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Survey links quest for foreign degrees to poor educational system


EducationA new public opinion released by NOI Polls has linked the poor perception of Nigerians towards the country’s tertiary education sector, as a major factor currently fueling the upsurge in the number of citizens seeking to pursue college degrees abroad.

This was followed by the perception that foreign certificates are granted higher value than local certificates; and the consideration that foreign environments tend to be more conducive for studies due to the availability of modern educational facilities, and absence of incessant strike actions.

In a statement relased by the organisation and made available to The Guardian in Abuja, 4 in 10 Nigerians (42 per cent) claim they know someone (either friend or relative) who studied, or currently studying, abroad; and further identified the United Kingdom (27 per cent), USA (23 percent), Malaysia (16 per cent), Ghana (12 per cent) and Canada (8 per cent) as top educational destinations amongst others.

“Similarly, majority of respondents polled maintained that Nigerians with foreign degrees and certificates fare better than their local counterparts, particularly in terms of academic performance (43 per cent), job excellence (50 per cent) and societal contribution (39 per cent).

“The awareness of respondents on the upsurge in the pursuit of Nigerians for foreign qualifications was measured and survey findings revealed that almost two-third (73 per cent) of Nigerians surveyed are mindful of this trend of attaining foreign educational qualifications. Residents from the South South had the highest awareness level (80 per cent) and this is likely connected to the numerous scholarship schemes in the Niger Delta sub-region sponsored or granted by multi-national oil companies operating in the area as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR).

“Results also show that males (76 per cent) were more aware than females and the 61+ age group at 83 per cent also indicated a higher level of awareness than any other age group.

The survey also revealed the top destination for Nigerian students seeking to study abroad; as 27 per cent of the respondents who admitted to knowing someone indicated they were in the United Kingdom.

“This reinforces the 2012 report, which found that there were at least 17, 542 Nigerian students studying in UK universities and about 30, 000 Nigerians who had previously studied in the UK. Interestingly, this number accounted for seven per cent of the total UK university population at the time.

“In response to what can be done by government to improve the quality of education, the need to ‘Improve educational facilities’ ranked highest with 25 percent, followed by the need to ‘adopt a better educational system’ (13 percent) amongst others.

According to the statement: “Nigeria loses billions in foreign exchange annually through Nigerians studying abroad. These are funds if invested in the country would contribute to improving the educational sector.

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