In 2009, United Kingdom universities recorded the registration of 16,680 Nigerian students. At the time, this number made Nigerians the third largest student population in the UK. In 2011, the number increased to 17, 585.
The Ukraine ministry of education and science also revealed that about 4,300 Nigerians study in Ukraine. 2021 statistics revealed that the number of Nigerian students in the United Kingdom was already at over twenty thousand.
The essence of the introduction of Universal Basic Education in September, 1999 was to reduce the problem of illiteracy, ignorance and poverty to the minimum level through education. Section 18 of the 1999 Nigerian constitution states that the government shall direct its policy to ensuring that there are equal educational opportunities at all levels. So far, it has been failing. The quality of Nigerian education is worse than the pre-1976 era, when Ghanaians sought education from Nigeria. The tide has turned and many Nigerians are leaving to study in Ghana. In 2020, Nigerian students studying in Ghana were the highest in number (2,960) compared to other West African countries. The same Nigeria that forced Ghana out of her country.
The causes of the constant decline in Nigerian education are inadequate qualified teachers, poor motivation of teachers, and insufficient learning facilities, all caused by the government's nonchalance and continued rancour with university staff.
On 14th of February, 2022, the Academic Staff Union of Universities started yet another strike which, yielding no tangible result, was extended, disrupting many students' education. The government does not appear to be budging. Strikes have become a norm that is extremely ineffective. Students end up suffering extensions, unable to accurately predict when they get to complete their education.
This is one reason Nigerians travel abroad for studies - the ability to predict when the education ends.
Seeing the continuous decline in the education sector, the private sector has become trusted among those who are unable or unwilling to leave the country. Individuals and organisations, mostly religious, established tertiary institutions that offer close to the same standard of education in foreign countries. They offer stability and a great learning environment.
Education remains a top priority for many Nigerian families. With the government not being able to provide the kind of education that meets existing world standards, Nigerians will continue to search out other means of educating themselves in climes where the standard of education is of top quality and on the ascendancy.