At least 13,423 Nigerians currently studying in the U.S. contributed 514 million dollars to the U.S. 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 U.S. as of the 2018/2019 session.
It accounts for 1.2 percent of the total number of 1,095,299 international students in the country.
A breakdown of the figure shows that 5,689 of the Nigerian students are at the undergraduate level, 5,274 at the graduate level, 367 at the non-degree students, and 2,093 on Optional Practical Training (OPT).
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria is the only African country in the top 20 places of origin for international students in the U.S.
China holds the top position with 369,548 students, followed by India with 202,014, South Korea (52,250), Saudi Arabia (37,080), and Canada rounding out the top five with 26,122 students.
Citing data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the report said that foreign students contributed 44.7 billion dollars to the U.S. economy in 2018, an increase of 5.5 percent from the previous year.
Speaking at the launch of the report in Washington, Royce said that promoting the mobility of international students remained a top priority for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.