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Monday, October 3, 2022

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    I will try to make this piece as short and straight as possible despite its inherent dynamics. I promised to make this post long ago. So, here goes…

    1. Finding a university.
      Use Google search to find out about the universities offering the master’s degree course you intend to apply for.

    When searching, consider low-cost UK universities that still have good reputation. They include Teesside University, Staffordshire University, Coventry University, University of Cumbria, University of Edinburgh-Napier, and so on.

    Also consider universities with strong international student culture. The University of West of England is one of such — Nigerian students abound there; and the advantage is in how you will have enough of your kind to interact and connect with. Their tuition is also relatively okay.

    Finally, while checking each university, look at the cost of your degree, specifically. While so-so university may be designated a low-cost university, your degree of choice may be at a high side of tuition.

    1. Settling for a course.
      Your course of study will determine how much you are to pay in tuition deposit and how much you are to pay as balance while you are enrolled and studying.

    So, if you have a budget of 4 million naira, you may have to go for a two-year course with a total of around £16,000. If this is the case, it means that you will have to pay £8,000 each year. Easy!

    Before you are given CAS by the university (for visa processing), you will have paid about £3,500 or up to £4,000, depending on the degree. So that when you arrive UK, you can pay the remaining £4,000 or £4,500 in your first year while working and studying. And pay the rest (£8,000) next year. Easy!

    However, if you’re unable to get a two-year course, you can get a one-year degree of around £13 to £14,000. Pay deposit of £4,000 before you are issued CAS and visa. Then pay the remaining £10,000 when you arrive UK and start working and studying.

    It may be difficult, though, to pay £10,000 in one year. Some students do it, either by receiving help from sponsors or by flouting the visa regulation. As a student, you are to work for only 20hrs per week during term time. But if you stick to this rule, you may not be able to raise the amount of money you may need to meet up with your tuition. So, some students flout that rule and work full time instead.

    1. Applying to the universities.
      Gladly, unlike in Canada and the US and some Australian universities, application is free to the UK universities.

    Most of them also do not require test of English. Check their website thoroughly for information. You may see where they give exceptions that may cover Nigerians who previously studied to first degree level in English.

    1. Applying for visa.

    i. Find out first if the university has an agent in Nigeria. The agent may help you with a seamless process through the application. That is if you’re not sure you can handle the otherwise straightforward process by yourself.

    ii. The UK student visa application fee is £348.

    iii. The health insurance, for one year is £470. Normally, your visa will be for a year and some months for a one year degree. So your insurance will exceed the £470 fee. If your course is for 2 years, your visa will be for 2 years and 5 months. Which means your health insurance will be £470 + £470 + £235 (for the extra months) = £1,175.

    iv. The immigrations will ask for a bank statement that will show proof that you can pay your remaining school fees (after you had paid the deposit) when you arrive UK. So, if you’re on a two year degree that costs total of £16,000, for example, and you pay a deposit of £3,500 for the university to issue you a CAS (for visa processing), you have to show evidence that you can pay the remaining £12,500 when you arrive UK. So a bank statement bearing a naira equivalent or more (in the region of 8 million naira, to be on a safer side) will suffice. Some people find a way to circumvent this. There are self-help schemes people employ to navigate this hurdle if you don’t have or know anyone you can borrow the millions from. Ask around. Such scheme may cost up to 600k which you can pay someone to help with the funds. Mind you, this is illegal. But then…

    v. You will go for tuberculosis test at designated centres and pay around 120k.

    1. Flight, accommodation and feeding.
      You can budget 200k for your flight; 180k for your first month house rent; and 50k for feeding.

    TOTAL (assuming you’re going for a two-year degree of £16,000 tuition fee total for those two years):

    1. Tuition deposit: 2 million naira.
    2. Student visa: 200k
    3. Health insurance: 650k
    4. “Illegal” navigation of the bank statement: 600k
    5. Tuberculosis test: 120k
    6. Flight: 200k
    7. Cheap accommodation for the first one month: 180k
    8. Feeding for the first one month (if you’re not the type that eats too much): 50k

    Calculate am, bro.
    Also, do your own research!

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