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PhD Students Are Eligible To Bring Dependants To UK – UK Envoy

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PhD Students Are Eligible To Bring Dependants To UK – UK Envoy

According to official UK policy, dependents may only be brought into the nation by international students studying for a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr. Richard Montgomery, said this to the Newsmen on Sunday, May 5, in Abuja.

He stated that in an effort to reduce the number of foreign students bringing in dependents, the policy of the educational system was modified earlier this year to prohibit international students pursuing higher education from bringing their families into the United Kingdom.

He clarified that numerous universities were under unsupportable strain because of the massive increase in reliance.

Montgomery continued by saying that he had discussed the policy change with a few of these colleges before to being appointed High Commissioner to Nigeria.

He mentioned that the chancellors of the universities had voiced complaints about the large numbers of students, emphasising that finding housing was a major issue, as was getting access to the National Health Service for medical care, and that if they brought in dependents, they would not be able to attend classes.

He clarified that not all categories were affected by the limits and that individuals pursuing doctorates or long-term research degrees, such as PhDs, were unaffected.

Read Also: Ifeoma Bibiana Okoli: Blind Woman Bags PhD From The University Of Ibadan

“Those coming to the UK for a doctorate can still bring their dependents but if you are coming to the UK with a study visa for an undergraduate degree, or short-term master’s degree am afraid the rules have been changed.

“People need to understand why this change was brought in, and it is a sensible change because we have a large higher education sector and most of these universities are in towns across the country.

“There has been a surge recently, in demand for British education and I can give you the macro figures and there has also been a huge increase in foreign students bringing their dependents.

“In the case of Nigeria, in 2019, before the Coronavirus pandemic, there were only one and a half thousand dependents being brought in from Nigeria, with those on study visas.

“In 2022, that figure had increased to fifty-two thousand dependants so that’s a thirty-fold increase in dependence. And it’s not just about Nigeria by the way.

“It is also about all foreign students, we saw similar rises, for example amongst Indian students coming to study in the UK,” he added.

Regarding the policy’s initiation, he stated that it is too early to determine how it will affect students because it was announced in 2023 but went into force early this year. Additionally, he stated that we won’t receive the next batch of academic tickets until September 2024.

“I think what your wider audience needs to hear is that the demand for UK education is really strong, in 2022, 65,000 study visas were approved to Nigerian applicants, 65,000, while in September 2023 we received about 115,000 Study visa applications from Nigeria.

“Of which 95 per cent were approved and over 110,000 study visas were issued last September compared to 65,000 of the previous year, there’s almost a doubling of Nigerian study visas in 2023 which means the demand is really high.

“And it is something which I am genuinely pleased and proud about that the UK has such a good higher educational sector and we are still at the six economies and is still one of the biggest economies but we are only 2.5 per cent of the global economy.

“So we have 17 of the top 100 universities in the world. We have 17 per cent of the top universities, so it is one of our units.

“I really like the demand but there are other factors at play in terms of schooling in the UK, the value of the Naira in the coming months will also determine how easy or hard it will be for many people to afford our education.

“But I really hope that the number of people who bring dependants in the UK may actually not be a majority, but a minority of people have tried to study in the UK so am hoping that the demand will be sustained.”

A Gentle Reminder: Every obstacle is a stepping stone, every morning; a chance to go again, and those little steps take you closer to your dream.

Nnamdi Okoli

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