In the first half of 2023, Nigerian students seeking admission to foreign universities spent a total of $340.84 million on application fees, a worrying sign for the country’s education sector.
This amount, obtained from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) records, shows a significant decline of 44.28 percent compared to the previous quarter.
The CBN data reveals that in April 2023, $40.54 million was allocated for foreign education, slightly increasing to $48.81 million in May.
However, in June 2023, spending dropped noticeably to $32.61 million. This decline, amounting to $96.92 million, reflects a 44.28 percent reduction compared to the first quarter of 2023.
The decline in spending is concerning, especially when considering the lack of substantial funds flowing back into the local education sector from foreign academic institutions.
Due to challenges in obtaining foreign exchange from CBN, many students have turned to Bureau de Change operators, further exacerbated by delays in banks processing the necessary Form A.
Additionally, the British Home Office data showed a significant surge in study visas granted to Nigerians, rising by 222.8 percent. As of June 2022, 65,929 visas were issued, compared to 20,427 during the same period in 2021.
This situation highlights the challenges faced by the CBN in managing forex demands and the impact on students seeking education abroad.