Nigerian students unable to pay their fees are being told to leave the UK

Nigerian students who can't pay their fees are being told to leave the UK. They are facing expulsion due to financial difficulties.

Some Nigerian students at Teesside University have been ordered to leave the United Kingdom after falling behind on their tuition fees due to the currency crisis and devaluation of the Nigerian naira. According to documents obtained by the BBC, they have been informed that they have no right to appeal.

The university, based in Middlesbrough in north-east England, stated that it had to notify the British Home Office after a group of Nigerian students failed to pay the final instalment of their international student fees, which are listed on the institution's website as £15,000 (US$19,000) per year.

International students must pay £8,000 in advance tuition fees in addition to the Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) charge, bringing the total initial payment to £9,260.

They must also show proof of sufficient funds to cover tuition and living costs while studying in the UK, as per Home Office visa requirements, and are expected to pay the remaining balance 28 days before the program starts, according to the website.

However, the value of the Nigerian currency has plummeted, leading to what is considered the worst economic crisis in a generation for the West African nation. This has made it difficult for students to pay their tuition fees on time.


A spokesperson for Teesside University told University World News that they are aware of the ongoing economic situation in Nigeria and have “made every effort to support affected students to mitigate the impact of the crisis on their learning experience.”

This included offering “bespoke payment plans,” which have helped over 2,000 international students. However, the spokesperson noted, “unfortunately, we do have a small number of students who remain withdrawn on financial grounds.”

Meanwhile, on 22 May 2024, the BBC reported in a story widely circulated in Nigerian news outlets that a group of students, 60 of whom shared their names with the BBC, staged a protest outside the building housing the vice-chancellor’s office. They called on the university to support Nigerian students who had defaulted on payments.

Some of the protesters told the BBC they had been “frozen out of university accounts and involuntarily withdrawn from their courses,” including some who were just weeks away from graduating.

“Adenike Ibrahim was close to handing in her dissertation after two years of study when she missed one payment, got kicked off her course, and was reported to the Home Office,” the BBC reported.

She told the BBC: “I did default on payments, but I'd already paid 90% of my tuition fees and attended all of my classes. “I called them and asked to reach an agreement, but they do not care what happens to their students.” She described the experience as “horrendous” and expressed uncertainty about the status of her qualifications.

The Home Office informed students, including Ibrahim, that their permission to stay in the UK had been cancelled because they had stopped studying at the university.

The letters, seen by the BBC, provide a date by which the students must leave the country and state that they do not have a “right of appeal or administrative review against the decision.” While some affected students have managed to pay off their outstanding fees, the university is now unable to intervene in the Home Office process, according to the BBC.

A university spokesman told University World News: “Teesside University has been proactive in supporting students affected by the ongoing economic situation in Nigeria to mitigate the crisis's impact on their learning experience. “We have provided bespoke payment plans tailored to individual circumstances, and over 2,000 students have benefited from this support so far.”

“We have arranged individual meetings with specialist staff for students; approximately 160 students have personally met with staff, and solutions have been found to help them continue or complete their studies. “We have also collaborated with community organisations to provide a wide network of support for students facing financial hardship.”

Source: Universityworldnews

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