From the blog

UK: Teeside Offer Nigerian Students ‘Travel Fund’ To Travel Home

Following protests and the intervention of the Nigerian government delegation, Teeside university said it has now re-enrolled some affected students and opened a travel fund for those it reported to the Home office to return home.

Students at Teesside University were thrown off courses and ordered to leave the UK after a currency crisis left them struggling to pay tuition fees.

One student said the offer of travel fund did not go far enough, adding: “The wide-rippling effects of this are unmanageable and piling up.”

The Middlesbrough-based university recently withdrew sponsorship for a number of students and reported them to the Home Office after they fell into tuition fee arrears.

The students had seen their savings depleted because of Nigeria’s worst economic crash in generations. Their financial struggles were exacerbated when the university changed payment plans from seven instalments to three.

The impact was so significant that a nearby food charity said 75% of its clients are now Nigerian students struggling to cope with the cost of living.

Consequently, some missed tuition fee payments and were subsequently frozen out of their studies. Soon after, they received Home Office letters ordering them to leave the UK.

In May, a university spokesman said failure to pay was a breach of visa sponsorship requirements, and claimed it had “no choice” but to alert the Home Office.

Teesside University spokesman also confirmed some affected students have been told they can 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,” he added.

The university has told some students they can complete their studies from Nigeria or return to the UK to resume them at a later date.