Vive Africa, a full-service media and communication consultancy, recently partnered with leading UK institution, University of Sussex to release the debut edition of the Nigeria Market Sentiments and Study Motivations Report 2022.
Conducted by Culture Intelligence from RED, the brand and market intelligence unit of RED | For Africa, the Report examines issues surrounding Nigerians studying abroad — especially in the United Kingdom — in the years following the COVID-19 global pandemic. The study polled over 4,000 teens, young adults, and adults from the six geo-political zones of Nigeria with active interests in studying beyond the shores of Nigeria. It reflects market trends, general conceptions, and preferences in the Nigerian tertiary education sector as it relates to acquiring foreign degrees — especially qualifications from UK universities.
An overwhelming majority of respondents (89.87%) expressed their interest to study abroad, with a large percentage (65.52%) noting that they were looking to get an undergraduate degree abroad while 34.48% said they were open to pursuing postgraduate qualifications. The study sample size was made up of prospective undergraduates, undergraduates, new graduates, early career professionals and Master's degree candidates.
Tosin Adebisi, Senior International Officer (Africa & The Middle East), University of Sussex, noted that the study was aimed at providing stakeholders on both sides of the spectrum — prospective students and international institutions — a treasure-trove of useful data and insights that are crucial to decision making.
"The study outcomes point to many well-known, as well uncommon trends in the way people seek international education. We are delighted to have this study in partnership with Culture Intelligence from RED and other stakeholders, and we believe it would further underscore our commitment to Africa, especially Nigeria which boasts of a considerable number of University of Sussex alumni,” Adebisi said.
The study revealed that the most preferred destinations for Nigerian students are the United Kingdom (32.71%), Canada (16.67%), United States (16.54%), Germany (10.60%) and Australia (7.96%). Other countries, mainly Turkey, Hungary, Finland, Cyprus, Italy, France, Lithuania, Ireland, Poland, Estonia, Greece, Sweden, Netherlands, Norway and China, also came into consideration.
Majority of the respondents agreed that factors such as general insecurity in the nation, slow economic growth, and economic recession, combined with the numerous limitations of the country's education sector, have triggered their desire to acquire academic qualifications outside the country.
“The UK/Nigeria study motivations report is the first indigenous report that looks deeply into the issues that influence people’s choices regarding the institution they intend to study,” said Isime Esene, Chief Intelligence Officer at RED | For Africa. “We hope that the study not only contributes to contemporary discourse as it relates to both countries, but ultimately serves as a valuable resource for all stakeholders with interest in the development of the Nigerian education sector.”
Bobby Mehta, Chair of the British Universities’ International Liaison Association (BUILA), added that the report brings to fore the key factors that inform students’ choices to study in the UK. "The report presents us an opportunity to respond effectively to the changing dynamics we are witnessing in the international education sector particularly as it relates to Africa in the post-COVID era. It validates our efforts towards developing increased synergy with relevant stakeholders with a view to making the UK the leading study destination across the world," he added.
With a focus on the profile of the average Nigerian seeking foreign academic qualifications abroad, the study revealed that Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics are amongst some of the most popular course options for international education in both the undergraduate and postgraduate categories with Arts (Fine and Applied), Social Sciences and other related courses remaining a growing sector.