By Wuraola Ajanlekoko
February 19, 2016.
The Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Perry John Calderwood, has revealed that over 8,600 Nigerian students were studying in Canada as of 2014.
Speaking at the Canada Education Fair held in Lagos recently, Calderwood also noted that the numbers have continued to grow rapidly, from only 800 in 2002.
“Nigerians are one of the fastest growing groups of students who go to study in Canada,” he said. “Nigerians also represent the 8th largest source of foreign students and their presence enriches Canadian educational institutions and society. Generally well-regarded, Nigerian students in Canada are worthy ambassadors of their country. They enrich Canada’s educational institutions and each of them represents a new link between our two countries that helps to build further the ties that unite us.”
He described as “thriving” the relations between Nigeria and Canada, adding; “one of our most interesting areas of engagement is the education sector.”
The envoy said his country’s High Commission was committed to facilitating increased educational partnerships with Nigeria, “which can include joint research projects, curriculum development and also technical and vocational training.”
To that extent, Calderwood said the High Commission Service would work with the Canadian Colleges and Institutes to host a seminar in Lagos on possible partnerships in technical and vocational education.
Enjoining Nigerians to pick his country for academic studies, he said: “Canada is an attractive destination for students from around the world because our institutions offer high-quality education and a wide range of academic, professional and technical programs. The cost of tuition and of living in Canada is competitive, compared to other potential destinations. Foreign students and visitors integrate easily into Canadian society, as our country is made up mostly of immigrants and their descendants, and Canadians embrace multiculturalism. Canada is an officially bilingual country, which offers many opportunities for English-speaking foreign students to acquire knowledge of French. Canada (also) offers abundant cultural and recreational activities which are readily accessible to our foreign students.”