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128,770 Nigerian Students Enrolled in Universities in The UK Between 2015-2022

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Coventry University - Investors King

Recent data obtained from the Higher Education statistics agency revealed that 128,770 Nigerian students enrolled in Universities in the UK between 2015-2022.

In the 2015/2016 academic session, up to 16,100 Nigerians enrolled in Universities in the UK, while during the 2016/2017 session, the number declined to 12,655.

In the 2017/2018 academic session, the number further declined to 10,685, while in 2018/2019 there was a little increase with 10,810 students enrolling in U.K universities. In the 2020/21 academic year, 21,305 Nigerian students were enrolled at UK universities.

The 2021/2022 academic session saw a massive surge in the enrollment of Nigerian students in the UK, with 44,195 students. This figure was reported to be the highest so far since Nigeria’s independence in 1960.

The massive migration of Nigerian citizens to the U.K has been an issue of great concern for the Nigerian government as several experts in the country have attributed the government’s poor policies as a major factor for Nigerians seeking opportunities abroad.

Meanwhile, in a recent development, the United Kingdom authorities have announced a new restriction that may restrain Nigerian students, and others from bringing their families to the UK.

The crackdown would see all masters students as well as postgraduate students banned from bringing their families to the U.K. However, the ban would not apply to Ph.D. students, whose courses are usually between 3 to 5 years.

This latest move by the UK government is coming after the number of immigrants skyrocketed to 1 million with the country’s ministers asking prime minister Rishi Sunak to get a grip on the surging numbers.

They disclosed that individuals migrating to the UK have been taking advantage of their relative student data as reports revealed that in 2019, students brought 135,788 family members to the UK. In 2022, reports reveal that Nigerian students reportedly brought over 60,923 relatives.

Investors King understands that In October 2020, the UK introduced a student visa to open up its borders to more international students.

The UK student visa allowed family members to apply for immigration as dependants. Holders of a student visa, including full-time postgraduate scholars and some other special cases, are allowed to list a spouse, a partner, or a child under 18 as dependants.

Nigerian students however saw this policy as a golden opportunity to immigrate to the UK with their families. UK Immigration revealed that Nigerians of all ages and employment statuses took advantage of this opportunity. Among all nationalities, Nigerians represented the largest relative increase in sponsored study visa grants.

For many, it offered an escape from Nigeria’s economic woes, including record-high inflation, and a crippled education system.

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Education

Southern States Skeptical as NELFund Disburses First Loans

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University - Investors King

The National Education Loan Fund (NELFund) officially launched on Wednesday, a significant step in providing financial aid to students across Nigeria.

However, the initiative faces skepticism, particularly from the southern states.

President Bola Tinubu inaugurated the first tranche of funds, amounting to N32 billion, aimed at empowering Nigerian youth and breaking financial barriers to education.

The NELFund portal has registered 164,000 students, with 103,000 applying for loans.

Despite the promising start, many southern states remain doubtful about the fund’s implementation.

Akintunde Sawyerr, NELFund’s Managing Director, acknowledged these concerns, citing data challenges in verifying indigent applicants as a primary hurdle.

Sawyerr highlighted the lack of comprehensive data needed for credit assessments. The fund relies on bank verification numbers (BVN), National Identification Numbers (NIN), and educational institution data to determine eligibility.

More applications have been received from northern states, where students have shown greater confidence in the fund.

Sawyerr pointed out that skepticism in the south might stem from uncertainty about the program’s viability.

NELFund offers two types of loans: educational fees paid directly to institutions and upkeep loans for student stipends.

The focus is currently on government-owned institutions to ensure a smooth rollout.

President Tinubu emphasized education as a critical tool against poverty and insecurity, linking the nation’s challenges to a lack of educational opportunities.

He reaffirmed his commitment to inclusive growth through education.

As NELFund continues its rollout, efforts to address data issues and regional skepticism will be crucial. By building trust and ensuring transparency, the program aims to support more students nationwide and foster a fairer society.

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Federal Government Shortlists 5,000 for Oil and Gas Sector Overseas Scholarships

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University - Investors King

The Federal Government has shortlisted 5,000 candidates for its prestigious overseas scholarships.

The announcement was made through the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) in Abuja.

Bolanle Agboola, the Head of the Overseas Scholarship Scheme at PTDF, disclosed that the selection process for the 2024 scholarships had reached its final stage.

She revealed that the shortlisted candidates had participated in rigorous examinations across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria.

“The purpose of this initiative is to empower Nigerians with high-tech skills required in the oil and gas industry,” Agboola stated. “The selection process was conducted simultaneously in various universities across the country.”

Highlighting the importance of the scholarships, Agboola emphasized the need for Nigeria to indigenize its oil and gas sector.

“Our target is to select the best candidates for the overseas scholarships,” she said. “This initiative aligns with the government’s goal of building local capacity in the oil and gas industry.”

When asked about the number of participants to be selected, Agboola explained that each state of the federation would receive an equal allocation of successful candidates based on the budget for the year.

However, she refrained from disclosing the exact budget allocated for the scholarship scheme.

Agboola defended the decision to send scholars abroad, citing the high-tech nature of the oil and gas industry and the need for hands-on experience with cutting-edge equipment and technology.

She also mentioned PTDF’s in-country scholarship program, where participants are trained in Nigeria.

The overseas scholarships will be offered in various universities in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Malaysia, providing Nigerian scholars with access to world-class education and training in the oil and gas sector.

With this initiative, the Federal Government aims to equip Nigerian professionals with the expertise needed to drive innovation and development in the nation’s vital oil and gas industry, ensuring its sustainability and competitiveness on the global stage.

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JAMB Releases 36,540 Withheld UTME Results, Dismisses Cyber Breach Claims

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The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has quelled concerns over the integrity of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) results by releasing an additional 36,540 previously withheld scores.

This move follows earlier revelations of withheld results and assertions of a cyber security breach.

Fabian Benjamin, the spokesperson for JAMB, confirmed the release of these results in a statement issued late Tuesday in Abuja.

This latest batch of released scores, when combined with the 531 previously unveiled, brings the total number of results made public to 1,879,437.

Benjamin took the opportunity to address circulating rumors regarding the security of the UTME results.

He categorically dismissed claims of a cyber security breach, saying that the examination outcomes remain intact and securely stored.

He stressed that the results are not stored in any cloud system and thus cannot be compromised by external entities.

At the time of the UTME release, JAMB had disclosed that certain results were withheld pending further investigation.

Subsequently, 531 of these results were recently unveiled with the remainder still under scrutiny.

Benjamin explained that any candidates implicated in examination malpractice are undergoing thorough investigation.

The examination board intends to meticulously review footage from CCTV cameras installed across all accredited centers to ascertain each candidate’s involvement.

Benjamin urged the public to remain vigilant against misinformation originating from sources not affiliated with JAMB.

He attributed the discrepancies in minimum admissible scores to variations among tertiary institutions. Some institutions, he noted, proposed lower minimum scores than others, resulting in varying benchmarks.

Benjamin clarified that these benchmarks are determined collectively by all Heads of Institutions during the annual Policy Meeting on Admissions, ensuring uniformity across the country.

Also, Benjamin cautioned religious organizations against overstepping their designated roles.

He warned against the dissemination of false information to governmental bodies for personal gain.

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