African Student Careers Programme (ASCP)
The international education market is a multibillion dollar industry and in some countries a crucial engine for social and economic transformation. With the growing competition for international students across the globe, many countries have developed strategies to harness this potential for maximum economic benefit.
In the UK, overseas students are worth £5.3 billion ($8.2 billion) each year, according to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (DIUS), and £8 billion ($12.2 billion) according to former immigration minister Phil Woolas. According to The Higher Education Statistics Agency, Nigeria is the third largest non-EU country contributing to this industry worth, after China, and India, and therefore a strategic market.
With growing competition amongst different UK Universities for the African market, Xn Foundation is here proposing and requesting sponsorship of the African Student Careers Programme (ASCP) as a way for UK Universities to add value to their African international student population and to increase their competitive edge in this crucial market in international education.
Xn Foundation was founded in 2006 to support Nigerian students in the UK. Since then, we have organized the largest conference of Nigerian students in the UK, the International Conference of Nigerian Students (ICONS) which takes place yearly and is being hosted in partnership with top UK Universities.
The Rationale for ASCP
Xn Foundation’s seven years experience dealing and interacting with Nigerian students in the UK as well as with UK Universities with good Nigerian student populations has shown us the need for a programme around their careers and personal development for utilization during but especially after their studies. Over 70 percent of Nigerian students studying in the UK are in post-graduate programmes and over 80 percent of them were resident in Nigeria before resuming their studies in the UK according to a British Council report. More so, another British Council research and collaborated by the Time Higher Education report says that the number of Nigerian students to resume for their studies in the UK would increase by five times before 2015 to an estimated 30,000 students a year.
As a result of this statistic representation, the following has been identified as the current needs which the ASCP aims to address:
Brain drain and the need to support African students to return to their home country after their studies is fast becoming a necessity.
The need for guidance and support for students who wish to start their own businesses in Africa after their studies in the UK.
The need for support in designing and developing research areas and topics of relevance to the African market for those who wish to proceed to a PhD after their Masters Degree programmes in the UK.
The need for support and guidance in the development of a credible Curriculum Vitae (CV) for those that want to work in the UK to gain experience before finally returning to Africa.
The need for UK Universities personnel dealing with African students to better understand this market.
The need for support in the development of skills, knowledge and networks relevant to living and studying in the UK with relation to Nigerian students.