Report: Nigerians Top List of African Students in US Colleges, Universities

Report: Nigerians Top List of African Students in US Colleges, Universities

 Bayo Akinloye

Nigerians are top on the list of African students in United States’ colleges and universities, according to the Open Doors 2021 Report on International Educational Exchange.

The report was released yesterday.

The Open Doors 2021 report, released by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Institute of International Education (IIE), had been an important benchmark for international educational exchange to the US for over 70 years.

In the 2020/21 academic year, the Open Doors report included international students enrolled at US higher education institutions in the United States and online from abroad and those on Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Nigeria was top on the list, followed by Ghana, Kenya and Ethiopia.

In 2019/2020, there were 13,762 Nigerians enrolled in American colleges and universities. In the 2020/2021 session, the number of Nigerians dropped to 12,860, likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, was the 10th largest source of students for US colleges and universities globally.

The Open Doors 2021 report further revealed that about 13,000 Nigerians were enrolled in at least 1,000 schools in the US.

In addition, it explained that students using the EducationUSA Nigeria services had $28 million in scholarships and financial aid in the 2020/2021 session.

According to a statement released by OpenData, the US remained open to international students during the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 710,000 international students enrolled at the undergraduate, graduate, and nondegree levels from more than 200 places of origin. In addition, more than 200,000 international students pursued OPT, a welcome opportunity for students to gain practical work experiences in the US after academic study.

The COVID-19 global pandemic primarily impacted international students studying at a US university for the first time or new international students.

This segment declined by 46 per cent, in line with anticipated declines reported last November in the Fall 2020 International Student Enrollment Snapshot.

Despite challenges due to travel and enrollment, 145,528 international students were able to begin their studies in person or online in the United States or from abroad, the report stated.

It also showed that international students already enrolled at US universities or continuing students largely remained.

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