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Nigerian students ordered to leave UK over failure to complete payment of tuition fees

Nigerian students ordered to leave UK over failure to complete payment of tuition fees
May 22
17:34 2024

Some Nigerian students at Teesside University in the United Kingdom (UK) have been ordered to leave the country as they struggled to pay their tuition fees.

The BBC reports that the students, who protested on their campus on Tuesday, were asked to leave the European country after the naira plummeted and wiped their savings—the reason they were unable to meet their financial obligations.

Before they commenced their study at Teesside, the affected students were told they had to show proof of having enough funds to pay tuition fees and living expenses.

The Home Office ordered the students to leave the country after Teesside University reported them.

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The BBC reports that a university spokesman said failure to pay was a breach of visa sponsorship requirements and that it had “no choice” but to alert the Home Office.

The Home Office said visa sponsorship decisions rested with the institution.

The Home Office told the students they could not appeal the situation because they were permitted to enter the UK based on their studies at the university.

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The students said they tried to negotiate payment plans with the university, but they were ignored.

In recent months, Nigeria has been experiencing high inflation, which has reduced the purchasing power of the naira.

A policy to introduce new naira notes and a more recent one to allow the market to determine the value of the currency have adversely affected it.

Adenike Ibrahim, one of the affected students, was close to submitting her dissertation at the end of two years of study when she missed one payment and was then kicked off her course and reported to the Home Office.

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Ibrahim was ordered by the Home Office to leave the UK with her son.

“I did default [on payments], but I’d already paid 90% of my tuition fees, and I went to all of my classes,” she said.

“I called them and asked to reach an agreement, but they do not care what happens to their students.”

The student said she paid the outstanding fees but has not been re-enrolled to complete her studies.

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Esther Obigwe, another student, said she is now on antidepressants after involuntarily withdrawing from her course.

“I attended all of my classes and seminars; I’m a hell of an active student. It is disheartening; I am now on antidepressants, and being here alone, I have nobody to talk to,” Obigwe said.

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“For over two months, I’ve barely eaten or slept, and I don’t understand why this is being meted out at us; we didn’t do anything wrong.”

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