Nigerians will start paying a total sum of N107,500 for the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examinations as from next month, according to information from the British Council on Thursday.
Originally, the United Kingdom requires the citizens of any country willing to relocate to the UK for work or study opportunities to take the IELTS.
The cost of the test, which currently stands between N80,000 and N90,000 in Nigeria, is almost three times the country’s minimum wage of N30,000.
But the Council noted that the hike was necessary to sustain the high quality of standards for the “testing experience.”
“Dear valued Test Taker, We would like to inform you that effective from 1 September 2023, there will be a price increase for IELTS tests offered by the British Council.
“The new prices will be NGN 107,500 for IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training; NGN 116,000 for UK Visas and Immigration; and NGN 104,000 for Life Skills.”
It added, “The new prices are necessary to sustain the high-quality of standards for your testing experience.”
“Thank you for choosing the British Council,” a terse message on the council’s statement read.
The UK remains one of the choicest destinations for Nigerians seeking better learning opportunities and way of life in foreign countries, with many opting for the education visa route and also taking dependents along to the UK.
In the 2020-21 academic year, 21,305 Nigerian students were enrolled in UK universities. This represents an almost 64 per cent increase from the 2019-20 figure.
As of September 2021, only two other countries, China and India, were sending more students to the UK than Nigeria.
Enrolments from Nigeria spiked from 12,820 in 2016-17 to 21,305 in 2020-21 to 44,195 in 2021-22.
Among all nationalities, Nigerians represented the largest relative increase in sponsored study visa grants, which reached a record high of 65,929, a nearly 700 per cent increase from 2019 and a 222.8 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2021.
Data from the Home Office of the UK in May also revealed that 66,796 dependant visas were issued to families of Nigerian students who obtained study visas from March 2022 to March 2023.