Teesside University Offers Expelled Nigerian Students Flight Support


Teesside University in the United Kingdom has launched a new initiative to support Nigerian students facing severe financial difficulties, offering to fund their flights home. This decision was reported by the BBC on Tuesday.

This initiative follows the expulsion of several Nigerian students who were removed from their courses and ordered to leave the UK due to their inability to pay tuition fees. The financial crisis in Nigeria, compounded by the university’s shift from a seven-installment to a three-installment payment plan, left many students struggling to meet their financial obligations.

A local food charity revealed that 75% of its clients are now Nigerian students, underscoring the severity of the financial hardships they face.

On May 22, 2024, a group of Nigerian students at Teesside University were expelled and ordered to leave the UK due to their inability to pay tuition fees on time. The students cited the devaluation of the naira as a major obstacle, leading to breaches in their visa sponsorship requirements. Some students found themselves locked out of their university accounts, reported to the Home Office, and required to leave the UK.

The university defended its actions, citing strict external regulations. The affected students, numbering 60, expressed deep distress and disappointment, accusing the university of being unsupportive and “heartless.” They banded together to request assistance from the university after witnessing their peers face severe consequences for late payments.

On May 29, 2024, the Nigerian government intervened to address the deportation orders against some Nigerian students at Teesside University. A delegation led by Ambassador Christian Okeke from the Nigerian Embassy in the UK, along with leaders of the Nigerian Students Union in the UK, met with the university’s management to seek a resolution.

Following protests and the Nigerian government’s intervention, the university has re-enrolled some affected students and established a relief fund. “We are working with a small group who need to return to their home country and are opening an international relief fund to offer additional financial support for these unexpected travel costs,” a university spokesperson told the BBC.

The university is also offering some students the option to complete their studies remotely from Nigeria or to return to the UK at a later date. The BBC reports that some students have lodged legal appeals against their expulsions.

Mike Ojo

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