In an effort to unify the exchange rate, Nigeria’s central bank allowed the currency to drop in the official market in June. As per the Nigerian Exchange in Lagos, the currency will have weakened by 40% in July 2023. However, markets and the government hold a positive view, as the economy is going to boost Nigeria’s economy in the long run.
The timing is a challenge for international students who are planning to study overseas courses in September 2023, even those who are already abroad. According to Rotimi Olorunfemi, a master’s student, students who have planned their budget need to increase it due to the currency drop.
Even students who are already abroad are struggling to afford their tuition fees due to the sudden drop. Apart from that, it now takes longer to transfer funds via Nigerian banks. There are universities in the UK, like the University of Bradford, that have introduced more flexible payment deadlines.
Students who are planning to start their overseas course this autumn are struggling to show proof of funds to get a visa. Earlier, Nigerian students were required to show USD $1000, which is 471,000 naira; now they need to show around 800,000 naira.
When it comes to securing a UK study visa, students need to show funds in their account for a period of 28 days. If these students top up their bank accounts during this interval, the cycle of 28 days will start again. According to Hastings, some students are unable to meet the extra payment demand, which becomes a barrier to their travel plans to the country. He further said that institutions need to support Nigerian students more.
It has been seen that Nigerians are increasingly considering destinations like Finland, Malta, and Spain for their higher education.