COVID-19 Will Not Stop Nigerians' Education in the UK - UK Universities Minister Michelle Donelan.
Have you been wondering if COVID-19 pandemic will disrupt your ambition to study in the UK as a Nigerian? Is it still possible to study in the UK despite the pandemic? The UK Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan has assured students from Nigeria who desire to study in the UK in 2020/2021 that the pandemic will not negatively impact their education in the UK.
Around 11,000 Nigerian students chose to study in the UK last year, making it the most popular study destination for the country’s students.
As thousands of students from Nigeria would usually be considering their next steps, a global pandemic has caused huge disruption to our daily lives.
As the Universities Minister, I want to make a promise to our students from Nigeria that this will not put a stop to your education. We stand by you and are doing everything we can to support you. Our universities are going above and beyond to keep students and staff safe.
Universities are considering how teaching could meet social distancing guidelines and have already moved learning online so that high-quality teaching and assessment can continue in the interim, no matter whether students are here in the UK or in their home country.
I know prospective students who had hoped to start a course in the UK next year will have many questions but ensuring international students can continue to study here is one of my top priorities.
While it is difficult to know how long the current disruption will last, I want to be clear that the UK is open and will offer a world class education wherever you study and in whatever form that degree takes.
The UK has a global reputation for academic excellence and innovative teaching, with four universities in the world’s top 10. The coronavirus does not change this. We rank first by international students for student experience and our graduates are among some of the most desirable for employers the world over. 83 percent of international graduates surveyed by Universities UK International (UUKi) said their UK degree helped them get their job.
Our universities are still taking applications for study next year. I encourage future students to get in touch with the universities they are considering to find out how they are planning to adapt courses for the next academic year, should restrictions still be in place.
That might mean some first term lectures being delivered online or smaller socially distanced tutorials, but students can be rest assured that quality education will continue and standards remain of the highest quality.
While visa centres are currently closed, the UK Government has announced important flexibilities so that no student is negatively impacted due to the coronavirus. This includes relaxed rules for sponsors and different ways that universities are judging English language requirements.
A new, streamlined immigration route for graduates – the “Graduate route” – will be available from summer 2021, meaning students starting this year will be able to stay and work, or look for work in the UK, at any skill level for two years. This will give students certainty and the opportunity to kickstart a career and consider their next steps freely.
All our international students matter to us, enriching our education system, bringing greater diversity to our campuses, and sharing fresh ideas and new perspectives.
The cultural exchanges built in the UK help develop life-long friendships, as well as laying the foundations for future networks and important business, political and diplomatic bridges.
If the coronavirus has taught us one thing, it is that we are so much stronger when we work together.
The UK Government and higher education sector are clear that both current and prospective Nigerian students are welcome and safe here, both on and off campus. Our National Health Service has taken care of people from around the world and we will continue to ensure international students’ physical and mental health are well looked after.
At this uncertain time, I want all students to know we are going through this together. Whether you have questions about your course, travel restrictions, visa requirements, or access to health services, please reach out to your chosen university.
Nobody should have to put their future on hold because of this virus. Our priority will always be people’s safety and wellbeing and we take our responsibilities to international students seriously.
I look forward to welcoming international students in the future because you are a large part of what makes our higher education sector world-class.
Would you like to study in the UK next year? Click HERE to see some of the top UK Universities currently accepting applications.