International Educator - May/June 2019 - 22

New reforms and a growing youth population
expand Nigeria's place in international education
In the landscape of international
education, Nigeria is the awakening giant
of the African continent. A dominant
source of international students studying
abroad and a force within the higher
education sector throughout Africa,
Nigeria's role will only expand in coming
years, as its population is expected to
eclipse that of the United States by 2050.
Located in western Africa, Nigeria is a
resource-rich country with a strong and
growing middle class that recently overtook
South Africa as the continent's largest
economy (as measured by gross domestic
product). It also boasts enormous diversity;
between its more urban, Christian south
and the more rural, Muslim north, Nigeria
has more than 250 ethnic groups.
Yet, it is challenged by widespread
poverty, a dependence on the petroleum
industry that led to a recession in 2016
after prices declined, currency problems,
corruption, and conflict, including the
Boko Haram Islamist militant group.
Many experts across Africa and
beyond anticipate whether new
educational reforms can help Nigeria's
higher education sector better cope
with the youth bulge that is challenging
its capacity and quality, two issues that
drive many Nigerians abroad for their
higher education.

The State of Higher Education
in Nigeria
With a large total population-it is
the seventh most populous country in
the world, with 190 million citizens in
2017-Nigeria's youth population is
proportionally even larger. The median
age was 17.9 in 2015, and its domestic
22  

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR M AY + J U N.2019

higher education system is having
trouble keeping up. According to the
executive secretary of Nigeria's National
Universities Commission (NUC),
Rasheed Abubakar, between 2012 and
2017, only 19 percent of applicants to
Nigerian universities gained admission-
excluding 6.3 million qualified applicants.
Nigeria's higher education landscape
includes 167 institutions, according to
the NUC: 41 federal universities, 47 state
universities, and 79 private institutions.
Because many of the private universities
are faith-based and have limited
enrollments, they are a relatively small part
of the higher education equation.
Some of the oldest higher education
institutions, including the University
of Ibadan, the University of Ife (now
Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife), and
the University of Lagos, were founded
under the guidance of a British High
Nigeria's youth bulge is
taxing the country's higher
education institutions, leading
to increased class sizes and
alternative education options.

NESA BY MAKERS ON UNSPLASH

The Awakening Giant

Commission and enjoyed extraordinary
early success. That era was followed by
a period of dictatorship and educational
neglect, in part due to prioritizing
development of primary and secondary
education in a country where the literacy
rate is only 60 percent.
In recent years, an extraordinary youth
bulge has led the country to expand its
higher education sector by increasing
class sizes and launching new institutions,
which has led to what many call a decline
in educational experience. Strikes by
academic staff have frequently shut down
campuses, sometimes for periods that
cumulatively added up to months.
The public institutions, which are
tuition-free, are vastly more accessible to
the relatively small middle class than to the
massive impoverished lower classes in the
country, in part because the former typically
speak better English, test into the public
system, and can afford incidental fees.
"The poor are going to polytechnics and
colleges of education with all kinds of hidden
charges, when it is they who should be
supported and subsidized in the universities,"
says Francis Egbokhare, a professor of
linguistics at the University of Ibadan.



International Educator - May/June 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - May/June 2019

From the Desk of
In Brief
Global Spotlight: Iran
Quick Questions
Feature: Africa’s Education Evolution
Feature: Mental Health: At Home and Abroad
Feature: The Faces of International Education
Education Abroad
International Student Affairs
International Enrollment Management
International Education Leadership
Forum
Take 5
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Cover1
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Cover2
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 1
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 2
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 3
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 4
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 5
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 6
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 7
International Educator - May/June 2019 - From the Desk of
International Educator - May/June 2019 - In Brief
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 10
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 11
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 12
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 13
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 14
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Global Spotlight: Iran
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Quick Questions
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 17
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 18
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 19
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Feature: Africa’s Education Evolution
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 21
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 22
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 23
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 24
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 25
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 26
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 27
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 28
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 29
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 30
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 31
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 32
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 33
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 34
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 35
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Feature: Mental Health: At Home and Abroad
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 37
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 38
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 39
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 40
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 41
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 42
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 43
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 44
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Feature: The Faces of International Education
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 46
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 47
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 48
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 49
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Education Abroad
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 51
International Educator - May/June 2019 - International Student Affairs
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 53
International Educator - May/June 2019 - International Enrollment Management
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 55
International Educator - May/June 2019 - International Education Leadership
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 57
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 58
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 59
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Forum
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 61
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 62
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 63
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Take 5
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Cover3
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Cover4
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