Nigerian graduates may miss out from the United Kingdom (UK)’s new High Potential Individual (HPI) Visa based on the Global 50 University ranking criterion.

Expected to commence on May 30, 2022, the HPI visa will allow talented skilled workers across a range of careers to live and work in the country without sponsorship from an employer. The HPI route is similar to the Graduate route but offered to recent graduates of the top ranking universities outside the UK.

According to a statement on the UK’s immigration website, the HPI route is a short-term work visa for individuals at an early career stage, who have shown they have potential to benefit the UK workforce. “From May 30, you can apply for the HPI route if you have graduated from an eligible international university in the five years immediately before your application.”

Analysis of the top 50 global universities list posted on the website on Friday shows that no Nigerian university made the list as only U.S, Canada, Australia, France, Japan, Germany, Switzerland and Hong Kong featured.

“This will be a highly selective route with graduates of a limited number of universities eligible,” Kevin Foster, the UK minister of safe and legal migration said in a recent press statement.

He adds, “The Home Office will update the list of eligible universities annually. Those granted will be given a two-year work visa (three-year for those with a PhD) and will be permitted to move into other long-term employment routes, subject to meeting the eligibility requirements.”

The global list includes overseas universities that are ranked in the top 50 of at least two of the following three ranking systems such as Times Higher Education World University Rankings, Quacquarelli Symonds and The Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Over the past two years, the UK has been a top study destination for Nigerian students. Data from Higher Education Statistics Agency shows that within a period of one year, the number of students studying inUK universities increased by 63.5 percent to 21,305 in the 2020/2021 academic year.

Furthermore, the 21,305 students in the UK is higher than the number of students in Canada (13,745) and U.S (12,860).


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