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Nigeria: Admissions – Canadian University Removes Nigeria from English Test Requirement

Olumuyiwa Igbalajobi, a Nigerian postdoctoral researcher in Canada, recently asked the University of Alberta, Canada to exclude Nigerian students from its English language requirement.

Olumuyiwa Igbalajobi, a Nigerian postdoctoral researcher in Canada, recently asked the University of Alberta, Canada to exclude Nigerian students from its English language requirement.

On May 22, Mr Igbalajobi, a native of Ekiti State in southwestern Nigeria, emailed and tweeted at the university’s official Twitter account, drawing his attention to a list of selected universities in Nigeria that meet the institution’s English language requirements.

“I am writing to bring to your attention a listing on your graduate page exempting applicants with degrees from ‘SELECTIVE’ universities in Nigeria from the English language requirement at the University of Alberta” , he tweeted.

He added that “the official language in Nigeria is English, which automatically translates to the fact that all academic programs from elementary to tertiary education are taught in English.”

He said on this basis, Nigeria should have been fully exempted and not some selected schools.

Nigerians have over the years, but more recently stepped up the #ReformIELTS campaign, which calls on foreign universities to exempt Nigeria from taking English language tests such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and the English language test. English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

In January, PREMIUM TIMES reported that around 40,000 Nigerians had signed a petition calling on UK (UK) Head Office to remove Nigeria from the list of countries whose citizens are required to take English proficiency tests or reduce the fee charged for the exam.

The cost of the test, currently between 80,000 and 90,000 naira in Nigeria, is almost three times the country’s minimum wage of 30,000 naira.

“I affirmatively believe that the University of Alberta attracts applicants from different backgrounds and that inclusion is relevant to it. It would be greatly appreciated if the current list is updated or reformulated to reflect all universities in Nigeria …,” Mr. Igbalajobi wrote.

The university reacts

In acknowledging receipt of his email, the university noted that Mr. Igbalajobi’s email “highlighted a significant issue of discrepancies between ELP-exempt countries as listed in Canadian post-secondary institutions. …”

He noted that he will work with his U15 partners to make the reference list consistent but “in the meantime will add Nigeria to the list”.

Adding that it (the University of Alberta) is home to many Nigerian graduate students and will ensure that Nigerians and other prospective students have accurate information when “researching and applying to our institution.”