Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Nigeria leads as fastest-growing student population in Canada

Nigerians have emerged as Canada's fastest-growing international student population in the first half of 2023. This is according to a recently released report on Nigerian study permit trends in Canada, highlighting growing visa numbers and which provinces Nigerians are studying in.

The report published by ApplyBoard revealed that Nigerian student mobility to Canada is increasing at a momentous rate. According to the report, the Canadian government issued just over 3,000 student visas to Nigerian nationals in 2019. By 2021, that number had doubled, and in 2022, it doubled again. Now, amid record numbers of international students coming to study in Canada, Nigerians have become the country's fastest-growing student population.

Growing Canadian Student Visa Numbers for Nigerian Students

Key findings from the article reveal Nigerians submitted more than 43,000 study permit applications across the first six months of 2023 and appear likely to become Canada's second-largest cohort of inbound students this year.








Out of the 43,000 applications, nearly 18,000 Canadian study permits were issued to Nigerians across the first six months of 2023, more than for any other country of origin but India. Insufficient finances were cited as a refusal reason in 74% of study permit refusals for Nigerians in 2021 and 2022.










Nearly 18,000 Nigerian students came to Canada to study in the first half of 2023. This was more inbound students than any other country excep India.

The report also noted that the study permit approval rates for Nigerians continued to rise across the first six months of 2023, to just under 40% - more than double what approval rates were in 2020.

Another interesting insight from the report showed that Nigerian students are more evenly distributed across Canada than average. Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, and New Brunswick, each accounted for more than 5% of study permits issued to Nigerians from January to June 2023.

Eight of 10 provinces saw more Nigerian students issued study permits in the first half of 2023 than in the previous year.











Across these four regions, Ontario and BC accounted for around 63% of study permits issued to Nigerians in the first six months of 2023.

While Ontario and BC were the top destinations, Nigerian students are far less centralised in those two provinces than average. Nova Scotia's growth is particularly notable, with more than twice as many study permits issued as in full-year 2022. That was the third most behind Ontario and British Columbia.

Given the increasing centralisation of international students at Ontario colleges, the report concludes that the Nigerian student population is an important corridor to maintain the long-term health of Canada's international education sector.

By Victor Oluwole, Business Insider Africa

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