Nigerians Are The Highest Number Of African Students In The US


Nigeria has been quoted as the country with highest number of African students studying in the US with 10,674 Nigerians studying during the 2015-16 academic year.

The 2016 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, ranked Nigeria 14th on list of countries with the highest international students to the U.S, making it the leading source of African students.

The report says this figure significantly marks the highest number of Nigerians studying in the United States since 1986-87.

At the top of the list is China which remains the largest sender of international students to the U.S., with 328,547 students from the country accounting for 31.5 percent of all international enrollments.

International Enrollments by Top Countries of Origin, 2015-16

Country of Origin Total Number of International Students Percent Change From 2014-15
World Total 1,043,839 +7.1
1. China 328,547 +8.1
2. India 165,918 +24.9
3. Saudi Arabia 61,287 +2.2
4. South Korea 61,007 -4.2
5. Canada 26,973 -1
6. Vietnam 21,403 +14.3
7. Taiwan 21,127 +0.6
8. Brazil 19,370 -18.2
9. Japan 19,060 0
10. Mexico 16,733 -1.9
11. Iran 12,269 +8.2
12. United Kingdom 11,599 +8
13. Turkey 10,691 -0.3
14. Nigeria 10,674 +12.4
15. Germany 10,145 -0.5

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Students from Nigeria who studied primarily at the undergraduate level in the US were “50.8% undergraduate; 35.6% graduate; 11.5 % Optional Practical Training; and 2% non-degree programmes or short-term studies.”

The study also showed that the top five institutions that had received the most Nigerian students are all located in the state of Texas: Houston Community College, the University of Houston, the University of North Texas, Texas Southern University, and the University of Texas at Arlington.

Other African countries with over 1,000 students in the US during the period include Ghana with 3,049, Kenya with 3,019, and South Africa with 1,813.

The study estimates that international students made up 5.2 percent of all students in U.S. higher education in 2015-16, an increase from 4.8 percent the year before and 3.2 percent a decade earlier.

The Open Doors report also indicated that the number of international students at US colleges and universities surpassed one million for the first time during the 2015-2016 academic year, which is an increase of seven per cent from the previous year to a new high of nearly 1,044,000 students.

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

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The report was released amid concerns that the election of Donald Trump to the presidency could negatively impact future enrollments into US universities by African students.