The Chairman, Committee of Pro-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, Dr Wale Babalakin recently disclosed that no fewer than 75,000 Nigerian students are currently studying in three Ghanaian universities incurring a total of N160billion expenditure annually.
In this report, The Nation Online reports on why Nigerian students are trooping to Ghana for university education.
Lack of admission opportunities in Nigeria
With the large number of qualified students who are unable to get university admission in Nigeria, Ghanaian universities and others in neighbouring West African region have become major attractions. According to a Nigerian student studying in a Ghanaian university, “it not that Nigerians prefer Ghanaian universities… it’s just that to gain admission into Ghanaian universities is relatively easier than our universities in Nigeria. Trying to get admission in Nigeria is like gambling which is not the case in Ghana. If you are qualified and you can pay for it you will get admission”.
In acknowledgement of the increasing number of Nigerians seeking admission in Ghana, President Goodluck Jonathan during a visit to the country said “despite the number of federal, states’ and private universities in Nigeria, yet we do not have enough. So if Ghana can provide solid education for our people and other African countries they should do it.”
Uninterrupted academic calender
Regular disruption of academic calendar due to frequent strikes by both academic and non-academic staff of Nigerian Universities has necessitated students spending more years than expected for various courses. In Ghana, it is reported that there is hardly cases of strikes in Universities making it possible for students to graduate on schedule. The academic session is said to be stable and predictable.
Better perception of Ghana’s education system
Despite having more universities with acclaimed academicians and professionals home and in abroad, the Ghanaian educational system is still perceived to be better than that of Nigeria globally. The rising image of Ghana as a stable democracy has obviously rubbed off on the rating of its educational institutions whose certificates are said to be well respected in globally. For some Nigeria, studying in Ghana is like studying abroad and getting an international certificate which can enhance their chances in for post graduate studies and job search.
Nigerian students interviewed were divided on the question of the standard offered by Ghanaian universities compared with that of Nigeria. Some said the standard is the same while others noted the Ghanaian lecturers are more thorough in their teaching and the curriculum is more diverse.
Cost is not a factor
Except for a few top range private universities in Nigeria, it is comparatively more expensive to study in Ghana. The average tuition fee for private universities in Ghana attended by majority of the Nigerian students in the country is put at about $2500, while international students pay much higher in public universities. Many parents are ready to pay the high cost as long as their children can get the admission and quality education.