Study in Canada from Nigeria: Programs, Requirements, Costs

More and more Nigerian students are choosing Canada over Nigeria for higher education.

Studying in Canada from Nigeria has grown to become more than just a luxury or a desire students can have, to a necessity. When Nigerian parents consider the poor educational system of public institutions, and the outrageous prices that come with low quality education in private institutions, the desire to seek Canadian education for their children becomes imperative.

Among the several options that exist for study outside Nigeria, studying in Canada stands out for a number of reasons. Which we’ll be exploring in this article. Also we will provide an in-depth guide as to how to navigate through studying in Canada, from cost, tuition, admission processing, visa, study permit etc.

Why Study in Canada from Nigeria?

The enviable quality of Canadian education is one of the most important reasons why students from Nigeria choose to study in Canada.

Canada has well ranked universities

Granted, A student’s degree from a Canadian university serves as a symbol of trust and excellence. In the latest QS World University Rankings, 26 of Canada’s universities are ranked, while 27 are ranked in The World University Rankings 2019. Meanwhile none of Nigeria’s universities or colleges ranked in the top 1000 universities worldwide. In fact, Nigeria’s best university of Ibadan is rated 1,196 in 2021 by Webometrics.

Canada’s education programs are research-driven

In addition, Canadian education is distinct in that it places a high emphasis on research and development. If you’re a researcher, there’s no better place to be than Canada. The Canadian government is a strong supporter of research in medical, telecommunications, agriculture, environmental science, and technology and Nigerian students are aware of this fact.

Work and study options

Unlike in Nigeria, there are no strikes or labor action in Canadian universities. And Nigerian students can work in Canada while they study. Also the environment is relatively more peaceful.

Internationally, Canada’s education system is admired for its comprehensive and practical approach to post-secondary education. Employers all throughout the world appreciate and accept degrees earned at Canadian universities.

World-class degrees

In fact, the education supplied by some of Canada’s reputable colleges is thought to be on par with that provided by reputable universities in the United States and Commonwealth countries.

Because Canadian degrees are internationally recognized, you will be able to work not only in Canada and India after graduation, but in nations all over the world. The Canadian government is known for being welcoming to international students so there are high chances to live and work in Canada.

Popular programs among Nigerian Students in Canada

Study in Canada from Nigeria

1. Diploma: A diploma is a document issued by an educational institution, such as a vocational and training institution, community colleges, and some colleges and universities, to demonstrate that a student has completed a course of study. Some Nigerian students start with diploma programs as a preparation for higher degrees in Canada.

Diploma certificate also demonstrates that you are knowledgeable in a particular subject. You can use your diploma to boost your job prospects by including it on your resume and demonstrating your skill level to potential clients and employers. To complete and get a diploma, it usually takes 12 to 18 months of full-time study.

2. Undergraduate: A good number of Nigerian students arrive Canada yearly to start undergraduate degree programs in many universities and colleges. A full-time bachelor’s degree program in Canada lasts four years full-time, depending on the course and specialty.

Degree programs are typically awarded to qualifying Nigerian students by universities. Associate degrees are typically offered by colleges, while skill-oriented diplomas and certificates are typically offered by other schools.

In Canada (and unlike in Nigeria), the provincial government is in charge of education, while the federal government supervises its overall operation. International students are welcome in both public and private educational institutions, universities, and colleges.

3. Masters: Master degree programs are popular among Nigerian students studying in Canadian schools. Students who have finished postgraduate level study in a specific field of study or area of professional practice and demonstrated a high level of competence during the process are awarded a master’s degree.

A master’s degree certifies that students have completed advanced coursework in their field of study. Students having a bachelor’s degree can enroll in this program, which typically takes one to two years to finish. Most Nigerian students finish their MS program between 1-2 years.

4. MBA: MBA has traditionally been regarded in Nigeria as one of the best programs to pursue when studying abroad. The majority of Nigerian MBA hopefuls want overseas work experience, especially in the study abroad destination.

An MBA provides you with more job options and exposure to a diverse business network, as well as new skills and knowledge and a comprehensive understanding of the business world. An MBA degree is held by over 40% of CEOs of Fortune 500 businesses. While few MBA graduates return to Nigeria to seek greener pasture or manage family businesses, majority stay back in Canada to work.

5. PhD: The doctorate in Canada, like in other countries, is usually conferred as a final ‘terminal degree,’ or the greatest level of academic certification a student can acquire after completing an undergraduate Bachelor’s degree and a postgraduate Master’s degree.

Along with the traditional academic PhD, a variety of doctoral degrees are offered, including professional doctorates such as the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) and Doctor of Education (EdD). Most courses require at least three years of full-time study and research, while some students enroll for up to six years.

Cost of Studying in Canada from Nigeria

In Canada, universities and colleges usually set tuition costs in the spring semester, before the new academic year begins. This is no different from Nigeria, where most schools set their fees based on internal decisions approved by their governing councils.

Average tuition vary by program/school

Tuition cost in Canada tend to climb slowly year after year, so using the prior year’s figures as a reference is helpful. In 2019/20, an international (including Nigerian) student’s average tuition fee in Canada was around US$20,000 (8,204,200 naira) per year. This equates to $60,000 (24,612,600 naira) for a three-year degree program and $80,000 (32,816,800 naira) for a four-year program.

The tuition fee for a subject in the arts or humanities, such as Geography, Philosophy, English, or Social Sciences, is likely to be slightly lower. In general, business courses cost around US$20,000 (8,204,200 naira) per year, which is in line with the national average. Tuition fees for postgraduate programs are generally cheaper.

Who can sponsor Nigerian students to Canada?

A friend, family member, relative, or other third party can sponsor you for a Canada student visa by drafting a letter stating that they would pay for your tuition and living expenses as proof of money.

International students must show proof of funds of at least $25,000 in their bank accounts or on their sponsor’s account statement in order to enroll in a Canadian high school. A separate sum of money is required for the accompanying spouse and each dependent kid.

Scholarship for Nigerian Students in Canada

There are several scholarship options available to study in Canada from Nigeria. Some of them are:

#1. Margaret McNamara Educational Funds

The Margaret McNamara Educational Funds (MMEG) program provides grants to women from developing nations (Nigeria) to enable them further their education and increase their leadership abilities in order to better the lives of women and children in such countries.

Around $15,000 in education grants are offered to female students from Nigerian and from low- and middle-income countries who intend to return to or remain in their home countries, or other low- and middle-income countries, after completing their degree, and work to improve the lives of women and/or children.

#2. Undergraduate International Entrance Scholarships at York University

Students from Nigeria can secure scholarship to in York University, Canada. York Institution, located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is a public research university. It is the third-largest university in Canada. Its Entrance Scholarships are available to exceptional international candidates who intend to pursue Bachelor’s degrees. It’s a full-fledged scholarship.

The York University grant is for undergraduate students interested in studying in Canada from Nigeria or other developing nations. The winner of this scholarship will get $35,000, which equates to $140,000 over four years.

General Scholarship Requirements for Nigerians

  • At the time of the application deadline, you must be at least 25 years old.
  • Be enrolled in an accredited academic institution at the time of application, and expect to remain enrolled for the whole academic term after the Board’s approval of the grant.
  • Not be related to or married to a member of the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund, or the Inter-American Development Bank.
  • Be enrolled full-time as a student, with a valid student visa in your national passport, and intend to continue studying full-time the next academic year.
  • Not a citizen of the United States or a permanent resident of the United States (green card), not a citizen of Canada or a landed Nigerian immigrant in Canada.

How to apply for Admission in Canada from Nigeria

Universities in Canada do not have a centralized application process. Hence, students from Nigeria must apply online through the websites of individual universities, and the application process differs by school and by province. The following is the standard procedure for applying to Canadian universities from any city in Nigeria:

  • Choose a curriculum and a university where you want to study. You must pick between a French or an English-taught curriculum.
  • Level of study, such as a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree program.
  • In the event of programs with several admission cycles, you can apply in the fall, winter, or spring.
  • If location is essential to you, look into different provinces in Canada.
  • The next step is to apply for a study permit in Canada, if the program you have enrolled in has a duration longer than 6 months.
  • You will be issued a visitor visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) along with the permit.
  • After you’ve narrowed down your choices, go to the college or university’s website to discover more about the application process, deadlines, seat availability, admission requirements, scholarship opportunities, and so on.
  • Register on the university’s website, complete the application form with your personal information, and pay the application cost.
  • Don’t forget to submit your application by the deadline. Before the document submission deadline, upload the relevant documents.
  • If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can apply for any scholarship in Canada.
  • Following that, you will receive an admission offer from the university, most likely by email. After that, you must confirm your approval.
  • If the program you’ve enrolled in is longer than six months, the next step is to apply for a study permit in Canada. Along with the permission, you will be given a visitor visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).
  • Canadian universities complain of delays in receiving transcripts from Nigerian universities and colleges. It is advisable to request your transcripts timely if applicable.

How to apply for Canada Study Visa from Nigeria

If you’re applying for a study permit from Nigeria, you should apply online or through paper route, whether you’re outside of Canada or already in Canada. The online visa application is generally faster, especially with frequent delays in logistics within Nigeria.

For paper applicants, VFS Global (Lagos or Abuja) is the official Canada visa application agent in Nigeria. Applicants seeking more information may contact the Canadian Deputy High Commission through their office in Lagos or Abuja. The Lagos office is at No 4 Anifowoshe Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

To apply for a study permit, you’ll need the following documents:

  1. evidence of acceptance.
  2. proof of financial assistance.
  3. proof of identification.
  4. You might also require
    • an explanatory letter.
    • a Québec acceptance certificate (CAQ).
    • a minor’s custodian declaration

Note that students can apply for Canada study permit on paper if unable to apply online due to a handicap or a technical issue with the online application.

Below is a step-by-step approach for applying for a Canada student visa in Nigeria that will assure quick processing and approval.

1. Get Accepted

Make an application for a place in a Canadian educational institution. It is critical to obtain admission initially because obtaining a letter of admission and acceptance from a Canadian university is one of the basic conditions for applying for a Canada student visa.

2. Collect supporting documentation

Fill out the student permit application. Then assemble all of the supporting documents indicated above. These documents are crucial since they act as your representative at the embassy. Each document should be photocopied and, if possible, scanned into an electronic device such as a computer or flash drive.

3. Submit your work to the VAC

You will receive a receipt with a tracking number after completing your application and making the relevant payments. The tracking number will be used to track the status of your visa application. Be prepared for an interview as well.

4. Keep track of your application on the internet.

When you’re ready, go here to track your visa application. This allows you to check where your visa application is in the process and when you may pick up your passport.

5. Pick up your passport.

The final step is to go to a visa application center and fill out an application.

FAQs About Studying in Canada from Nigeria

How much does it cost to study in Canada from Nigeria?

A Nigerian student’s average tuition fee in Canada is expected to be around US$20,000 per year.

What is the best time to apply for study in Canada from Nigeria?

Although deadlines vary, you should apply at least eight to twelve months ahead of time. The September and January semesters are popular entry points for international students.

How to get a scholarship to study in Canada from Nigeria?

There are many organizations that offer scholarships to Canada yearly. You should subscribe to notifications from sites that notify of scholarships.

How to study in Canada after graduation from Nigeria?

Studying In Canada after graduation is possible once you can acquire a visa and the funding. However it is easier through scholarships.

Do I need IELTS or TOEFL to study in Canada from Nigeria?

IELTS and TOEFL are required to obtain visa but many institutions now test student ability to speak English practically

What is the population of Nigerian students in Canada?

There are currently over 20,000 students in Canada who are Nigerians, including those who have acquired Canadian citizenship.

Can Nigerian students work in Canada while studying?

It is possible for Nigerians to earn while studying in Canada. It is even easier than in other nations because the Canadian government supports it.

Is Canada the best country for Nigerian students?

Canada has been ranked the best country for study for two consecutive years. It’s an amazing opportunity for anyone to get.


Canada will continue to be a top spot for education tourism especially to Nigerians owing to the deteriorating educational system in the country. However, getting both admission and scholarship in Canada becomes more difficult each passing year because of the rising number of people who want to go. If you lay hold of the right information, however, you can still increase your chances compared to others.