Daily Trust (Abuja)

28 January 2013

Nigeria: 2 in 3 Students Can't Enter Varsity, Says Wike

Only one out of every three students seeking university placement can get admission in Nigeria, says minister of state for education Nyesom Wike.

The shortfall has turned Nigeria into a booming market for schools trolling for international students.

"Nigeria is only able to [provide one-third of admission space for ] its eligible candidates, making Nigeria one of the largest market for education around the world," the minister said Monday.

He spoke as the Canada Education Fair opened in Abuja.

Canada has become a favourite destination for international students from Nigeria in the last 10 years.

Fast track visa

The country boasts high employment rate for graduates from its colleges, and the fair facilities fast-track visa procedures for prospective students, said Edward Fast, Canada's minister for international trade.

He added nearly half international students in Canadian schools last year were of Nigerian origin--providing homey atmosphere to encourage Nigerian students to apply to Canadian schools.

More than 40 Canadian universities and secondary schools are recruiting students from Nigeria this year.

Declaring the fair open, Fast said Canada offered employment to nearly 80% of students within six months of graduation.

One prospective applicant for a postgraduate diploma in Canada's Niagara College, Mary W, said she wanted a change of environment because Nigeria's education system was not conducive for learning.

After comparing three schools, she said, their tuition "was on the high side, but when you look at the advantages, you will benefit."

Students and their parents attending the fair, however, are concerned about tuition, security and job opportunities in Canda.

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