Nigerian students saw the largest increase in UK visa in 2022

65,929 Nigerian students received UK student visa in 2022, 8 times more visa than it was in 2019, an increase of 686%.

UK issued 486,868 Sponsored study visas in the year ending June 2022, 71% more than in 2019, the last full year before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Out of the 486,868 Sponsored study visas granted, Nigerian students were granted 65,929 visas which is 57545 higher than visas issued in year ending 2019 (8,384), nearly an eight-fold increase (686%) – this is the largest relative increase in Sponsored Study visa grants to any national compared with 2019.

Top 3 nationalities: Relative increase in Sponsored Study visas, 2019 compared to year ending June 2022

Nationality Increase in percentage
Nigeria +686%
Pakistan +377%
India +215%


In the year ending 2021, UK granted 36,783 study visas to Nigerian students who saw an increase of 29,146 visas in 2022, a 79% increase in the space of just one year.

Number of study visas issued by UK to Nigerian students by years

Year Number of study visas issued
2020 8,229
2021 36,783
2022 65,929


Top 3 nationalities with largest increase in UK study visas 2021 compared with year ending June 2022

Nationality Increase in percentage
Nigeria 79%
Pakistan 58%
India 30%


The demand or need to immigrate for Nigerians is not too hard to diagnose as high poverty, social discrimination, political bias, unemployment, poor human capital development, sexual harassment, insecurity and poor education are some of the many reasons its young population is bailing out of the country to seek brighter futures in rich countries.

After the Brexit, The UK is looking more to the commonwealth and other countries outside the European Union to fill its skills shortage. The flexibility in study visa, introduction of post study work visa and giving access to skilled work and other visas towards settlement have made the UK popular among international students and Nigerian students have seized this opportunity. In fact, Nigeria in the priority list of visas in the UK Government’s new and updated education strategy. UK Government is also looking forward to establish a trade alliance with Nigeria, the nation is in line for a deeper bilateral education agreement led by the Department for International Trade.

According to Sir Steve Smith, UK international education champion“any university that is totally dependent or very largely dependent on one market needs to have a risk assessment of that. That’s not a comment about China as such, but that’s a general point. We’ve always said [it’s best to] have a balanced portfolio, be aware of risks around the world and we don’t talk about a particular country in that sense.”

“What we’re trying to do is to diversify the markets in which the UK can prosper and develop partnerships within a suspicion that international student numbers over the next decade will rise.”

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