SETH ONYANGO, BIRD NEWSROOM
AFRICAN students seeking higher education are the most mobile in the world, with over 405, 000 ― 5 per cent of the 8.1 million tertiary students on the continent, studying overseas or elsewhere.
According to French Campus, which monitors students’ data movement, the figure is more than double the global average of 2.4 per cent.
As of September, last year, France had 29,000 Moroccan students, followed by students from Algeria and Tunisia. In the United Kingdom, there were more than 17, 000 Nigerian students followed by students from Egypt and Kenya. In the United States, there were about 12, 000 Nigerian students followed by students from Egypt and Kenya.
And in China, there were 6, 500 Ghanaian students followed by students from Nigeria and Ethiopia.
Within Africa, Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Uganda and Zimbabwe have become leading destinations for highly ambitious African students seeking top-quality tertiary education.
Cities like Nairobi, Cape Town and Johannesburg, Lagos, Cairo and Harare are thriving and growing with a burgeoning middle class as Africa on the whole grows its universities and colleges.
Most sought-after universities in Africa include the University of Cape Town, Makarere University, the University of Nairobi, the University of Dar es Salaam, the University of Ibadan, the University of Ghana and the University of Zimbabwe.
Other emerging higher learning institutions are Ashesi University (Ghana), African Leadership University (Rwanda & Mauritius), Barwaaqo University (Somaliland), Africa University (Zimbabwe), USIU-Africa University (Kenya) and the African School of Economics (Benin).
According to French Campus, some 21 per cent of African mobile students come from North Africa (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia) and, coupled with Nigeria, Cameroon, Zimbabwe and Kenya, the seven countries account for half of the mobility of the continent.
Student’s mobility is fueled party by Africa’s growing young population.
Currently, the continent has a population of over 1.2 billion people, 60 per cent of which are under the age of 25 (720 million). To really drive that number home, 29 out of 30 countries with the youngest populations, worldwide, are in Africa.
In 2017, the top 10 African countries with outbound students, were, according to French Campus: