However, the amount was more than half a million dollars less compared to the amount spent for the same period in 2021, when the country paid $1.88 billion for international education, according to financial analysis website Nairametrics.
Citing data from the Central Bank of Nigeria, it said that despite the “negative” impact on the country’s balance of payments, and despite being arguably the largest expenditure on foreign education in Africa, the total in 2022 represents the country’s lowest expenditure on study abroad by Nigerians since 2016.
Exacerbating the scenario is the fact that the country has not received any significant “form of cash inflow from foreign students” in return, the Trends website lamented, noting that the data was in tandem with the high mobility of Nigerians moving to foreign countries using the “education route”, it noted.
This one-sided trend is also a result of the fact that “Education has become the easiest way for Nigerians to get a visa to European countries, especially the UK”, where Africa’s largest economy and most populous country sends the largest share of students. .
About 44,195 Nigerian students were enrolled in UK universities in the 2021/22 academic year, HESA statistics show.
“Nigerians who want to move abroad are now applying for admission in foreign universities”
“Nigerians who want to move abroad are now applying for admission to foreign universities and after admission, applying for study visas to allow them to work and train in the host country during their studies,” Nairametrics added.
The data comes as the country’s importance as a source market continues to grow, with 21,660 sent to Canadian universities in 2022, for example, fifth highest on the list of nationalities issued with the most Canadian study permits. Compared to the previous year, this represents an increase of 17.8%.
The data also appears to agree with previous CBN data which indicated that Nigerians spent about $221 million on foreign education from December 2021 to February 2022.
The CBN analysis further showed that a whopping $90.67 million was spent on foreign education in December 2021 alone, while a total of $60.2 million was spent in January 2022, an amount that rose to nearly $70 million in February of the same year.
Nigeria is the largest source market for international students in Africa, with thousands studying in North America, Europe, Asia and South Africa.
A total of 71,133 of them were enrolled in universities abroad in 2022, according to the US Department of Commerce. According to 2022 data from Open Doors, 14,438 people signed up for classes in the US.