At least 13,423 Nigerians currently studying in the United States of America contributed $514 million to the US economy in 2018, according to official data.
The data is contained in the 2019 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange released by the Institute of International Education (IIE) and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
The report indicates that Nigeria is the 11th leading place of origin for foreign students in the US as of the 2018/2019 session as it accounts for 1.2 per cent of the total number of 1,095,299 international students in the country.
A breakdown of the figure shows that 5,689 of Nigerian students are at the undergraduate level, 5,274 at the graduate level, 367 at non-degree students, and 2,093 on Optional Practical Training (OPT).
According to Wikipedia, OPT is a period during which undergraduate and graduate students work for one year on a student visa toward acquiring practical training to complement their education.
Nigeria is the only African country in the top 20 places of origin for international students in the US.
China holds the top position with 369,548 students;India follows with 202,014, South Korea ,52,250; Saudi Arabia 37,080; and Canada rounding out the top five with 26,122 students.
According to the report, international students account for 5.5 per cent of the total US higher education population.
Citing data from the US Department of Commerce, the report said that foreign students contributed $44.7 billion to the US economy in 2018, an increase of 5.5 per cent from the previous year.
THE SUN, NIGERIA