Richard Montgomery, the British High Commissioner in Nigeria, disclosed that the number of Nigerian students enrolling in higher education programmes in the United Kingdom reached an incredible 127,000 students during the previous academic year. This remarkable increase, which represents a five-fold rise, illustrates the growing desire among Nigerian students for the educational opportunities offered by British institutions. In the past three years, there were 20,000 Nigerian students enrolled in higher education institutions, and this figure has surged in the last year.
During an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, he revealed that the new UK policy of restricting visas for international students is not meant as a deliberate disincentive for Nigerian students. Instead, he stressed that the policy’s primary goal is to ease the strain on social services brought on by the surge of international students. He encouraged the people to see the new visa policy as beneficial to Nigeria and the UK by noting that there is a 97% visa application approval rate for students from Nigeria.
Nigerians accounted for 325,000 of the total 3,000,000 visas UK issued.
High Commissioner Montgomery highlighted the strong bilateral ties between the United Kingdom and Nigeria, noting that Nigerians accounted for 325,000 of the total 3,000,000 visas issued by the United Kingdom in the past year. He was pleased to hear that top students from Nigeria were still choosing to study in the United Kingdom. He shed some insight on the new regulations by stating that it would have the most impact on students enrolled in non-research degree programmes and those who choose to bring dependents with them to school.
Furthermore, the growing number of dependents following Nigerian students has placed a burden on housing and social services in university towns, prompting adaptations to handle the expanding demands adequately. The way that the situation is being described in the media with the words that are being used are inaccurate. According to the commissioner’s explanation, the adjustment is being made by them in order to make it possible to handle the demand for services in university towns and other areas.
Students from Nigeria have a lot to gain by studying in the country.
The United Kingdom issued the three million visas for a variety of purposes, such as those for students and other visitors. According to High Commissioner Montgomery, this is evidence of the robust people-to-people ties between the United Kingdom and Nigeria, leading to the rate of visa approval for Nigerians, which is 97%. Students from Nigeria who decide to study in the United Kingdom stand to gain much from the international experience and vast networks provided by British universities.
More so, he stated his conviction that students from Nigeria would benefit greatly in the United Kingdom because of the global exposure and networks that are available to them there. He stated that they had seen an extremely noteworthy increase in the number of people coming from all over the world, not only from Nigeria. This has put some pressure on the country. Students may have trouble finding suitable housing at times, and there is significant demand placed on the housing market and other student-related social services.
Institutions in the country ranked among the top 100 globally.
Despite the problems that are caused by the increase in the number of international students, High Commissioner Montgomery stressed that the United Kingdom is committed to hosting students from Nigeria. He was quite proud of the research institutes and higher education institutions located in the UK, many of which are ranked among the top one hundred universities in the world. He reiterated that the UK institutions are quite welcoming to international students who choose to pursue their education there.