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Nigeria growth “dominating” UK recruitment

Nigeria is growing faster than any other country year-on-year in terms of offers being made, according to new data from UniQuest.

Cohorts from both Nigeria and India are “overwhelmingly” at postgraduate level. Photo: Pexels

While Nigeria remains on the up and up in terms of offer holders, the Chinese market is “not yet emerging”

The student conversion platform’s monthly data shows that not only is Nigeria’s growth pace dominating in terms of both offers being made and firm acceptances, but cohorts from both Nigeria and India are “overwhelmingly” at postgraduate level.

“Nigeria is already matching India amongst our partner group in terms of the volume of offers that have been made,” Jenni Parsons, product and partnerships director at UniQuest told The PIE News.

“It is currently growing at a faster pace year-on-year than any other market and looks set to overtake India within the next month,” she continued.

The sample was taken from seven higher education partners of UniQuest in April 2022, directly compared to April 2021.

While Nigeria remains on the up and up in terms of offer holders, the Chinese market is “not yet emerging” from current issues such as Covid lockdowns, with it likely to “be 2023 before we see growth” in numbers there.

Iran, however, has become one of the emerging countries in terms of offer holders, and has appeared as a top 10 market for UniQuest partners “for the first time”.

“Iran is somewhat of a mystery because there’s nothing any one university is doing to drive that growth – we do know that there are postgraduate capacity issues in Iran, but the UK is a surprise destination for those students to look at,” Parsons told The PIE.

“It might be that previously they would have turned to the US and are now looking for alternative study destinations… the uptick in interest is also something we’re seeing across Keystone Education Group [UniQuest’s parent group],” she added.

Keystone’s FindAUniversity tool has demonstrated this uptick – its FindAMasters site has had an 11% year-on-year increase in Iranian users and an 8% increase on FindAPhD.

“Nigeria looks set to overtake India within the next month”

In terms of firm acceptances, Nigeria is seeing a 150% increase in the total pool of firm acceptances in comparison to the same time in 2021 – but Sri Lanka looks to be a point of interest in the coming months in terms of probability of growth.

“Up until now Sri Lanka has been growing in terms of demand through 2022; however the impact of the financial crisis will mean that the reality of being able to travel to study may not be possible in the current climate,” Parsons explained.

The US has also remained flat despite “heavy investment on recruitment activity” from some UK institutions – there remains hope for growth in 2023 in that area of the market, Uniquest predicts.

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