Foreign schools rake in millions of dollars from Nigerians

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Foreign schools are raking in millions of Dollars from the influx of Nigerian students through tuition fees other consular services paid for by Nigerian immigrant.

Data obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigerians spent over $609 million on foreign education in 2022 alone.

A recent report by SBM Intelligence also revealed that Nigerian students and their dependents contributed an estimated sum of £1.93 billion to the UK in 2021.

A breakdown of the total £1.93 billion shows that payments of school fees constituted about 35.36 per cent, representing over a third of the spending at £680.6 million.

The SBMI report also revealed that Nigerian students paid a total of £151.3 million for national insurance, £54.4 and £41.8 million for National Health Service (NHS), and £41.7 million for visa fees to the UK government in 2021.

Over the years, schools in the UK, US, Canada, and other countries Nigerians flood, have been increasing their tuition steadily as demands continue to rise.

According to data released by the British Government, the number of Nigerians granted study visas by the UK rose by 768.7 per cent to 59,053 in 2022, the highest in four years, from 6,798 in 2019.

In 2021/22, annual tuition fees for international undergraduate students in the UK started at £11,400 (US $14,130). This rose to as much as £32,081 (US $39,770).

In Canada, while the tuition fees for universities vary depending on the program and school chosen, an average university tuition costs around $36,100 per year for international undergraduate students, while graduate international students pay an average of $21,100, according to Statistics Canada in 2022.

To study in the United States, International students spend between $25,000 and $45,000 per year on tuition, aside from several other school and living expenses. 

The pressure of more demand for forex has also seen the dollar rate jump to N800 at the CBN window albeit the parallel market, while the pound now exchanges at over N1,000 despite the government’s floating the naira recently.

According to a bank official who spoke on condition of anonymity, banks have continue to receive several requests for forex by Nigerians intending to study abroad through Form A.

He, however, noted that many of the requests cannot be met as the bank is also struggling to meet the forex needs of its corporate customers.

Meanwhile, going to the UK either for a visit or study will now cost a few extra pounds as the UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, announced that the surcharge paid for the state-funded National Health Service (NHS) by visa applicants from around the world will “increase significantly”.

Sunak at the weekend confirmed a hike between 15 per cent (across various fees paid by migrants, including the cost of study visas, ILR, Settlement status) and others which is to increase by 20 per cent.


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