A sense of unease has swept through the Nigerian student community in the United Kingdom in the wake of a recent decision by the UK government to deregister certain foreign nationals, including Nigerian students, from their respective universities.
Additionally, affected students have received advisories from their universities instructing them to vacate the premises.
Reports from the UK indicate that numerous Nigerian students are grappling with confusion and apprehension about their next steps, with fears looming over the prospect of returning to Nigeria.
Addressing the situation, Benjamin Kuti, President of the Nigerians in UK Community (NIUK), shared insights in a social media post on X (formerly Twitter), stating, “Several universities in the UK have deregistered students and instructed them to leave the country.”
Confirming the disconcerting development, an anonymous Nigerian student expressed dismay, remarking on the unfortunate nature of the UK government’s actions. The student highlighted the challenges faced by many Nigerian students who self-fund their education, emphasizing the difficulty of returning to Nigeria empty-handed after investing considerable resources and effort.
The recent move by the UK government stems from concerns that a significant number of Nigerian immigrants to the UK enroll in educational programs primarily to secure visas, with allegations that some prioritize work over their academic commitments. Notably, there has been a crackdown on international students found working beyond the 20-hour limit stipulated by the UK government, leading to arrests and detentions.
Nigerians constitute one of the largest international student communities in the UK, witnessing a remarkable 73 percent year-on-year increase in sponsored study visas. In numerical terms, this surge translates to an increase from 33,958 in the year ending June 2022 to 58,680 in the year ending June 2023.
However, many students face unique financial pressures, including the escalating cost of living in the UK and the recent devaluation of the naira, both impacting their budgetary plans.
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