The population of international students from Nigeria, other African nations and Asia to Georgia doubled within the past year due to the influx of students who fled Ukraine following the Russian invasion in 2022.
These students were also attracted to Georgia as an affordable destination to complete their studies, with tuition fees comparable to what they were paying in Ukraine before the conflict.
TheTimes reports that universities in the country offer degree programs ranging from US$5,000 to $6,500. Consequently, thousands of these students, including those pursuing medical and degree programs, are currently enrolled in the country’s 62 universities, alongside a significant number of Indian students who also sought refuge from the fighting.
Why Georgia is Attracting Nigerian Students
Before the outbreak of the war, around 20,000 African students, primarily from Morocco, Nigeria, and Egypt, were studying in Ukrainian universities. A significant proportion of these students were enrolled in medical and science-related degree programs.
Following the war in Ukraine in 2022, these African and Asian students who were studying there decided to return to their home countries. However, some Nigerian students, among others, chose to enrol in universities across Europe including Georgia.
Approximately half of the new students, around 11,000, come from India, as well as African countries such as Morocco, Nigeria, and Algeria.
Georgia is a country located at the intersection of Europe and Asia and was formerly part of the Soviet Union. The country is experiencing this significant increase in the number of international students which has caused a positive impact on the country’s economy even without extensive education marketing campaigns.
According to Kakha Shengelia, president of the Caucasus University in Tbilisi
- “Many students have transferred to our university from Ukraine following the war….it has been a game-changer for Georgia’s higher education”
- “They mainly come to our medical school, but there are students in other faculties such as business, international relations, IT and psychology,” Shengelia noted.
According to reports from TheTimes, the number of international students in Georgia has risen from 14,000 in 2021 to the current figure of 25,000. This growth can also be attributed to the establishment of the Study in Georgia initiative in 2016.
This surge in international students is noteworthy despite the absence of highly-ranked universities in the country. Authorities attribute this trend to several factors, including low tuition fees, affordable cost of living compared to other European destinations, and a simplified visa application process.
In Georgia, many universities charge tuition fees ranging from US$5,000 to $6,500 for degree programs, which is nearly five times lower than the fees charged by some more expensive European destinations.
With the affordable fees and cost of living, Georgia is likely to become another destination sought out by Nigerian students that may rival other European countries.