Over 14,400 Nigerian students are currently pursuing their studies in 973 institutions in the United States of America, a U.S. official has disclosed.
Mr. Adnan Siddiqi, Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria disclosed this at the U.S. 22nd Annual College Fair 2023, held in Abuja on Monday.
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“Nigeria proudly holds the 1st position in Sub-Saharan Africa and ranks 10th in the world in numbers of students that attend higher education institutions in the United States, he disclosed.
Mr Siddiqi also disclosed that an impressive 50 per cent of Nigerian students studying in the U.S. are pursuing graduate-level education.
While reacting to difficulty in getting student visas, he said the United States Mission in Nigeria issued over 9,000 student visas in 2022 alone, an astounding 405.3% increase in visa issuance.
Speaking about the impact of the fair, the U.S. official said the programme allows students to have an interface with university authorities and U.S. officials while also providing a platform for students to get scholarships.
“Our annual college fairs have played a pivotal role in boosting the number of outstanding applicants to U.S. institutions, as well as in securing additional financial aid and scholarship opportunities for Nigerian students.
“In the past year alone, nearly $30 million (23.2 billion naira) in financial aid and scholarships were granted to students advised by Education USA. Many of those students attend a diverse range of institutions in the United States, from small liberal arts private colleges to large state universities,” he said.
The official also disclosed that representatives from 45 U.S. colleges and universities were at the fair to answer students’ questions.
Also speaking to journalists, Sam Gomez, the interim director of international admission, at Calvin University, Michigan, said most of the school’s African students were coming from Nigeria and Ghana, adding that he was at the fair to get more Nigerians into the school.