The US government has granted about 23.2b Naira financial aid and scholarships to improve and equip Nigerian students through its progranmme ‘‘EducationUSA.’’
The US Embassy’s Counselor for Public Affairs in Nigeria, Mr. Adnan Siddiqi disclosed this at the 22nd annual U.S. Embassy and Education USA College Fair in Abuja.
Mr Siddiqi also said that the College Fair is aimed at providing students and parents in Nigeria with unbiased information and counsel for study in United States universities and colleges.
He said; ‘‘It is worth noting that Nigeria sends more students to the United States than any other African country.
“According to the latest data available, over 14,400 students are currently pursuing their studies in over 973 institutions, spanning all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Our annual college fairs have played a pivotal role in boosting the number of outstanding applicants to U.S. institutions and in securing additional financial aid as well as scholarship opportunities for Nigerian students. In the past year alone, nearly $30 million (23.2 billion Naira) in financial aid and scholarships were granted to students advised by EducationUSA.’’
Mr. Siddiqi, also noted that Nigerian students have contributed about $449m to the U.S. economy.
‘‘In 2021, Nigerian students contributed a staggering $449,000,000 to the U.S. economy. This is a testament to the significant economic impact of Nigerian students in the United States, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce. Nigeria proudly holds the 1st position in Sub-Saharan Africa and ranks 10th in the world in the number of students that attend higher education institutions in the United States. An impressive 50% of Nigerian students studying in the U.S. are pursuing graduate-level education. Mission Nigeria issued over 9,000 student visas last year, resulting in an astounding 405.3% increase in visa issuance. After Texas, the top receiving states for Nigerian students are Illinois, New York, Georgia, and Massachusetts. The United States boasts an exceptional support system for international students, ensuring a welcoming and enriching experience explained.
The Counselor for Public Affairs further urged Nigerian Students to use the occasion to unlock their potential and explore the educational landscape of the United States.
He said; ‘‘Our EducationUSA advisers from the Embassy are on hand to address any queries and guide you in the right direction. We are also fortunate to have representatives from the U.S. Embassy Consular Section here to shed light on their role in international education. Drawing from my experiences abroad, I’ve witnessed the profoundly positive impact that international education has on students from all corners of the globe. I sincerely hope that your time with us today will ignite within you a desire to explore the opportunities of studying in the United States and discovering something new. Seize the incredible opportunity before you and may your journey to a U.S. college or university be imminent.’’
The Interim Director of International Admissions at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Sam Gomez said;
‘‘We have a high-interest Kelvin has had, historically lots of Nigerian students. So just in West Africa alone, most of our students are coming from Nigeria and Ghana. So, we are here to recruit students. We’re here to help them through the application process and hopefully get them on our campus, Nigeria and Ghana are among our top three countries represented on our campus. Ghana, we have 41 Nigeria. I would say just below that around 35. this past year, it was really difficult for specifically Nigerian students to get to our campus due to immigration and getting visa denials or not, being able to schedule a visa appointment. So if there’s anything that can be can be done, I’m not the only one who would appreciate that because we could get more students on our campus.’’
Some Participants at the fair Precious Ukama, David Experebe, and George Kondoun spoke about why they want to study abroad.
They said; “This event will make students aware of the opportunities that are suitable for them. There is better room for studies, better opportunities, and an environment that can spark greatness in you. I want to actually help improve the health sector in Nigeria from the leanings I get from the US University.’’
The two-day College Fair was organised by the EducationUSA Advising Centre of the U.S. Embassy, with over 1,500 participants.
It is the 22nd Edition of the College Fair with the theme: “Connecting Dreams with Opportunities ”