April 11, 2023

‘Japa’: Three reasons Nigerian youths go abroad for studies

‘Japa’: Three reasons Nigerian youths go abroad for studies

By Biodun Busari

Nigeria continues to witness the exodus of its citizens to developed countries in search of a better life. One of the platforms, Nigerian youths use to seek greener pastures overseas is by relocating to study abroad. The Association of Nigerian Students in Europe (ANSE) said over 3 million Nigerians studied in Europe in 2022.

Also, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said Nigerians spent $1.38 billion on international education between January and September 2022. While the World Bank said 50% of Nigerian youths want to leave.

With all these figures, Vanguard reveals three main reasons Nigerian youths seek relocation to study abroad.

Frustration and hardship associated with Nigerian education:

Like almost every other thing in the country, Nigerian education comes with persistent hardship and frustration ranging from the purchase of forms to taking courses, paying tuition fees, and others. The learning process could be difficult if facilities are not available, and this has driven millions to pursue education abroad.

Speaking about this, a German-based Nigerian linguist, Ms Ifeoluwa Oloruntuyi, said, “Maximum frustration with the persistent hardship in Nigeria vis à vis the better chance of securing a decent job after studies in other climes (is the reason Nigerians pursue their studies abroad).

Oloruntuyi, the Founder/Lead Consultant, of Reify Konsult in Germany said electricity, good internet, security, including peace of mind are found in the European educational system unlike what obtains in Nigeria.

“This is coupled with the search for security and access to basic human necessities which are obviously lacking or inadequate in Nigeria as the case may be,” Oloruntuyi said.

Buttressing the point, a Verbal Tutor at Solutions Platforms Nigeria, a Lagos-based educational management company, Ms Modupeola Abayomi said, “You will agree with me that everyone wants a good life and a comfortable life, as technology is advancing day by day.

“So, some counties don’t relent in developing and advancing their country in all areas and sectors. These countries are regarded as the heartbeat of the world and those who can afford to be in such countries do all they can to be there.”

Standard skills in European and American education:

Most of the Nigerian educational courses are obsolete, and not in tandem with new fast-selling ideas in Artificial Intelligence, digital media, cinematography, and Java Script among others. These modern courses that are not available in Nigerian or are poorly taught are part of the causes of Nigerian youths going abroad to study.

“Going to other countries like the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada to mention a few exposes you to an international way of learning and working at an early stage, understanding various cultures to nourish and widen your scope of career options. Studying or working abroad helps you learn new approaches to handling different situations, manage time between your studies and part-time jobs, experience international methods of instructing and deal with the cosmopolitan crowd. This enhances your technical skills,” Abayomi said.

In her explanation, Mrs Blessing Adeagbo, an LLM Candidate at the University of Cambridge, UK, said there are peculiar facilities connected with specific courses abroad, which are lacking in the Nigerian educational system.

“Here in the UK, once students have enrolled, they have access to both the physical library and the virtual library with a very broad range of materials. I don’t think there is any journal that I do not have access to, by virtue of my university details. This is not the case in Nigeria, there are some equipped physical libraries but I don’t think we have access to as many virtual materials,” Adeagbo said.

“The system of education here encourages analytical thinking and independence of thought. In Nigeria, the descriptive method is mostly used such that once the student understands the perspective of the lecturer, that suffices.

“There are FAQs and online sources to respond to students’ questions without necessarily meeting anybody. The school websites are more user friendly with all likely questions answered and reachable contacts made available.”

Adeagbo, who graduated with First Class in Law from the University of Ibadan and the Nigerian Law School, Abuja, added, “The lecturers here are arguably more approachable and willing to answer questions. Some courses incorporate internships, job placements and vacation schemes as part of the programme to improve employability after graduation.”

“In search of better education which includes system, courses curriculum, facilities), trust me, Nigeria is completely backward in these aspects. It’s like Nigeria is still in the Stone Age educationally,” Oloruntuyi added.

Possibilities of jobs during educational programmes:

In Nigeria, a lot of students struggle to get the required education with no hope of getting befitting jobs. And it is even easy for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for students to be studying and working at the same time.

Meanwhile, these are the kind of benefits that are available for studying abroad because the courses are so flexible with the time that students who want to work can do so.

Telling her from-grass-to-grace story, Mrs Yetti Tabai, a UK-based IT guru and foodpreneur said she enjoyed working while studying for her Law degree at London Metropolitan University.

“I used to work as a cleaner when I was in the university. I worked at McDonald’s, and Nando’s. I would go and do night jobs from 4:00 am where they would pay me 7 an hour. I used these menial jobs to pay my school fees, rent and all other expenses,” Tabai said.

Oloruntuyi said, “Many students are able to get work experience while studying while they are also able to support themselves and their families financially. Whereas in Nigeria, not only are they not able to do any jobs that can provide them with the resources to support themselves while studying, they are actually burdens to their families when studying. And these same families cannot seem to support them adequately since the economy is tough in general. And they of course are unable to get decent work experience.”

Speaking with respect to employment, Abayomi said, “Graduates who’ve chosen to study internationally are highly sought after by employers. Pursuing a degree overseas signals to employers that you have courage, flexibility, cultural awareness and an understanding of how other people work and think. This experience puts you ahead of the pack when it comes to internships and job applications.”


As Nigeria prepares for a new administration next month, the task to restore the country’s educational system would be pivotal. It is a desire of every Nigerian to have a quality education that competes at the global level, which largely can address social misnomers, political depravities and economic deficiencies that challenge the most populous African nation.