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Struggling Nigerian students in UK turn to food charity for help amid fear of deportation 

Nigerian students at Teesside University in the United Kingdom are reportedly seeking aid from a food charity after being ordered to leave the UK due to the naira devaluation that has made it difficult for them to pay their tuition fees on time. 

According to a BBC report, the students were blocked from their studies at Teesside and reported to the Home Office after the value of Nigeria’s naira plummeted, wiping out their savings. 

The group of students has now turned to Thornaby’s Sprouts Community Food Charity (SCFC), where the influx of affected diaspora students go after being hit with a heavy economic crisis.  

The Manager of SCFC,  Debbie Fixter, told BBC that 75% of its clients are the affected students from Nigeria. 

SCFC coordinates various activities and provides food either for free or at a minimal cost, in addition to clothing and household essentials. 

In recent months, the charity observed a shift in its clientele, with the majority now being Nigerian master’s degree students from Teesside University. 

On its part, the university said it was providing support and international applicants must provide evidence of sufficient funds when applying for a visa. 

Charity now runs at “Maximum Capacity” 

Ms Fixter said her charity was currently at “maximum capacity” as a result of the situation and called on Teesside University to offer more support. 

She said the university had so far been proactive and offered a welcome £500 donation of Sainsbury’s vouchers after being informed of the situation, but called it a “drop in the ocean” in terms of what was needed to support the influx of students at the charity. 

The university said It worked closely with community organisations to signpost students back to its own support services and had provided vouchers and contributions to ensure the organisations could offer support to students. 

“Teesside University remains a popular destination for students from across the world who choose to study here because of its global reputation for excellence in teaching and research.  

“All international applicants need to provide evidence that they have sufficient funds to cover tuition fees and living costs as part of the visa application process,” a spokesperson of the university said.  

The university is offering “case by case” support to those affected by the situation in Nigeria.  

Backstory 

Earlier, Nairemetrics reported that the e drastic devaluation of Nigeria’s currency has affected the ability of Nigerian students at Teesside University in the United Kingdom to pay their tuition fees on time. 

They have now been forced to discontinue their studies and leave the UK. 

Some of these students, devastated by the situation, told the BBC that they felt driven to despair by what they saw as the university’s insensitive handling of their payment difficulties. 

According to a university spokesperson, non-payment breached the conditions of their visa sponsorship, leaving the university with “no choice” but to inform the Home Office. 

Cyrus Ademola

Cyrus Ademola

  • Cyrus Ademola is a political and economy analyst with over half a decade experience in journalism, research-based oped, economic reportage and political analysis. His works have been featured on different media outlets, covering from politics to business trends, to crime and security as well as the real estate sector.
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