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The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr. Richard Montgomery, disclosed that the United Kingdom has implemented stricter regulations regarding dependents accompanying international students, with the exception of those pursuing Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) studies.


In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja, Dr. Montgomery explained that the policy shift earlier this year was aimed at addressing the significant increase in foreign students bringing dependents, which was straining the resources of universities.

He clarified that while the new restrictions apply to undergraduate and short-term master’s degree students, individuals undertaking long-term research degrees such as PhDs remain unaffected and can still bring their dependents.

Dr. Montgomery highlighted the rationale behind the policy change, citing concerns raised by university Chancellors about the escalating student populations and the resultant challenges in accommodation, access to medical services, and schooling for dependents.

He provided statistics indicating a substantial rise in the number of dependents accompanying foreign students, with Nigeria alone witnessing a thirty-fold increase in such cases between 2019 and 2022.

Despite the surge in demand for UK education, Dr. Montgomery underscored the importance of considering additional factors such as the affordability of education, particularly in light of currency fluctuations.

While acknowledging the robust demand for UK education, he expressed hope that the policy adjustments would help manage the influx of dependents and ensure the sustainability of resources within the higher education sector.

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