The Deputy High Commissioner of Australia in Nigeria, Matthew Mechan, says about 10,000 Nigerian students were given admission to Australian universities between 2015 and 2019.
Mr Mechan, on Saturday at the country’s ongoing education fair in Lagos, said the process went seamlessly before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic interruptions.
The two-day event, which started with a gala night on Friday, was organised to celebrate and strengthen educational links between Nigeria and Australia.
The deputy head of mission told journalists that the study fair was stalled by the pandemic, noting that the event was the first ever since 2019 in the post-COVID-19 era.
Mr Mechan said the study fair was a relaunch to adopt a holistic approach toward closing the vacuum created by the pandemic for better ties with Nigeria.
He added that Australia had produced several successful graduates who returned to Nigeria and were making positive impacts, developing various sectors.
“I recall in 2015, that year, 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 with a couple of hundred each year.
“So, I guess if you pull all those numbers together, I will think probably since 2015, we will be getting not less than 10,000 Nigerians who have had the chance to study in Australia,” he said.
If we can get back to adding 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 noted that Australia had a target of restoring the growth index for more Nigerian students to study in Australia’s adventurous and relaxed learning environment.
“If we can get back to adding 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.
He urged Nigerians who want different kinds of quality education in a relaxed environment to consider Australia, adding that it was a fun place to live and study.
Mohammed Bassi, the Committee Chairman, Nigerian-Australian Parliamentary Friendship Group in the House of Representatives, commended the organisers of the fair and the networking meeting, describing it as a good development.
Mr Bassi, who represents a federal constituency comprising four local governments in Adamawa, however, urged the Australian government to also allow its citizens to study in Nigeria to improve the friendship. (NAN)