The UK is set to launch it’s High Potential Individual (HPI) Visa Nd will start receiving applications from the 30th of May, 2022.
The HPI visa will allow holders to reside and work for up to three years in the UK.
Unfortunately, graduates from African universities do not meet the criteria for the scheme aimed at attracting highly skilled graduates from non-UK universities.
The Visa will allow holders to work in various professional fields including Science, Technology and Entrepreneurship.
Eligibility is contingent on holding a Bachelor, Masters or PhD degree from a select list of universities.
The UK Home Office states that prospective applicants must have completed their degrees within the past 5 years from an exclusive list of the TOP 50 Universities featured in at least two of the following three ranking systems:
√ Times Higher Education,
√ Quacquarelli Symonds
√ Academic Ranking of World Universities.
About 40 institutions from the United States, France, China, Hong Kong, Australia, Germany, Canada and Japan feature on the list.
There is a poignant absence of African universities from the list as none of them meet the eligibility requirements. This has led to palpable mutterings on the skewed nature of the requirements and the question marks of the quality of education on offer by African universities.
The University of Cape Town is the highest ranked university in Africa based on Times Higher Education. It is ranked 183rd globally.
The University of Ibadan is the highest ranked Nigerian university based on Times Higher Education. It is ranked 401-500th globally.
There are over 25,000 universities globally. The Top 50 criteria for the HPI visa effectively qualifies only 0.2%
This should service as a challenge for African universities to augment the quality of academic delivery, faculty and contributions to cutting edge research.
Increased investment in education is ineluctable if any semblance of progress is to be made and delineated in the rankings. The Nigerian Government allocated just 4.30% of it’s 2022 fiscal budget to education. The figure was 5.68% in 2021.