Emerging African Student Markets: Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria

Africa

shutterstock_219252043As we’ve previously discussed, the burgeoning middle class in a number of African nations looks likely to cause an increase in international students seeking educational opportunities abroad. Our latest report explores three of the major up-and-coming international student exporters in the continent: Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria.

Below we’ve summarised what students from each of these three nations look for in an international education, what their motivations are, and how they decide on a university.


Why do they choose postgraduate study?

  • International students from Kenya are more likely than Ghanaian and Nigerian students to cite development within an existing career path as a major motivator for studying a master’s degree.
  • In comparison, Ghanaians are most likely to be pursuing a master’s because they want to progress to a higher-level qualification, such as a PhD.
  • KenyaNigerians are almost equally likely to cite these two factors.
  • In contrast with many other regions globally, postgraduate applicants from all three of these countries are more likely to be motivated by progressing in a current career path, rather more general improved employability.
  • Nigerian respondents are slightly more likely to cite personal interest as their primary driver for postgraduate study than Ghanaians and Nigerians.

Where do they want to study?

  • International students from each of the three nations name the US as their top destination choice.
  • For Ghana and Nigeria, the second most popular destination is Canada. For Kenya , t is the UK.
  • The UK and Australia are either the third or fourth preference for each nation and Germany is the fifth preferred study destination for all three countries.

shutterstock_481123969How do they choose destinations?

  • Scholarships and financial aid are identified as the leading priority when choosing a study destination.
  • International recognition of qualifications, post-study employment, and cultural/ lifestyle factors follow financial aid as the most important reasons for selecting a destination.
  • Around a third of respondents in each country name ‘location of target school’ as an important factor, suggesting that they may be shortlisting institutions before deciding on a country.
  • The desire to choose a location conducive to language skills development is particularly marked among those in Ghana, where it’s cited by 35% of respondents, compared to 27% in both Kenya and Nigeria.
  • Overall institutional reputation is the most significant factor for prospective students in each nation, above subject-specific reputation.
  • Funding is important for all three groups, but is most often cited as a key factor by Kenyans.

Want to find out more? Download the complete report.

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