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Sunday, August 6, 2017

The Business Opportunity in Nigeria’s Demand for Foreign/Overseas Education

There is a booming market for overseas Education in Nigeria. Nearly 1 million Nigerians study abroad and they spent over 1.5 trillion naira in 2016 on foreign education according to the speaker of the house of reps – Yakubu Dogara. What makes it interesting is that the figure has been increasing yearly since 2010 because of identified gaps in local Tertiary Education plus the fact that securing overseas Education offers better job opportunities both within Nigeria and abroad, increased skillset and access to globally recognized professional networks which could offer opportunities for future financial and technical partnerships.

The demand for foreign education is one of the main reasons the Naira is losing its value against major foreign currencies but sentiments aside, if a business opportunity exists, it remains a business opportunity and is open for savvy individuals to exploit.  

The Market Opportunity for Foreign Education Service in Nigeria
There are many reasons why Nigerians especially the middle class group seek foreign education opportunities. The main reason is that when armed with a foreign degree, the sky is the limit indeed. You can secure foreign employment and be paid in dollars, pounds, Euros which is much better than being paid in naira. Alternatively you can be employed and paid handsomely in naira by a multi-national company based in Nigeria (oil companies, telecoms operator, United Nations, hospitality operator etc) or secure a plum job in one of the top government institutions such as; NNPC, CBN, DMO or Nigerian Customs to name a few. This means a lot of Nigerians associate it with improved future standard of living.

Second reason is Nigerian degrees are not well respected even here in Nigeria not to talk of overseas. Imagine you have a Masters’ degree obtained from a government owned University in Nigeria and you have to compete with a Bachelor’s degree holder from one of the best Universities in the UK for a position, the foreign educated graduate has a huge advantage over you. Nigerian Universities are notorious for; money for grades, sex for grades, exam malpractice, certificate forgeries, industrial strike action, cultism etc which contribute to declining academic standards and many employers both local and foreign are aware of this. So Nigerians who can afford it prefer to offer their children quality education they can defend and use anywhere in the world which sadly most of our local Universities are not currently offering.

Third reason is the possibility of emigrating from Nigeria if things don’t improve career wise. After toiling for years with little to show for it many Nigerians leave for better economic opportunities abroad and the reality is Nigerians living abroad are the third largest contributors to Nigeria’s overall foreign exchange earnings. Meaning that if after returning to Nigeria with your degree obtained abroad, you can relocate if Nigeria becomes too hot for your career to bear.

Where is the Money in this Business Opportunity?
If you wish to exploit this business opportunity you may want to look into the following outlets;
  • Overseas Educational Consulting: provide prospects with information about the best courses, schools, and countries they can pursue their Educational and career dreams. You can also provide them with information about scholarship opportunities, financial aid programs and other sources of funding for their tuition or even countries that offer free tuition opportunities and how to secure admission into such opportunities. You make money here by signing them up for your consultancy services.
  • Exams tutoring: most overseas educational opportunities require candidates to write different exams, which usually have cutoff marks which they must score before their application can even be considered. Getting that minimum score is always a problem and you can charge them money to prepare for these exams
  • Seminars, workshops and Trainings: you can charge a token fee when you organize seminars, workshops and training opportunities for intending students which will open their eyes to different opportunities that will fit into their budgets or even preferences. These seminars can show them various; undergraduate courses, post graduate courses (Ph.D degrees, Masters Degrees, post graduate diplomas), technical education opportunities, professional training courses, employment opportunities, scholarships, free tuition colleges, endowment funds they are eligible for etc  

Top 10 Countries Nigerians migrate to for Foreign Education - based on cumulative national cost of School Fees
The following countries based on the estimated average sums and population of Nigerians studying in these countries;

Top 10 destinations for Nigerians seeking Foreign Education as at January 2016 with estimated amounts spent as school fees in 2015 in each country
  • United Kingdom (nearly 18,000 Nigerians studying in the UK spent over N104 billion on school fees)
  • Ghana (71,000+ Nigerians studying in Ghana spent over N72 billion on school fees)
  • United States (7,300+ Nigerians studying in the USA spent over N39.4 billion on school fees)
  • Malaysia (13,000+ Nigerians studying in Malaysia spent over N19 billion on school fees)
  • Canada (3,500+ Nigerians studying in Canada spent over N13 billion on school fees)
  • South Africa (2,500+ Nigerians studying in South Africa spent over N9 billion on School fees)
  •  Australia (1,400+ Nigerians studying in Australia spent over N7 billion on school fees)
  • Russia (3,300+ Nigerians studying in Russia spent over N6.8 billion on school fees)
  • UAE (1,500+ Nigerians spent over N5.8 billion on school fees in Dubai and other UAE campuses)
  • India  (1,200+ Nigerians studying in India spent over N2.5 billion)

To study abroad in most foreign Universities, the least amount you will likely pay when converted to naira is roughly 1,200,000+ and that is for Ghana whereas in US universities you may pay as much as $15,000 per annum depending on the University and course of study. Also this breakdown does not include other expenses such as consultancy fees, accommodation etc.

There are many agencies already operating in the field which is highly competitive but there are still other opportunities which are emerging such as online degree courses, educational affiliations with very sound but less known Universities, webinars etc. This is a multi-billion dollar opportunity for which nearly 1 million Nigerians stand to benefit.

Looking to exploit this opportunity and need a solid marketing plan or a business plan in Educational consulting? Give me a call: 0803 206 4106 or email me for details: paulonwueme@gmail.com