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Nigerians’ quest for foreign degrees continues to peak2 minutes read

In the last academic year, Nigerian students have spent $514 million on tuition in the United States

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Nigerians' quest for foreign degrees continues to peak

For Nigerian students, the standard of education in Africa’s most populous nation is below par. Last year, $1.7 billion was allocated to education in Nigeria – a figure which has since been highlighted as being more than 15% below the recommended figure for developing nations by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).    

As a result, Nigerian students are looking at schools in different countries like France, Germany, and the United Kingdom to escape this plight with a particular focus on schools in the United States.

In the last academic year, Nigerian students have spent $514 million on tuition in the United States according to the Institute of International Education – an expenditure that exceeds that of students from European countries like Germany, France, and England.

Currently, there are over 13,000 Nigerian students in the US – double the figure at the start of 2010. The problems with Nigerian education can be primarily traced to under-funding. Little or no funding over the last two decades has caused a dip in the quality of teachers and infrastructure at higher institution level.

Moreover, perennial strike actions by different associations (the non-academic and academic staff unions) continue to disrupt the school calendar and make studying in Nigerian schools akin to a game of chance. 

Nigerians' quest for foreign degrees continues to peak

The rise of more stable private universities does not offer a remedy for the problem as these schools are expensive and not viable alternatives for low-income families in the country. There is also the challenge of the country’s education system being overburdened by strong population growth.

Nigeria has a little over 150 universities, however, yearly is estimated to have more than one million university applicants, meaning that many prospective students are rejected. And for those who scrap through the Nigerian educational system, they must face the reality of unemployment and underemployment upon the end of their programs.

Feeling at loss with how to navigate the multiplicity of challenges within the Nigerian tertiary educational system, the best and brightest minds end up looking to schools abroad for a higher quality of education and stability.

However, the desire to study at western institutions goes beyond the attraction of a good education and the availability of standard facilities. There is the consideration of opportunities for assimilation in the United States or its neighbour, Canada.

Furthermore, western-educated Nigerian students are shown statistically to have a competitive edge in Nigeria’s complex labour market after completing their degrees, compared to Nigerian-educated students.

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2Baba releases new album “Warriors”

The album is a key offering in the celebration of 2Baba’s 20 Years A King project.

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Award-winning Afropop icon 2Baba has released his new album titled “Warriors” earlier today, February 28. This album is released as part of his 20 Years a King (#20YearAKing) celebration, commemorating the two decades he has spent in the Nigerian music industry.

This new album contains just 13 tracks including previously released singles like ‘Important’, ‘Oyi’ and the Peruzzi-assisted smash hit, ‘Amaka’. The LP also boasts big-name collaborations like Burna Boy, Wizkid, Olamide, Tiwa Savage and Peruzzi. It also features appearances from AJ Natives, Symeca and his daughter HI Idibia.

The production of the album is handled by a galaxy of PBanks, Spelz, Blaq Jeerzy, Bolji Beatz, Speroach Beatz, Richie, Ploops and his longtime collaborator, Jay Sleek.

Interestingly, this is the first 2Baba album that comes with a title track, which also serves as the opener of the full-length project.

On Tuesday, February 25, the celebrated singer held a well-attended listening party for the album at the Artisan Lounge bar, Lagos.

His seventh studio album, “Warriors” is the long-overdue follow up to “The Ascension” which was met with mixed reviews upon its release in 2014.

Formerly known as 2face Idibia, 2baba is one Africa’s most successful artists, winning local, continental and international awards like BET and MTV Europe Music Awards.

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Feature News

Exporting African sounds into Italy

Nigerian migrants are introducing Afrobeat to one of Italy’s most popular cities

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Nigerians are slowly stamping their authority in Italy's music space. Photo credit: Quartz Africa

Migrating from Africa to Europe is a particularly tricky business. It is usually very difficult to obtain visas, and consequently, many people opt for the long, tortuous route that runs through the Sahara Desert and extends into the Mediterranean Sea. It is a risky journey in many ways, as desperate migrants get robbed, swindled, enslaved or worse still, meet their end in the hot sands and high seas.

There is also the small matter of reputation when it comes to successful migrants. There are those who believe that men and women who manage to avoid death or slavery, and ultimately cross the borders into Italy and Spain, are either involved in drug peddling, prostitution or unsavoury menial jobs like washing up corpses.

There is a small group of people, however, who are slowly changing the narrative. These ones are not only showing that there is more that African migrants can do in Europe, but they are also exporting Nigerian music in all its exotic nature and rich flavour into one of Italy’s major cities.

Palermo, the capital city of the Sicilian province, is slowly becoming the Southern European capital for the world-conquering Afrobeats scene. Social media has given a platform to musicians who can reach a wide audience without institutional support. There are more than a few cities in Italy that are not exactly kind to migrants, but Palermo has gradually become a haven for a number of young Nigerian musicians to hone their craft and attempt to carve a niche for themselves on European shores.

The influx of these musicians has had a significant effect on the city, too. For instance, Ballaro, a small neighbourhood in Palermo, was once known as one of the most dangerous places in Italy, no thanks to the activities of the Mafia. But with the arrival of African and Asian immigrants, the neighbourhood is now revitalised and less prone to crime.

Artists like RayJeezy, Brenex Baba and Thug Money make a living from performing at night clubs across the city. They hope that their hustle ultimately pays off and that they gain worldwide recognition, but for now, they are contributing to the transformation of a city’s music and culture. Things are looking up for the African migrant population in Palermo, and it’s not hard to tell that there will be more where the music came from.

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Entertainment

Netflix Announces First Original Nigerian Series

This comes just after the U.S-based streaming giant launched Netflix Naija.

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Popular media-services provider Netflix has announced the production of its first original African series to be headlined by Nollywood director, Akin Omotoso.

This would be a six-part series that features an all-star Nollywood cast of Kate Henshaw, Ade Laoye, Richard Mofe Damijo, Joke Silva, Fabian Adeoye Lojede, Kehinde Bankole and many others. 

Directed by a team of Akin Omotosho, Daniel Oriahi and CJ Obasi, the series tells the story of a reincarnated goddess who seeks to avenge her sister’s death.

This announcement comes just after the U.S-based streaming platform unveiled Netflix Naija on Tuesday, February 25, 2020.

In a statement with Premium Times, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos revealed that “movies like King of Boys, Merry Men and The Bling Lagosians have shown how much our members love Nigerian movies. 

“So, we’re incredibly excited to be investing in Made in Nigeria stories – bringing them to audiences all around the world.”

Over the past year, Netflix has featured a number of Nollywood movies on its streaming platform. Among such movies include the culturally and commercially successful King of Boys, October 1, The Figurine, Mokalik, and Merry Men. 

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