• Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Nigerians boycott UK Universities, applications drop 46% in 2024

Nigerian varsities leverage service learning to bridge students’ skills gap

The demand for UK education among Nigerian students has dropped in 2024 so far according to reports from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). The UK higher education monitoring body reported that applications for undergraduate degrees to the UK dropped from over 3,000 applications to just over 1,500, a 46 percent deficit.

Nigerian students are boycotting UK universities because of the recently implemented policy by the government to cut back on spiralling migration numbers.

In January, the UK Home Office implemented the national policy restricting international students from bringing in dependants through the student visa route. This includes Nigerians pursuing master’s degrees and undergraduate students, with only postgraduate researchers or government-funded scholarship students exempted.

The move has begun to see results as the application numbers have reduced. India, which accounts for the largest migrant population in the UK before Nigeria has also held back on seeking UK education. UCAS reports that applications from India fell four percent to 8,770.

The decrease in these figures highlights the significance of residency and the presence of family and other dependants to international students during and after their studies.

A UCAS survey in 2022 of international students and their motivations for choosing the UK as a study destination revealed that 45 percent accounted for the desire to live in the UK as a motivating factor. Other reasons include the prestige of the university (47%), and teaching quality; 36 percent of undergraduates and 49 percent of postgraduates indicated this as a priority.

Cynthia Tewogbade, student welfare coordinator for the Nigerian Student Union UK, told the Telegraph that, “The new dependency policy is the main reason why students are now enrolling at universities in other countries like Australia, Canada and in Europe.

“The UK can be a lonely place. Not having a familiar face around has deterred students from coming over, especially as many suffer from isolation and a big culture shock when they arrive.”

As doors from Nigeria and India close, others from some EMEA countries open up. The UCAS report says that international students in countries outside of the European Union has reached a record high, with applications rising by 1.5 percent to 95,840 this year, an increase of 83 per cent since 2015.

Countries that recorded increases in applications to the UK include China (+3%, +910), Canada (+14%, +340) and Turkey (+37%, +710).