Sub-Saharan African Nations Sending the Most Scholars to Teach at U.S. Colleges and Universities

The Institute for International Education’s new Open Doors report finds that in the 2015-16 academic year, there were 134,014 foreign scholars teaching at American colleges and universities. The number of foreign scholars was up 7.3 percent from the previous year. The vast majority of these foreign scholars are from either Europe or Asia.

In the 2015-16 academic year, there were 2,057 scholars from sub-Saharan African nations teaching at U.S. colleges and universities. This is up 3.4 percent from the 2014-15 academic year. But the long-term trend is down. In the 2007-2008 academic year, there were 2,750 scholars from sub-Saharan Africa teaching at U.S. colleges and universities.

In the 2015-16 academic year, Nigeria sent 462 scholars to teach in the U.S., more than any other sub-Saharan African nation. The number of scholars from Nigeria was up 17 percent from the previous year. South Africa ranked second with 222 scholars teaching in the U.S. This was down 2.2 percent from the previous year and 19 percent from the 2007-08 academic year. In all probability, some of these South African scholars are White.

In the 2015-16 academic year, Ghana was third with 218 scholars teaching in the United States. Ethiopia ranked fourth with 182 scholars teaching in the U.S. Kenya came in fifth place with 180 scholars teaching at U.S. colleges and universities in the 2015-16 academic year. This is down 29 percent from the 2007-08 academic year.

Among other sub-Saharan African nations, Uganda was the only other country to send as many as 100 scholars to teach at U.S. universities. Cameroon, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania, each sent more than 50 scholars to teach in the United States.

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