I want to congratulate you on gaining admission to U.S. colleges and universities for both under-graduate and graduate studies. Well-done.
I know you had many choices of where to study, and I am pleased you chose to go to the United States.
Please join me in acknowledging the Consulate’s Director of Education USA Chinenye Uwadileke and the deputy director Adeoloa Oseni.
I know that they have supported all of you in your journey to securing admission, and in many cases financial assistance, to study in the United States.
For those of you who are not as familiar with EducationUSA let me briefly explain what it is.
EducationUSA is a U.S. Department of State network of over 425 international student advising centers in more than 175 countries that promotes U.S. higher education to students around the world by offering accurate, comprehensive, and current information about opportunities to study at one of the 4,700+ accredited postsecondary institutions in the United States.
In a nutshell: EducationUSA is your official source on U.S. higher education.
To date, about 250 student-members of the Lagos EducationUSA Center studying at U.S. institutions in the fall of 2018, have received scholarships from U.S. institutions totaling over $4 million.
One 12th grader got a full ride scholarship to Harvard to study Political Science.
Many of the graduate students with whom EducationUSA worked were admitted to fully funded doctoral programs in the STEM fields.
Six Opportunity Fund Program grantees will be going for their fully funded PhD programs in STEM fields.
I am very proud of EducationUSA Lagos for reaching approximately 25,000 students this year, through various means, such as at the center, on-line, at fairs, etc. information on studying in the U.S. (Source: EducationUSA Lagos)
You will be joining more than one million international students in the United States.
35,364 of these students come from Sub-Saharan Africa, and Nigeria ranks 1st in the region and 12th in the world as a sending country.
There are currently 11,710 students from Nigeria studying in the United States. 49.5% undergraduate; 36.2% graduate students, 2% are non-degree candidates, and the remaining 12.3% are on Optional Practical Training.
Compared to last year, this represents a 9.7% increase. The number of Nigerians studying in the United States has been going up for the past seven years.
One major reason for the increase of Nigerian students in the U.S. is the value that Nigerians place on a quality education. I am pleased to say that accredited U.S. colleges and universities provide a quality education.
Students from Nigeria attend about 800 institutions in each of our 50 states. The most popular state is Texas, with 1,540 students, while the most popular college/university is Houston Community College, with 220 students.
Whether you are interested in a large school or small school, a school in a rural or urban setting, or you want to study in a hot or cold climate, the United States has a school for you.
Finally, as Darcy said, I encourage all of you totake advantage of this opportunity to represent Nigeria in the best possible light.
You may be the only Nigerian that many Americans meet and therefore you are representing all of Nigeria.