popular,” Jennifer Oyelade, director of Transquisite Consulting, a UK and Nigerian registered Recruitment and Training Consultancy said.
Cheap LaborNigeria has one of the lowest minimum wages in the world. An average government worker earns $73 per month; this is lower than its African peers such as Morocco ($310), South Africa ($277), Ethiopia ($144) and Egypt ($174).
The country’s low wage is often tagged as a non-living wage as it is not enough to meet the basic needs of people thereby affecting their standard of living.
Although this may be a disadvantage to the country, the reverse is the case for the UK looking for cheap labour.
Large working PopulationNigeria’s population of over 200 million is the most populated in Africa and it has been projected by the United Nations to become the world’s third-largest population of 410 million by 2050.
Its working population is also estimated to be more than double, while other developed countries would have reduced their working population.
According to data from the population estimates and projections from US Census Bureau International Data Base (IDB), the estimated working age (15-64) population of Nigeria will increase by 120.8 percent in 2050, while the UK will increase marginally by three percent.
Other countries like South Korea, Japan, Spain, Germany, China, Russia and Italy will reduce by 27.3 percent, 26.3 percent, 25.4 percent, 21.0 percent, 19 percent, 18.3 percent and 14.4 percent respectively.
BrexitThe withdrawal of the UK from the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020 (Brexit) made many businesses move their headquarters to the EU.The impact slowed its economy, causing some impact on jobs. Employers are having a harder time finding applicants. This has hit the low-skilled and medium-skilled occupations the most.
“Brexit created job vacancies at the middle and low level. So they need to fill those positions and Nigerians are usually the ones that fill those areas,” Olugbenga Ogunbode, the chief executive officer at International Education Corporation Group said.
High Diaspora RemittanceThe Nigerian diaspora community acts as an important asset in bilateral relations and development efforts.
World Bank data shows that in 2018, the Nigerian diaspora in the UK transferred over £2.8 billion in remittance payments to Nigeria, accounting for one percent of the country’s GDP.
“This figure alone illustrates the economic weight the UK-based Nigerian diaspora holds both in the UK and in Nigeria,” the World Bank states.