75,000 Nigerian Students Study in Ghana — Study:
The recent deaths of some Nigerian students in Ghana shattered the ‘Eldorado’ perceptions of Nigerian parents towards Ghanaian tertiary institutions. Subsequent critical assessment of Ghana’s institutions has highlighted their good, bad and the ugly sides – along with the extraordinary news that there are now some 75,000 Nigerians studying in Ghana.
Authorities in the two West African countries have agreed to implement the Arusha Convention on recognition of higher education qualifications in Africa, with a view to improving the portability of degrees and tackling problems in many private universities in Ghana, where Nigerian enrolments are on the rise.
The murder of Godwin Ayogu (19), a Nigerian social science student at the University of Cape Coast, awakened the consciousness of Nigerians towards some harsh realities of the living and working conditions of Nigerians in the neighbouring country.
In April, five students were arrested for allegedly killing Ayogu when he tried to recover money lent to a fellow student. Late last year two Nigerian students accidently drowned while on a university outing in Ghana, and a Nigerian school pupil died mysteriously in Tema.
The Ayogu case triggered an intervention by the Nigerian government through its embassy in Ghana’s capital Accra, and also made Nigerians aware for the first time just how many Nigerian students were in Ghana’s public and private universities.
In a public lecture Lamido Sanusi, former governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank, revealed the numbers and cost implications for students.
“Although there are no comprehensive data on the number of Nigerian students abroad, recent data have shown that there are about 71,000 Nigerian students in Ghana paying about US$1 billion annually as tuition fees and upkeep, as against the annual budget of US$751 million for all federal universities.
“In other words, the money spent by Nigerian students studying in Ghana with a better organised system is more than the annual budget of all federal universities in the country,” Sanusi said.
“Nigeria is today placed third on the list of countries with the highest number of students studying overseas.”
Sanusi’s extraordinary figures are considered reliable, since all requests for overseas remittances – including for student fee and upkeep payments – go through the bank. But they could be on the low side as they are based only on remittances, and other estimates have put the numbers at 75,000 Nigerian students in Ghana.
Nigerians highly value education and families dream of producing a graduate. But there are not nearly enough places in universities.
Every year about 1.5 million school leavers sit for compulsory entrance examinations into 150 public and private universities whose approved carrying capacity is 600,000 students.
It is not surprising that Ghana has become a destination for many of the very large number of Nigerian students who do not gain access to higher education at home.
Source: World University News