With over 180 million people, Nigeria is the most populous country in Sub-Saharan Africa. Demographically, it is also very young, as almost two thirds of the population is under the age of 25. Such a large and youthful population offers significant opportunities for international educational institutions looking to extend their reach into the Nigerian market.
There are over 300 combined public and private institutions of higher education in Nigeria, including universities, polytechnics, specialized colleges of technologies, and colleges of education. According to the National Universities Commission (NUC) website, these institutions include over 40 federal, 44 state-owned, and 69 private universities. In November 2016, the Federal Executive Council authorized the establishment of eight new private universities.
Despite significant demand for higher education, Nigerian institutions are not able to fully accommodate the country’s training needs. One significant challenge is that universities do not have enough spaces for the number of students seeking admission. Statistics from the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) show that nearly 1.6 million students took the university entrance examination in 2016 (and 1.4 million in 2015), but only 415,500 students gained admission. Inefficient resource management and overburdened services and infrastructure have further hindered Nigeria’s ability to deliver educational services. As a result, many qualified candidates have gone abroad for quality education. Inadequate education has also contributed to a decrease in the number of skilled workers and influenced some people to engage in crime and join Boko Haram insurgency.
Why is Nigeria a good student market?
U.S. colleges and universities are a particularly popular destination for the many Nigerian students obtaining their education abroad. Since the 1990s, there has been an upward trend in the number of Nigerians studying in the United States, with only some minor decreases in enrollment during that time. According to the Institute of International Education, there were 10,674 Nigerians studying in the United States during the 2015-2016 academic year. This was a 12.4% increase from the prior year, making Nigeria the 14th largest source of international students in the United States. In 2015-2016, 50.8% of Nigerian students in the United States were enrolled in undergraduate programs, 35.6% were pursuing graduate studies, and 11.5% were undertaking Optional Practical Training (OPT). In 2016 the Institute of International Education reported that during the prior year Nigerian students had spent about $324 million on educational programs in the United States.
While Nigeria sends many students abroad, the government has also laid out plans to improve educational capacity at home, in part by promoting foreign investment in local training and education programs. In 2016, education was designated as the highest recurring expenditure in both the Federal budget ($1.86 billion) and in many State budgets. The federal government intends to expand the study of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects, as well as training programs for young people in career and technical education (CTE). Other federal programs include the recruitment and training of elementary school teachers, capacity building programs for farmers, and training in the solid minerals and security sectors.
Market Entry & Opportunities
The Nigerian government’s prioritization of education reform offers opportunities for foreign educational institutions. However, the government’s current foreign exchange regulations pose a challenge to overseas companies. In response to falling oil prices in 2015, the Nigerian government has attempted to stabilize the value of Nigeria’s currency, the naira, through stricter foreign exchange policies. It has become increasingly difficult to obtain dollars, and companies have faced obstacles in repatriating earnings issued in naira. Foreign institutions can wait several months for the Central Bank of Nigeria to transmit payments for tuition and fees.
At the same time, there has been a rapid increase of private investment in education in Nigeria, and the demand for books, professional textbooks, and laboratory equipment will continue to grow. The U.S. Commercial Service has identified opportunities for U.S. education-based organizations that can provide custom-made courses for a variety of industries, especially security, aviation, environment, oil and gas, and financial services. There is also a high demand for continuing education programs for Nigerian professionals and academics. Therefore, while there are challenges to doing business in Nigeria, there are also opportunities in the education sector for companies with carefully targeted plans.
Sub-Saharan Africa Education Fairs in Nigeria and Ghana -- Sept. 25-29, 2017
Explore Growing Education Markets in These African Countries!
The U.S. Commercial Service at the Embassies in Ghana and Nigeria, in cooperation with EducationUSA, is organizing education fairs in these two countries from September 25 to 29, 2017. Representatives of accredited* U.S. educational institutions, including community colleges and undergraduate programs, are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity. The fairs will connect U.S. educational institutions with prospective students and potential partners. The stops will include Embassy briefings, student fairs, one-on-one appointments with potential partners, and networking events in Accra, Lagos, and Abuja.
Fair Dates and Locations:
Sept 25-26: Lagos, Nigeria
Sept 27: Abuja, Nigeria
Sept 28-29: Accra, Ghana
*Expenses for travel, lodging, most meals, and incidentals will be the responsibility of each participant.
For more information, please contact: Daniel.Gaines@trade.gov and Marisa.Ring@trade.gov
Education Recruitment Tour to Portugal & France – September 28-October 4, 2017
Meet Students, Potential Partners, and Attend Meetings Designed to Help Your Institution Penetrate the Markets
Meet students, potential partners, and attend meetings designed to help your institution penetrate the markets. The program includes embassy briefings, site visits, meetings with potential partners, student fairs, and networking events in Porto, Lisbon, Paris, Bordeaux, Rennes, and Lyon**. At each primary stop, participants will have the opportunity to sign up for individualized one-on-one appointments in advance.
Dates and Locations -- September 28- October 4, 2017
Thurs – Porto, Portugal
Fri- Sat- Lisbon, Portugal
Sun- Portugal or France
Mon-Tues- Paris, France
Wed- Breakouts to Bordeaux, Rennes, or Lyon
*Expenses for travel, lodging, meals, and incidentals will be the responsibility of each participant unless otherwise noted.
Deadline to Apply: July 31, 2017
For more information, please contact:
July 20, 2017: Brazil Education Market Webinar
Join us for a free informational webinar on Thursday, July 20th at 11:30AM Eastern / 8:30AM Pacific to learn more about the Brazilian education market and the upcoming Virtual Student Recruitment and Partnering Fair organized by FPP EDU Media, in collaboration with the U.S. Commercial Service.
For more details on this free webinar, please contact Kristi Wiggins at Kristi.Wiggins@trade.gov
Fall 2017 - Virtual EXPO with Brazil to Connect American Universities with Brazilian Students and Universities
Connect with students and universities in Brazil without leaving campus!
This Virtual Student Recruitment and Partnering Fair is organized by FPP EDU Media, in collaboration with the U.S. Commercial Service, and offers U.S. institutions the opportunity to meet directly with Brazilian students interested in studying in the United States, as well as Brazilian universities seeking partnerships with U.S. schools.
FPP EDU Media is expecting between 500 and 1,000 students to attend the fair to learn more about American colleges and universities to see which offer a good fit for their needs.
The education sector in Brazil is one of the country’s most important sectors to its economy. Furthermore, it is one of Brazil’s highest priorities. Brazil has around 51 million students currently enrolled in the basic education system (which includes pre-school, elementary and high school), and approximately 6 million students enrolled in higher education institutions. The government wants to increase the number of students enrolled in universities and has created federal government loans and grants to help meet their goal.
General details on Virtual EXPO can be found at: http://www.fppedu.media/virtual-fairs
Cost to register: $1,600
For more information contact:
Kristi Wiggins: Kristi.Wiggins@trade.gov
Laura Reffatti: Laura.Reffatti@trade.gov
September 9, 2017: EducationUSA EXPO – Japan
The Embassy of the United States of America in Tokyo is hosting the EducationUSA EXPO on Saturday, September 9, at the SolarCity in Tokyo. If you are interested in participating, we invite you to complete the registration form which will become live on May 22 noon Japan time at http://americaexpo.jp/for-us-institutions/. The registration deadline is May 31. Successful registrants will be chosen on a randomized basis, although the U.S. Embassy reserves the right to select specific participants in order to ensure a diversity of institutions are represented at the event. Only one booth will be allowed per educational institution, and we will confirm your final registration in June. Due to space limitations, we will cap participation at 96 U.S. higher education institutions.
This event will feature a college fair and informational seminars. The fair will have booths for university representatives (admissions officers, alumni, or current students) to engage with event participants and to display their promotional materials. The informational seminars will cover a variety of topics, including how to choose a school, the application process, financing an education, and career opportunities after graduation.
For more information: http://americaexpo.jp/for-us-institutions/
US-UK Fulbright Commission’s USA College Day 2017
The largest education fair in Europe, USA College Day celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. College Day takes place each September in London and is organized by the US-UK Fulbright Commission. College Day is just one of an entire calendar of events and opportunities throughout the year organized by the US-UK Fulbright Commission. For more information:
October 6-7, 2017: What Career/What University Live
This consumer-facing show began in 2015 and has grown to now include over 10,000 student and parent attendees. The next show is October 2017 in Birmingham, and in 2018 the show will run in three UK cities: Birmingham, Liverpool, and London.
What Career Live? is co-located with its sister show, What University Live? which will help school leavers identify and select which university they wish to apply to, and give parents the opportunity to find out more about how much it will cost, whether it's 'value for money' and the truth about student fees and debt.
For more information: https://www.whatcareerlive.co.uk/
U.S.-International Student Day: Enriching Lives Through American Education and Technology – November 2017
What Is International Student Day?
The goal of an International Student Day is for foreign government and high level officials to see the personal impact U.S. education and education technologies has on their local population. International Student Day seeks to build the human connection through sharing personal stories of how U.S. education and technology is improving lives in their country.
Marketing Partnership Opportunity
International Student Day will provide marketing partners with valuable exposure to and engagement with foreign government Ministries and other critical decision makers. Marketing partners will be responsible for:
Marketing partnership includes:
§ Inclusion of sponsor’s logo in all marketing materials as well as on International Student Day printed program materials
§ Sponsor table at International Student Day Program
§ Up to three educational institution or company attendees may attend the International Student Day program
§ Networking opportunities with all attendees
§ List and contact information of International Student Day program (to be distributed following the event)
§ Social Media Promotion
Questions or Interested in Becoming a Marketing Partner? Contact Sara.Moreno@trade.gov
U.S. Pavilion at OCSC Education 2017, Education Road Show – Bangkok & Chiang Mai – November 8 – 14, 2017
Each year, dozens of U.S. Schools attend Thailand’s largest education fair in Bangkok (The Office of the Civil Service Commission (OCSC) International Education Expo. This is the 5th year for the U.S. Pavilion at OCSC Education 2017, and the 1st year it has received Trade Fair Certification. This is a growing show and a wonderful opportunity for U.S. institutions interested in attracting students from Thailand.
In addition to assisting U.S. institutions connect with Thai students at OCSC Education 2017, the U.S. Commercial Service in Thailand is organizing a Road Show to Bangkok Nov. 8-10th and to Chiang Mai Nov. 13-14th for U.S. institutions interested in visiting international high schools. The Bangkok portion includes: Embassy breakfast briefings, three-day high school visits, and two-day exhibition fair. The Chiang Mai portion includes: networking reception night at the U.S. Consulate, two high school visits, and international education fair.
Register today! Explore market opportunities, meet more students, and connect with high school counselors in Thailand. Registration at: http://bit.ly/eduroadshowUSA
Deadline: September 25, 2017
For more information, please contact:
Trade Promotions Programs Project Manager: Allison.Moore@trade.gov , Washington, D.C.
U.S. Commercial Service Thailand: Thanyathorn Voravongsatit (Nan) firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you interested in an excellent opportunity to recruit international students? How would you like to recruit students without ever setting foot on a plane? The USDOC provides Virtual Education Events, which allow schools to showcase themselves to agents using a PowerPoint presentation on a webinar platform. Below is a list of upcoming Virtual Education Events. If you participate in one of these events, please be prepared to move forward if the appropriate opportunity presents itself.
Virtual Education Fair for U.S. Community Colleges with China (Greater Shenyang area)
Interested in virtually meeting pre-screened student recruitment agents in the Greater Shenyang area, China? Located Northeast of Beijing and per the U.S. Consulate in Shenyang, this region has especially outstanding opportunities for U.S. Community Colleges to recruit students. In the 2015/16 academic year, the 328,547 Chinese students in the U.S. represented an 8% increase from the previous year and now comprise 31.5% of all international students in the U.S.
Date: Fall 2017
Cost: $650 limited to six (6) U.S. Institutions. Registration will be based on a first come, first served basis.
Who Should Participate: U.S. Community Colleges as the Greater Shenyang area, China, has tremendous student recruitment opportunities for these type of U.S. educational institutions.
To Participate or Inquire, Please Contact: Jim Paul, U.S. Commercial Service Boston (MA), email@example.com, tel.: 617-565-4304
For information on future virtual fairs in the following markets/regions, please contact:
India, please contact Amy.Freedman@trade.gov
Kazakhstan, please contact Shelby.Peterson@trade.gov
If there is a country/region that you are interested in that is not listed here, please let us know. For more information on any of these virtual fairs, or to be added to a list for specific events, please contact: Gabriela Zelaya, U.S. Commercial Service San Jose, Gabriela.Zelaya@trade.gov
New! The Global Education Team’s Education and Training Services Resource Guide 2017
This resource guide includes comparable and individual market assessments of countries listed as best prospects for U.S. training and educational services. Assessments are based on observation and market research. You can access the guide by visiting: http://tinyurl.com/z3edx23
Commerce Department Releases Report Ranking Top Export Markets, Including Education
With a goal of helping U.S. educational institutions identify export markets, the Top Markets Report on Education provides in-depth commentary on key cross-border opportunities, trends, and challenges for U.S. institutions aiming to broaden their global presence. Country case studies in the report include Brazil, China, France and Germany, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam. To access the Top Markets Report on Education at no cost to you, and to learn more about the Top Markets Series, go to the Department of Commerce press release and click on Education: http://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2015/07/commerce-department-releases-new-reports-ranking-top-export-markets-help
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