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Education Team Newsletter – Spring 2017


Featured Market: Nigeria
By Joseph Umoetteh – Commercial Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service – Lagos

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.


International Education Fairs

Costa Rica Community College Education Fair -- April 27-29th, 2017

The U.S. Commercial Service and Education USA Costa Rica would like to invite U.S. Community Colleges to participate in the second edition of the Community College Education Fair.

The fair will include:

  • Three visits to the high schools (students expected 600)
  • One afternoon will be dedicated to government meetings and the formal education sessions with counselors.
  • An Open Education Fair with students and parents that will take place on Saturday.
  • Optional cultural event.
  • Transportation services from and to the airport.
  • Some meals are included.

Cost: $1950

Expenses for travel, lodging, most meals, and incidentals will be the responsibility of each tour participant.

** We only accept Community Colleges with annual tuition fee lower than $15,000.

For additional information, contact Stephanie Heckel


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



  • $2,000 per non-profit institution
  • $2,500 per for-profit institution


  • $1,700 per non-profit institution
  • $2,200 per for-profit institution

*Expenses for travel, lodging, most meals, and incidentals will be the responsibility of each participant.

For more information, please contact: and


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

Participation Costs*:

  • $3,100 non-profit institution
  • $3,200 for-profit institution
  • $500 for each additional representative

*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:


Upcoming Webinars

International Program Best Practices & Travel Risk Management

Does your institution have a Travel Risk Management program? Not sure? Join us to find out how to ensure that your institution has you covered!

This webinar will feature:

  • Presentation from experts at Talus Group LLC, who will review best practices when travelling internationally and provide the outline for a robust travel risk management program.
  • Peer case - institution sharing their best practices and how they developed a program after a triggering incident.
  • Recommended Resources

Date: Tuesday, April 25, 2017
: 1 -2 PM (EST)/10 -11 AM(PST)
: Click here to register

For details, please contact:


Calculating ROI for your International Marketing & Recruitment

Learn about an online tool to assist international educators in tracking and analyzing return on investment (ROI) metrics.  The ROI model looks at the investments of staff time and budget for student recruitment, and the corresponding returns.  It also aims to factor in more subjective, qualitative variables that play an important role in shaping returns on marketing and recruitment activities.  Learn about how you can strengthen your decision making around recruitment strategies and budgets.

Date: May 2, 2017
1-2 PM (EST)/10-11 AM (EST)
Registration Link

For details contact:


Promotional Events Supported by the U.S. Commercial Service

Seeking UK Partners at NAFSA

Commercial Service UK is working to support the UK delegation of universities attending NAFSA 2017.  If you are interested in forming partnerships with UK higher education institutions, please contact to learn more.


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:


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.

  • International Student Day Events will take place around the globe throughout the month of November 2017. Each country program will be 2-3 hours in length and will feature presentations from local Students and Educators who will talk about how US education and technologies in the education sector have improved their lives. A networking reception where Ministry Officials can speak with U.S. schools and technology firms will follow these presentations. 

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:

  • Locating an Alum or Educator in the target country who attended your institution or, in the case of companies, uses your company’s technology and would be willing to speak at the International Student Day.
  • Attending the local International Student Day to discuss new programs or technology or answer questions.

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

Partnership Levels

  • $1500 per country
  • $1000 per country (when sponsoring 10 or more markets)

**Important Notes:

  • International Student Day is not a policy platform! Rather, this is an opportunity to make a soft pitch for US programs and technologies.

Questions or Interested in Becoming a Marketing Partner? Contact


Virtual Education Events

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: Monday, May 22, 2017 at 9:00pm EDT/8:00pm CDT/7:00pm MDT/6:00pm PDT (next morning in China)

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),, tel.:  617-565-4304


For information on future virtual fairs in the following markets/regions, please contact:

India, please contact

Western Europe, please contact

Kazakhstan, please contact


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,


Top Education and Training Market Research

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:


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:

  Notice to Visitors!

  The link you have chosen will take you to a non-U.S. Government website.

  If the page does not appear in 5 seconds, please click this: outside web site is managed by the International Trade Administration and external links are covered by its website  disclaimer statement.

  Notice to Visitors!

  The link you have chosen will take you to a non-U.S. Government website.

  If the page does not appear in 5 seconds, please click this: outside web site is managed by the International Trade Administration and external links are covered by its website disclaimer statement.