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Nigeria Leads the Fastest-Growing Student Population in Canada

Nigerians will be the fastest-growing international student population in Canada in the first half of 2023. This is according to a recently released report on Nigerian study permit patterns in Canada, which highlights rising visa numbers as well as the provinces where Nigerians are studying.

According to a research issued by ApplyBoard, Nigerian student migration to Canada is expanding at an alarming rate. According to the data, the Canadian government granted slightly more than 3,000 student visas to Nigerian nationals in 2019. That number had doubled by 2021, and it will double again in 2022. Nigerians are now the country’s fastest-growing student population, despite record numbers of international students going to study in Canada.

The article’s key results demonstrate that Nigerians submitted over 43,000 study permit applications in the first six months of 2023 and are on track to become Canada’s second-largest cohort of immigrant students this year.

From January to June 2023, the Canadian government processed more than 43,000 study permit applications from Nigerian students, exceeding the totals for full-year 2017, 2018, and 2019 combined.


Over the first six months of 2023, approximately 18,000 Canadian study permits were awarded to Nigerians, more than any other nation of origin except India. Insufficient funds were mentioned as a reason for refusal in 74% of Nigerian study visa refusals in 2021 and 2022.

Nearly 18,000 Nigerian students came to Canada to study in the first half of 2023. This was more inbound students than any other country excep India.


The research also stated that study permit acceptance rates for Nigerians increased to just under 40% in the first six months of 2023, more than doubling what approval rates were in 2020.

Another intriguing finding from the survey was that Nigerian students are more evenly scattered across Canada than the general population. From January to June 2023, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, and New Brunswick each accounted for more than 5% of all study permits given to Nigerians.

In the first half of 2023, eight of ten provinces issued more study licenses to Nigerian students than the previous year.

Across these four regions, Ontario and BC accounted for around 63% of study permits issued to Nigerians in the first six months of 2023.


While Ontario and British Columbia were the most popular destinations, Nigerian students are significantly less concentrated in those two areas than the national average. Nova Scotia’s expansion is especially remarkable, with more than twice as many study permits given as in the full year 2022. That ranked third only to Ontario and British Columbia.

Given the increasing concentration of international students at Ontario institutions, the report concludes that the Nigerian student population is a crucial gateway for sustaining Canada’s international education sector’s long-term health.

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