Open Doors Report: Sharp Increase in Nigerians Studying in the United States (November 17, 2015)

International student enrollment up 10 percent to nearly one million

Students from Nigeria increased by 19.9 percent to 9,494 in 2014/15 

The number of international students at U.S. colleges and universities increased by ten percent to a record high of 974,926 students in the 2014/15 academic year, marking the highest rate of growth in 35 years, according to the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) 2015 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, released yesterday.  This strong growth confirms that the United States remains the destination of choice in higher education.  The United States hosts more of the world’s 4.5 million globally mobile college and university students than any other country in the world.  Nearly 90,000 more international students enrolled in U.S. higher education in 2014/15 compared to the previous year.

The new report indicates there were 9,494 students from Nigeriastudying in the United States in 2014/15, making Nigeria the leading source of students from Africa and the 15th largest country worldwide among international students in the United States.  This marks a three-year high in the number of Nigerians studying in the United States since 2012.

The release of the new Open Doors data marks the celebration of International Education Week, a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States.

As part of International Education Week celebrations, EducationUSA Lagos is hosting alumni and admitted students of several U.S. universities on November 16-20, 2015 at the U.S. Consulate General to speak to prospective students about their alma mater.  In Abuja, EducationUSA will host a virtual college fair tomorrow, November 18, for students, parents, and guidance counselors who wish to come to the U.S. Embassy or participate from the comfort of their schools, homes, or offices.  Each year, EducationUSA Nigeria also hosts a college fair that targets high school and graduate students from all over Nigeria.  Many U.S. higher education representatives fly in to showcase the many opportunities offered by American colleges and universities.

Students from Nigeria in the United States study primarily at the undergraduate level, with 50.2 percent enrolled at the undergraduate level, 35.2 percent at the graduate level, 12.6 percent pursuing optional practical training, and two percent in non-degree programs or short-term studies.

“International experience is one of the most important components of a 21st century education,” said IIE’s President Dr. Allan E. Goodman.  “Studying abroad is one of the best ways undergraduate and graduate students gain the international experience necessary to succeed in today’s global workforce.  And studying in another country prepares students to be real contributors to working across borders to address key issues in the world we share.”

The Open Doors® report is published annually by the Institute of International Education in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  Nigerians wishing to pursue studies at any level in the United States can visit the EducationUSA Advising Center at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja (Plot 1075 Diplomatic Drive, Central Business District) or at the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos (#2 Walter Carrington Crescent, Victoria Island).

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