“10,000 Nigerians studied in Australia between 2015 and 2019”- Australian Envoy
A report revealed by the Deputy High Commissioner of Australia at the Australian High Commission, Mr. Matthew Mechan disclosed that over 10,000 Nigerian students were granted admission to Australian universities between 2015 and 2019.
Mechan made these remarks during the ongoing education fair in Lagos on Saturday. The gathering included representatives from Australian universities, prominent stakeholders, Nigerian educational institutions, and two federal lawmakers.
The two-day event which commenced with a gala night on Friday, aimed to celebrate and strengthen educational ties between Nigeria and Australia, as well as promote the opportunities available in Australia’s tertiary education sector for Nigerian students.
Mechan stated that the pandemic had initially interrupted the study fair, making this event the first of its kind in the post-COVID-19 era since 2019.
He emphasized that the study fair’s relaunch aimed to adopt a comprehensive approach to bridge the gap created by the pandemic, fostering stronger connections with Nigeria.
Additionally, he noted that Australia had produced numerous successful graduates who returned to Nigeria and were actively contributing to the development of various sectors.
What he said
“I recall in 2015, that year we only had 400 people, but after our first fair, we added 1,000 new students. So, we got up to 1,400 students in a space of one year.
“And that slowly grew over time with a couple of hundred each year.
“So, I guess if you pull all those numbers together, I will think probably since 2015 we will be getting not less than 10,000 Nigerians who have had the chance to study in Australia”.
He noted that Australia had a target of restoring the growth index for more Nigerian students to study in Australia’s adventurous and relaxed learning environment.
He urged Nigerians who want different kinds of quality education in a relaxed environment to consider Australia, adding that it was a fun place to live and study.
“If we can get back to adding a couple of more hundreds of students each year, that will be great. We know that we offer something incredibly different from other countries,” he said.
“Our lifestyle is very different, it is very relaxed. We are a nice and warm country.
“We have unique wildlife and a great lifestyle, by the beach or things like that, that maybe you don’t get in those other countries, which are a bit colder,” he said.
According to him, consistently, Australian cities like Melbourne have been rated first or second most livable cities on the planet by the Economist for the last decade.
“The High Commission itself has been around since independence but for the Education Fair, specifically we actually did the first one back in 2015 and we were doing them once a year until 2019 and unfortunately it got stopped”.
Mr. Mohammed Bassi, Chairman of the House Committee for the Nigerian-Australian Parliamentary Friendship Group in the House of Representatives, lauded the organizers of the fair and the networking meeting, considering it a positive development.
He therefore encouraged the Australian government to reciprocate by allowing its citizens to study in Nigeria, thereby enhancing the friendship. He also urged the Australian government to explore various sectors of the Nigerian economy, investing in areas such as solid minerals, culture, tourism, and non-oil sectors, among others.
“We are inviting them to come over to Nigeria and explore the business opportunities we have and other sectors that are of interest,” he said.
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