Cursory: The number of Nigerian students studying in the UK has risen from 20,000 to 127,000 in three years. The UK’s new policy on student visas aims to manage social service pressures. The policy mainly affects non-research undergraduate and one-year master’s degree programs and their dependents.
Richard Montgomery, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, shared that there has been a significant increase in the number of Nigerian students enrolled in universities in the United Kingdom. Over a span of three years, the student population grew from 20,000 to 127,000.
In addition, Montgomery revealed that out of the 3 million visas issued for international students and immigrants in 2022, Nigerians accounted for 325,000 of them.
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These statistics were presented by the ambassador while he was explaining and justifying the UK government’s recently implemented policy to restrict foreign student visas.
He said the policy was a mechanism devised at managing the pressure on social services for scholars.
“Three years ago, there were 20,000 Nigerian students in British higher education institutions, and last year, the number increased to 127,000,” Montgomery said.
“So, we had a five-fold increase in the number of students from Nigeria coming to UK universities.
“We are delighted that UK universities continue to attract the best and brightest from Nigeria.”
The High Commissioner emphasized that the UK granted a total of 3 million new visas in 2022 for various purposes, and Nigerians accounted for a significant portion of that number.
More than 10% of the visas issued by the UK were to Nigerian citizens, highlighting the strong people-to-people links between the two countries.
The envoy stated that, in 2022, “the UK granted three million new UK visas of various types, including students and other visitors.”
He added, “Nigerians alone received 325,000 of those three million visas.
“So more than 10 per cent of the visas from the UK are to Nigerian citizens which is fantastic.
“It goes back to the fact that the UK and Nigeria have strong people-to-people links.”
The policy change primarily affects individuals pursuing non-research degrees as undergraduates or enrolling in one-year master’s degree programs who choose to bring their dependents along.
“The policy change is about people who are doing non-research degrees coming to the UK as undergraduates, or for a one-year master’s degree programme, and who decide to bring their dependents.“We have had a very significant rise in the number of people coming from all around the world, not just from Nigeria.
“This has caused some strain on the UK.”
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