Why Nigerians are saving up to $50,000 to pay for UK and US degrees - Quartz (qz.com)
More Nigerian families are saving up tens of
thousands of dollars in order to pay for their children to study at
universities in the United Kingdom, Europe and North America. Data from StudySearch,
a London-based start-up that helps African students find universities
outside the continent, shows Nigerian parents save up as much as $50,000
to finance their kids’ education outside Africa.

The sum is significant in a country where the minimum wage is just $90 a month and middle class starter jobs for graduates pay between $500 to $1,000 a month.

Getting a degree abroad is believed to give the
degree holder an edge in a hyper-competitive Nigerian labor market with
few jobs. An international degree can almost guarantee entry to
Nigeria’s growing middle class.

The United Kingdom is by far the most popular
destination for Nigerian students seeking international degrees, but in
general, the top destinations for Nigerian students abroad are spread
across Europe, North America and even Australia.

Given the volume of students going abroad,
concerns have been raised over the outward flow of capital to these
countries. Study Search estimates Nigerian parents spend well above the
federal government’s $750 million annual budget for national
universities on getting their children educated outside the continent.

Study Search was founded last year by Frederik
Obasi and Taofeeq Alabi, two Nigerians who studied in the UK. It matches
prospective students with advisors who are either students or alumni of
some of the world’s leading schools in a peer-to-peer system.
feedback reveals that students prefer to take advice from and interact
with their peers, who have already been successful in securing
international study, rather than get expensive, biased and conflicting
advice from more traditional agencies,” said Frederik Obasi, StudySearch

Even though foreign degrees offer a perceived
edge with regard to getting jobs, the poor state of local universities
have also been a major deciding factor. In the past, the frequency of
strike actions which often result in closure of the schools and an
interruption in students’ education made government-run universities
less attractive and even though the strike actions do not occur as
frequently, there is still a question as to whether the educational
system in Nigeria can adequately cater for the those in need.

There are around 150 universities in Nigeria with
50 of them being privately-owned. The average student cost of the
government-run universities range from $125 to $500 per annum while the
private universities, usually operating with fixed calendars, better
facilities and no strike actions, have an average annual cost of $2700....continue reading...

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