A new research has shown that the population of Nigerian students’ enrollment in American universities between 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 academic calendar sessions has reduced by not less than seven per cent.
The research, conducted by Erudera, an educational search platform, suggests the development could be linked to the requirement for full vaccination against the coronavirus pandemic for both staff and students in most universities in the United States of America before being part of on-campus activities.
The research states in part; “Higher education experts believe that one of the main reasons for this decline may be the implementation of vaccines in colleges.”
According to the research, more than 1,000 institutions in the United States, a choice destination for Nigerian students willing to study abroad, are requesting that students be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Many European educational institutions in Germany, Austria, Czechia, Denmark, France, Italy, have also applied similar measures of requesting vaccination certificates or negative tests for the virus.
The United States attracts more than one million international students, making it one of the most popular destinations for international students across the world.
While Nigeria remains at the top of the list of African students in United States’ colleges and universities, there has been a considerable decline in the number of students between 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 academic year.
According to the 2021 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, Nigeria is the 10th highest source of international students in the U.S. behind China, India, South Korea, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Brazil and Mexico.
A total of 12,860 Nigerian students enrolled in American colleges in the 2020/2021 academic year, 902 or 6.6 per cent down from 13,762 students in the 2019/2020 academic year.
The number had been on the rise for, at least, the past 10 years before the latest decline.
Erudera noted that the decline could be a result of “the implementation of vaccines in colleges.”
Institutions requiring vaccination
Erudera listed some of the top schools in the U.S. requiring COVID-19 vaccination evidence to include; Princeton University, Stanford University, Yale University, Columbia University, New York University, University of Chicago, University of Washington, Michigan State University, Ohio State University, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of California, among over a thousand others.
Various schools in Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, and Switzerland have also instituted such a policy.
However, only two Canadian Universities, St. John’s College -University of Manitoba and University of Ottawa require COVID-19 vaccine or a negative result.
According to Our World in Data, 60.3 per cent of the world population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 9.82 billion doses have been administered globally, and 28.95 million are now administered each day.
However, only 9.4 per cent of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose. In Nigeria, only 6.6 per cent has received at least one dose and 2.5 per cent of the estimated 200 million population has been fully vaccinated.
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At least 97 per cent of Harvard University and University of Pennsylvania’s employees and 96 per cent of students are already vaccinated against COVID-19.
Yale reports its vaccination rates as 99.5 per cent of undergraduate students; 98.2 per cent of graduate and professional students; 96.5 per cent of faculty, and 92.7 per cent of staff.
No Nigerian university has made vaccination compulsory but the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), a one-year compulsory scheme for Nigerian graduates below the age of 30, has mandated all prospective corps members to get vaccinated or they would be denied entry into orientation camps across the country.
The Nigerian Government and Edo State Government, in particular, have also mandated vaccination on all civil servants, denying unvaccinated staff entries into their offices.
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