PhD Students from Nigeria Can Still Bring Dependents to UK – British High Commissioner

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The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr. Richard Montgomery, clarified that despite recent policy changes affecting international students in the UK, those enrolled in PhD programs can still bring their dependents with them. In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, Montgomery explained that the policy shift, introduced earlier this year, restricts the ability of international students in higher education to bring dependents into the country.

 

The decision stemmed from concerns raised by university Chancellors regarding the strain on resources caused by an influx of dependents accompanying foreign students. Issues such as limited accommodation, access to medical services, and schooling for dependents were cited as reasons behind the policy change.

 

Montgomery emphasized that the restrictions do not apply universally, with exemptions granted to individuals pursuing long-term research degrees like PhDs or doctorates. He acknowledged the significance of the demand for education in the UK, but highlighted the need to consider factors such as currency fluctuations affecting affordability.

 

Earlier reports noted the UK government’s measures to limit international students, including Nigerians, from bringing their families as dependents, except under specific circumstances such as enrollment in designated research programs. These measures also include preventing international students from switching to work routes before completing their studies, aimed at reducing net migration.

Responses from Nigerians defer as some see the move as a plus for those seeking opportunity for quality education and better job prospects. Others argued that if the Nigerian government will invest in the education sector and tackle the problem of insecurity there will be a drastic reduction in the number of those migrating to other countries which will in turn result in economic development.

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