Teesside University UK Orders Nigerian Students to Depart UK Amid Fee Dispute

Teesside University UK Orders Nigerian Students to Depart UK Amid Fee Dispute
Teesside University UK Orders Nigerian Students to Depart UK Amid Fee Dispute

A BBC report has disclosed that several Nigerian students were removed from their courses and directed to depart from the United Kingdom due to financial arrears. The students faced financial constraints after the devaluation of the Nigerian naira affected their capability to meet university fee requirements.

Teesside University acted on the non-payment of fees and notified the UK Home Office, resulting in some students being displaced from their courses, following the devaluation that significantly impacted their savings.

Aggrieved students, who reportedly even confronted debt collectors, held protests outside the university facilities on Tuesday, decrying Teesside University’s actions as uncompassionate.

The university, on its part, contends that it was left with no alternative, pointing to the non-payment as a breach of visa sponsorship regulations. It maintains that it endeavored to support the impacted students by offering personalized payment schemes.

One student, Adenike Ibrahim, who was about to submit her dissertation, found herself off the course due to her inability to fulfill a payment installment. Having now settled her fees entirely, she, along with her young child, is obliged to exit the UK and has lost her re-enrollment opportunity.

“I did default [on payments], but I’d already paid 90% of my tuition fees and I went to all of my classes,” Ibrahim communicated to the BBC. Despite reaching out for an agreement, she lamented that the university remained indifferent to the students’ plight.

Nigeria is currently navigating an acute economic downturn, characterized by the naira’s steep decline attributed to strategies enacted by President Bola Tinubu’s administration, focused on economic stabilization.

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The financial turmoil has fueled inflation nearing 30%, with staple items, such as rice, seeing significant price surges.

In defense of its position, a spokesperson from Teesside University noted, “Teesside University is proud to be a global institution with a diverse student population but is also very aware of its obligations regarding visa issuance and compliance.”

The university underscored the stringent regulatory environment cast by external factors, underscoring a robust commitment to supporting a robust immigration framework, a stance beyond the university’s discretionary power.

In conclusion, From the perspective of the UK Home Office, the responsibility of offering or rescinding visa sponsorship resides with the educational institution. It advised that upon visa cancellation or shortening, individuals should either rectify their immigration status or arrange to leave the UK.

In a communique, the Home Office informed the students that their right to appeal was not an option available to them.

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