As per the recent official immigration findings, the number of Nigerian students who have been granted student visas or sponsored study by the United Kingdom has surged more than eightfold in the recent four years. The data from the British government indicates that the number increased by 768.7 percent from 6,798 in 2019 to 59,053 in 2022.
The UK government said on its website that “Of the top five nationalities granted sponsored study visas, Bangladeshi nationals saw the largest percentage increase in grants, increasing from 1,745 to 15,277, closely followed by Nigerian nationals whose number increased from 6,798 to 59, 053.”
The website details identified the fact that Nigeria, the most populous African nation recorded the largest number of dependants of the sponsored study visa holders in the year 2022 counting to 60,923 students, that was 1586 in 2019 respectively. India followed with the second highest number rising from 3135 to 38990 students. Students from five different nations of Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh counted for almost 1,20,000 dependent visas granted.
Experts have identified several reasons for cheap labour, a large working population, high diaspora remittances, withdrawal of the UK from the European Union, and the high intellectual capabilities of Nigerian people. Ikemesit Effiong, the head of Research at SBM Intelligence, stated that “With rising living costs, a shrinking labour force, escalating pension and health costs, the UK needs to constantly attract new immigrants into the country in order to be able to keep key aspects of its economy, particularly in the healthcare sector.”
According to the Co-founder of Menopays, Adewale Adetona, the United Kingdom has emerged as a global talent destination similar to other developed countries including the US, Canada, Australia, United Arab Emirates.
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