By Isaac Aregbesola
The U. S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) says Nigerians and other international students contributed 42.4 billion dollars to the U. S. economy in 2017/2018 session.
A senior official of the Bureau, who spoke on condition of anonymity, announced this during the Tour of the U.S. Community Colleges and Workforce Development programme in Washington D.C on Saturday.
The tour was organised by the Foreign Press Centre, Bureau of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of State to provide foreign journalists with information on opportunity available to foreign students in community college in U.S.
The official told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that there were 1,094,792 international students studying in the U.S. as of 2018 supporting more than 450,000 jobs in the U.S.
According to the official, the number of international students in the U.S in 2018 surpassed one million for the third consecutive year.
”The number increased by 1.5 per cent to reach a new high of 1,094,792 in 2018, adding that U.S. remained the top host of international students globally.
“International students made a significant financial impact on the United States in 2017, contributing 42.4 billion dollars to the U.S. economy through tuition, room and board and other expenses,” said the official
According to the official, 450,000 U.S. jobs are supported by hosting international students on U.S. campuses.
Nigeria, according to the official, has continued to retain its top ranking as the number one source of African students studying in the U. S. with over 16,000 students as at March pursuing their educational goals.
“There are over 36,000 students from Sub Saharan Africa studying in the U.S.
“As of March 2019, there are 16,039 students from Nigeria studying in the United States with 54 per cent male and 46 per cent female students.
“This is an increase of 3,342 students over 12,693 students recorded in November 2018,” the official said.
He said that undergraduate students constituted 34 per cent, Masters students were 36 per cent, Doctorate formed 12 per cent while Associate was 12 per cent, non-degree and others formed five per cent.
According to him, the top five states for Nigerian students in U.S include Texas with 2,713, California 856, Maryland, 827, New York 818 and Florida 753.
“Students from Nigeria attend about 800 institutions in each of America’s 50 states. The most popular state is Texas with 2,713 students, while the most popular college and university is Houston Community College with 220 students.’’