By Tolulope Atanniyi
& Adebola Ariyo
Following closure of public universities in the county for months, many Nigerian students are leaving for foreign countries en masse.
A recent survey by The Hope shows that 80% of tertiary students in the country are ready to leave the country to pursue their academic careers.
Canada, America and the United Kingdom top the list of the most preferred countries by the students.
Since 2015, the preferred destinations for Nigerian students also include Malaysia, Cyprus and Ukraine.
The Hope survey further revealed that incessant strike, unemployment, insecurity, economic downturn and low academic support in the country are major reasons for high education tourism in Nigeria.
A report by the Central Bank of Nigeria showed that Nigerians spent about US$221million on foreign education between December 2021 and February 2022.
Reports also showed that Nigeria has the highest population of African students studying abroad, a situation described by education stakeholders as depressing.
With mass exodus of professionals and students, the future of the country is questionable.
In view of the development, an educationist, Dr. Abiola Akingbemisilu said education tourism is a double edged sword for the country.
“It is a plus in the sense that it adds to the international experience of the students. We have heard about many Nigerian students doing fantastically well in their studies abroad. If those students had stayed at home, the name of the country might not have been recognized by other countries.
“While on the other way, it becomes a minus when we don’t utilize what we have. We say our students go to other countries to study, whereas it would be better if they study here in Nigeria.”
Akingbemilusi said many brilliant young minds had left the country to pursue further studies abroad and this has negative implications on the development of the nation at large.