UK university orders Nigerian students owing fees to leave United Kingdom

Nigerian students running undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at Teesside University in the UK have been instructed to drop out and return to their home country over their inability to pay tuition.

BBC reports that a spokesperson for the University said the move was in line with the United Kingdom’s immigration regulations.

“Teesside University is proud to be a global institution with a diverse student population but is also very aware of its visa issuance and compliance obligations.

“These strict external regulations ensure that the university fully supports a robust immigration system and are outside of the university’s control,” the spokesperson said.

According to the higher institution, it had no choice as failure to pay was a breach of visa sponsorship rules. It said it had made every effort to help the affected students, including with bespoke payment plans.

On Tuesday, many of the affected students protested outside the campus and accused the Teesside management of being heartless and unfair.

One Adenike Ibrahim told the BBC she was close to handing in her dissertation when she was kicked off her course because she could not make a payment. She said that despite having paid her fees in full, she will still have to leave the UK with her young son and cannot re-enrol.

“I did default [on payments], but I’d already paid 90 per cent of my tuition fees, and I went to all my classes. I called them and asked to reach an agreement, but they do not care what happens to their students,” Adenike said.

In a letter, the Home Office said the decision to offer or withdraw visa sponsorship rested with the sponsoring institution.

It said students had no right to appeal, while suggesting that when a visa was shortened or cancelled, individuals should take steps to regularise their stay or make arrangements to leave the UK.