UK Varsity Offers Flight Assistance To Nigerian Students Hit By Financial Crisis

UK Varsity Offers Flight Assistance To Nigerian Students Hit By Financial Crisis


Teesside University has pledged to assist in funding flight tickets for Nigerian students it previously reported to the Home Office, to return to their country.

This decision comes after the Nigerian students, who were thrown off courses due to currency crisis, struggled to pay their tuition fees.

Students at the Middlesbrough-based university faced expulsion and orders to leave the UK after their savings were depleted during Nigeria’s worst economic downturn in generations. The situation worsened when Teesside University altered its payment plan from seven installments to three, making it even harder for students to manage their finances.

Following protests and the intervention of the Nigerian government, the university announced to the BBC that it has re-enrolled some affected students and established a travel fund to help those whomneeded to return home. Despite this, one student criticized the offer, saying, “The wide-rippling effects of this are unmanageable and piling up.”

LEADERSHIP recalls that in May, the university previously withdrawn sponsorship for several students and reported them to the Home Office after they fell into tuition fee arrears, a breach of visa sponsorship requirements. This led to Home Office letters ordering the students to leave the UK.

A Teesside University spokesperson confirmed that some affected students could now resume their studies. “We are working with a small group who do need to return to their home country and are opening an international relief fund for this group only to offer additional financial support for these unexpected travel costs,” the spokesperson said. Students were given the option to complete their studies from Nigeria or return to the UK at a later date to resume them.

However, some students are now lodging legal appeals against the university’s actions. One student, who wished to remain anonymous, expressed distrust in the university’s offer, stating, “I was asked to return home, pay the balance remaining, and apply to return at a later date, but I don’t trust them now. I feel this is a way to escape responsibility and they may not let me come back.”

He continued, “If they did, it would cost me thousands to pay flights, visa fees, and NHS fees again. I’ve already spent so much coming here and now they want me to go back without any kind of certification to reflect my achievements. The whole aim of coming here was to study; we haven’t committed any kind of crime. There’s been no apology for the stress and trauma the university has put me through.”

The financial struggles of these students have been significant, with a nearby food charity reporting that 75% of its clients are now Nigerian students struggling to cope with the cost of living. The impact of the economic crisis, coupled with the university’s payment changes, left many students unable to keep up with tuition payments, resulting in their exclusion from studies and subsequent deportation orders.

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