Nigerians rank top among international students in US

Amina Mohammed, Abuja

There are 10,674 Nigerians studying in the United States during the 2015-2016 academic year, making Nigeria the leading source of African students and ranked 14th worldwide as a source of international students in the United States.

This figure marks the highest number of Nigerians studying in the United States since 1987.

This is according to the 2016 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange released by the United States Embassy in Abuja.

The report added that Students from Nigeria study primarily at the undergraduate level which rates 50.8%, then 35.6% for the graduate level, 11.5 % for the optional practical training and 2% for the non-degree programs or short-term studies.

The Open Doors report also indicates that the number of international students at U.S. colleges and universities surpassed one million for the first time during the 2015-2016 academic years.

The Open Doors report is published annually by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

International education helps people develop the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in today’s global economy, and creates networks across borders that improve international understanding and strengthen the national security of the United States.

The Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S Department of State, Evan Ryan, said “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 other countries to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States.”

This strong growth confirms that the United States remains the destination of choice in international higher education. In 2015-16, there were nearly 69,000 more international students in U.S. higher education compared to the previous year.

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, more than double the number hosted by the United Kingdom, the second leading host country.