The government of the United Kingdom (UK) says the number of Nigerians granted sponsored study visas increased by over 500 percent in two years.
The UK government disclosed this on Thursday, in a report stating the country’s immigration statistics as of March 2022.
According to the UK government, within two years – March 2020 to March 2022 – a total of 49,532 study visas were granted in the period under review.
As stated in the report, as of March 2020, a total of 9,355 sponsored study visas were granted, but by March 2022, the figure had increased to 58,887.
In terms of the number of sponsored study visas granted, Nigeria had the third highest number of nationalities — after China and India — as of March 2022.
“Chinese nationals were the most common nationality granted Sponsored study visas in the year ending March 2022, with 116,967 visas granted, similar to the number seen in the year ending March 2020 (118,291),” the report reads.
“Although the overall number was similar, Chinese students accounted for only 25% of the total number of Sponsored study visas granted, the lowest proportion since the year ending March 2012 and much lower than the peak of 43% in the year ending September 2019.
COVID-19 restrictions were implemented early in China, from January 2020, and therefore may have disproportionately affected the number of study grants to Chinese students in 2020. Before travel restrictions were implemented, there had been a steady rise in the number and proportion of Sponsored study visas granted to Chinese nationals since 2009.
“There were 107,978 grants to Indian nationals in the year ending March 2022, almost double (+93%) the number compared to the previous year and 122% higher than the year ending March 2020. Indian nationals remain the nationality with the second highest number of Sponsored study visa grants. Chinese and Indian nationals together comprise almost half (48%) of all Sponsored study grants.
“For the other top 5 nationalities, Nigerian nationals saw the largest percentage increase in Sponsored Study grants compared with the year ending March 2020, increasing by 49,532 (+529%) to a record high of 58,887, making them the third largest nationality group in the last year.”