The United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and North Ireland) is a popular destination for many Nigerians, partly because of the influence of our former colonial masters, and the fact that it is an English speaking country. Nigerians having their postgraduate study overseas often return with tales of how postgraduate education is better there. This post presents you with the facts you should reconsider, before you jet out of Naija, for a Masters/PhD in U.K
- Exorbitant Financial Cost: Except you are on scholarships, you should plan/prepare well for the financial burden your postgraduate study would put on you and your family. Average tuition fees for a U.K masters is £9500, but could be as high as £ 20,000 in Russell Group or Red Brick Universities. You will be required to pay a considerable part of your tuition, with the balance and 9months living allowance in your bank account before applying for your visa. Also consider the cost of visa applications, air travel from Nigeria, medical insurance and the high cost of living in U.K. In all, be prepared to sink in at least 4 million naira into the U.K economy, in exchange for a Master’s degree. A PhD, of course would be costlier.
- No Post Study Work Experience: The stringent Tier 4 visa requirement would not give you an extra period after study, to have much needed work experience. The U.K government simply wants you to come, study, and as soon as you drop your thesis and graduate, catch the next available flight to your country. What’s the aim of receiving world class education, without the opportunity of an industry experience? Except you get hired before graduating, which is rare, though possible, you simply return to Nigeria with an extra certificate, but no additional work experience. Note that in the Nigerian job market, work experience, no matter how little is important. Update: From 2021, Immigration rules have been relaxed to give postgraduate students the privilege to apply for post study visa.
- No Job Guarantee: Your U.K postgraduate certificate does not necessarily earn you a job on return to Nigeria. Without sounding pessimistic, the Nigerian labour market is not just saturated but over saturated. Job seekers with American, British, e.t.c postgraduate degrees still plunge interviews venues in hope of getting hired. The fact is, you would soon discover that there are tens or hundreds of other Nigerians with foreign degrees. But if you intend to be in academics, then getting a lecturing job should be easy.