By Adedapo Adesanya
Nigeria has the highest students from Sub-Saharan Africa studying in the United States of America, a new report analysed by Business Post has revealed.
The most populated black nation in the world was also ranked as the 11th country (1.2 percent) with the most international students in the US, which hosts nearly 1.2 million students from across the globe during the 2018/2019 academic year, boosting the US economy by $514 million.
Business Post gathered through the 2019 Open Doors Report on International Education that Nigerian students studying in American universities rose 5.8 percent to 13,423 students in the 2018/19 academic session from 12,693 students recorded during the 2017/18 session.
However, despite this increase, the data showed that this was the lowest growth level since the 2012/13 session indicating a continuous drop in influx of foreign students from Nigeria into the fourth consecutive year.
The data further showed that the number of Nigerian students studying in the US had risen by 19.9 percent in the 2014/2015 session and had increased by a lesser 12.4 percent in the 15/16 session, then by 9.4 percent and 8.4 percent in the 16/17 and 17/18 sessions respectively.
As a result of this, the number of Nigerians at undergraduate level (representing 42 percent) dropped in the 18/19 session by 3.4 percent from the total of 5,887 students recorded in the 17/18 session to 5,689 students.
However, the number of Nigerian graduate students which include students in graduate and professional degree programs accounted for 39.3 percent of the number rose by 10.8 percent from 4,762 in the 17/18 session to 5,274 students in the current session under review.
Non-degree students which encompass students enrolled in intensive English programs make up 2.7 percent rose by 101.6 percent from 182 students (17/18 session) to 367 (18/19 session).
On the other hand, students participating in Optional Practical Training (OPT), who are under temporary employment directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study made up 15.6 percent of the total and saw a rise 12.4 percent from 1,862 to 2,093 students in the 2018/2019 session.
Following Nigeria with the highest international students in the US was Ghana, which saw a 13.9 percent increase from 3,213 to 3,661 through the 2018/19 academic session as the country displaces Kenya, which has the third most international students in the United States.
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