The Deputy High Commissioner of Australia at the Australian High Commission, Mr. Matthew Mechan, has disclosed that over 10,000 Nigerian students secured admission to Australian universities between 2015 and 2019.
Mechan disclosed this at an education fair in Lagos, which was attended by representatives from Australian universities, stakeholders, Nigerian educational institutions, and two federal lawmakers.
The two-day event was aimed at celebrating and strengthening educational ties between Nigeria and Australia, as well as promote opportunities available in Australia’s tertiary education sector for Nigerian students.
Mechan stated that the pandemic had initially interrupted the study fair, making it the first in the post-COVID-19 era since 2019.
He emphasised that the relaunch would bridge the gap created by the pandemic, fostering stronger connections with Nigeria.
Besides, he noted that Australia had produced successful graduates who returned to Nigeria and are actively contributing to the development of various sectors.
He said, “I recall in 2015, 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 each year.”
He noted that Australia had a target of restoring the growth index for more Nigerian students to study in the country.
“If we can add 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.
Chairman, House Committee for the Nigerian-Australian Parliamentary Friendship group, Mohammed Bassi, urged the Australian government to reciprocate by allowing its citizens 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.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN