Concerns for Nigerian Students as 15 UK Universities Shut Down Courses, Lay Off Staff

Concerns for Nigerian Students as 15 UK Universities Shut Down Courses, Lay Off Staff

  • Some UK universities have begun to cut courses as well as cut some staff or have them do voluntary services
  • This followed a decline in the enrolment of postgraduate courses this year, causing schools to project a low number of students
  • Experts advise universities to upgrade the funding models for higher education in different parts of the UK journalist Zainab Iwayemi has over three years of experience covering the Economy, Technology, and Capital Market.

Numerous universities, including mid-league teams, Scottish universities, and prestigious Russell Group schools, in the UK have issued warnings regarding course cuts and staff losses.

This may indicate the onset of a panic within the UK's higher education system.

Nigerian students in UK face uncertainties
At least 15 universities have publicly announced they are cutting staff. Photo Credit: Klaus Vedfelt
Source: Getty Images

Following a sharp decline in foreign students enrolling in postgraduate courses this January, at least 15 universities have publicly announced they are cutting staff and discontinuing courses, while many more are quietly inviting lecturers to apply for voluntary severance.

Read also

Japan invites 820,000 Nigerians, other foreign workers as it battles labour shortages

PAY ATTENTION: Share your outstanding story with our editors! Please reach us through!

There are numerous warning signs that the next academic year may see a sharp decline in the number of undergraduate students recruited.

These signs stem from the ongoing cost of living crisis and the UK's ambiguous stance on whether it intends to reduce the number of international students in order to lower immigration figures ahead of the anticipated general election later this year.

Financial report shows decline

According to University World News, one of the few methods to learn the truth about UK higher education without having to sift through the biased narratives of supporters and detractors is through the annual financial reports.

The intake of overseas students at the University of York, a midtable member of the Russell Group, increased by 59% during and immediately following the COVID-19 pandemic but decreased by about 16% the last year.

Read also

Peter Obi’s running mate’s private university increases fees

York's financial difficulties caused it to shift from having an excess of £14 million (US$17.6 million) in 2021–22 to an alleged £24 million deficit in 2022–2023.

The Financial Times obtained an internal memo stating that York was reducing the admission requirements for certain international students. This development made headlines.

Rise in students dropping out

Vice-Chancellor Professor Karen Cox cautions in Kent University's annual financial report that there are other factors contributing to the country's severe financial difficulties besides the ongoing fierce competition for new students and the UK government's ten-year fixed level of student tuition fees.

He said there has already been an unexpected downturn in the number of students returning to complete their studies after the summer 2022 break due to cost of living difficulties.

Although the UK has long been known for having the highest rates of student completion in the world, dropout rates are rising as a result of students finding it difficult to pay their rent and other expenses, maintenance loans that aren't keeping up with inflation, and more students being forced to work longer hours in order to attend full-time classes.

Read also

Nigerian airlines risk shutting down as jet fuel increases to N1,500 per litre

The way forward

Global higher education expert Ruth Arnold cautions that university financial directors and vice-chancellors will remain up at night due to concerns about future reliance on lucrative international student tuition fees that subsidize domestic students and research activities until the funding models for higher education in different parts of the UK are fixed and upgraded.

Nevertheless, she expressed her deep concern that the post-study work visas—which were reinstated in 2021 and permit foreign graduates to remain in the country for up to three years in search of employment—may be in jeopardy in light of the UK government's order for the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to review the Graduate Route.

Although this was first announced in December, the committee has only recently begun its work, and it has been given ten weeks to finish its inquiry and submit its report to the Home Secretary in May.

Read also

Expert speaks on future of naira, explains why commodity prices are not reducing despite naira gain

UK university invites Nigerians for fascinating opportunity earlier reported that the University of Dundee is offering scholarships of £2,000 per year of study - up to a maximum value of £10,000 - to applicants who enter an eligible Undergraduate course in its School of Life Sciences for the 2023/24 or 2024/25 session.

The University of Dundee focuses on teaching traditional and professional degrees and is one of the top 200 universities in terms of graduate employment rate (QS World University rankings 2022).

With over 16,000 students and 3,000 staff representing over 145 different countries worldwide, the University of Dundee is deemed a global institution.


Online view pixel