UK universities to reduce courses, staff due to reduction in Nigerian, foreign student enrollment

Universities in the United Kingdom are considering reducing courses due to a decrease in international student enrollment, which is beginning to have an impact on certain institutions’ budget.

On Saturday, The Times reported that university executives warned that the loss of one-third of foreign students has threatened to force institutions into loss, requiring them to make “really difficult” cuts such as eliminating entire courses and cutting the number of teaching staff, among other measures.

According to the study, John Rushforth, Executive Secretary of the University Chairs Committee, voiced concern, saying, “I have been in higher education for 30 years, and senior leaders are more concerned than ever.”

He added that “bankruptcy is a realistic possibility,” with one in ten already cutting staff this year.

Rushforth continued, “Accepting fewer British students is a last resort but if you are losing something, people have to consider it. We have to analyse everything because the situation is very serious.”

“Universities have to think carefully about what they want to protect and make decisions about how to divest things that are not core to the institution. There will be fewer options for students. So, basically, you either have to increase revenue or reduce quality or volume,” he said.

Some universities have linked the decline in Nigerian student enrollment to the nation’s economic crisis, as the naira plummeted against the Great Britain Pound.

The Financial Times reported in January that enrollment in UK universities has dropped by more than one-third from crucial countries such as Nigeria and India.

After the UK authorities announced that international students would no longer be able to bring family on their study visas, universities were concerned that they would face a deficit.

Recall that earlier this year, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced new immigration laws that prohibited international graduate students from bringing family members to the UK.

He also claimed that the government was considering the so-called “graduate route”, which allows international students to work in the UK for two years.