The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Richard Montgomery, claimed that the number of Nigerian students in UK universities increased from 20,000 to 127,000 in three years.
Montgomery further said that 325,000 visas were awarded to Nigerians alone out of the 3 million issued to international students and other immigrants in 2022.
The ambassador made this known while defending the UK government’s new policy on the restriction of foreign student visas.
He said the policy was a mechanism devised at managing the pressure on social services for scholars.
“Three years ago, there were 20,000 Nigerian students in British higher education institutions, and last year, the number increased to 127,000,” Montgomery said.
“So, we had a five-fold increase in the number of students from Nigeria coming to UK universities.
“We are delighted that UK universities continue to attract the best and brightest from Nigeria.”
The envoy stated that, in 2022, “the UK granted three million new UK visas of various types, including students and other visitors.”
He added, “Nigerians alone received 325,000 of those three million visas.
“So more than 10 per cent of the visas from the UK are to Nigerian citizens which is fantastic.
“It goes back to the fact that the UK and Nigeria have strong people-to-people links.”
“The policy change is about people who are doing non-research degrees coming to the UK as undergraduates, or for a one-year master’s degree programme, and who decide to bring their dependents.
“We have had a very significant rise in the number of people coming from all around the world, not just from Nigeria.
“This has caused some strain on the UK.”