Nigeria Tops UK’s List for Most International Students’ Dependents in Four Years

United Kingdom Europe Higher Education News International Studies by Erudera News Nov 30, 2023

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Newly released data from the UK government revealed that Nigeria had the highest number of international students' dependents in the United Kingdom in the last four years, surpassing India.

According to the government’s report, the number of dependents from Nigeria increased from 1,427 in 2019 to a notable 60,506 at the end of September 2023, meaning it was an increase of 59,079 individuals, Erudera.com reports.

“There were 60,506 dependants of Nigerian nationals in the year ending September 2023, an increase of 59,079 compared to 2019 and 9,435 more visas issued than to main applicants in the same period. Indian nationals had the second highest number of dependants, increasing from 2,127 to 43,445 in the same time period,” the report points out.

At the same time, India reported an increase from 2,127 dependents in 2019 to 43,445 by the end of September this year.

The government also indicates an overall increase in both the total number of dependents in the UK and the issuance of sponsored-study-related visas for dependents since 2019.

The Home Office’s data show that a total of 486,107 individuals from India, China, Nigeria, the United States, and Pakistan moved to the UK to pursue education by the end of September 2023.

“For the year ending September 2023, there were 486,107 sponsored study visas granted to main applicants, similar to the year ending September 2022 (+ two percent) but almost double (+86 percent) the year ending September 2019, prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the report adds.

India led the pack with the highest number of arrivals, closely followed by China, Nigeria, Pakistan, and the United States. Nonetheless, Pakistan witnessed the most significant percentage increase, with 33,150 nationals in UK at the end of September 2023, or a 33 percent growth.

Amidst the large number of immigrants entering the UK, the government announced tough restrictions earlier this year. Under the new rules, effective January 2024, international students will not be allowed to bring their family members into the country unless enrolled in postgraduate research courses.

The significant move came as part of the government’s efforts to tackle net migration, reportedly reaching one million.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the net migration of international students entering the UK on a study-related visa reached 263,000 for the year ending (YE) June 2023. The figure includes students who changed their visa type during their time in the UK.

>> New Poll: 64% of UK Public Wants International Student Numbers to Remain Unrestricted

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