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UK woos international students, assures of qualitative teaching despite COVID-19 pandemic

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Michelle Donelan


United Kingdom universities’ minister, Michelle Donelan has assured international students that qualitative teaching and learning would continue in all their institutions despite disruptions occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.

Donelan directed the students to get in touch with their choice universities and find out how they are planning to adapt courses for the next academic year, should restrictions still be in place. 

Subsequently, she called on prospective Nigerian students to get in touch with heir choice universities and find out how they are planning to adapt courses for the next academic year, should restrictions still be in place. 

While lamenting the disruptions caused by the global pandemic, Donelan noted that about 11,000 Nigerian students chose to study in the United Kingdom last year.

“As the universities’ minister, I want to make a promise to our students from Nigeria that this will not put a stop to your education. Universities are considering how teaching could meet social distancing guidelines and have already moved learning online so that high-quality teaching and assessment can continue in the interim, no matter whether students are here in the UK or in their home country.

“While it is difficult to know how long the current disruption will last, I want to be clear that the UK is open and will offer a world-class education wherever you study and in whatever form that degree takes. Our universities are still taking applications for study next year. That might mean some first term lectures being delivered online or smaller socially distanced tutorials, but students can be rest assured that quality education will continue and standards remain of the highest quality,” the minister assured.

Although visa centres are currently closed, Donelan said the UK government has announced important flexibilities so that no student is negatively impacted due to the coronavirus.

For instance, she disclosed that a new, streamlined immigration route for graduates would be available from summer 2021, which will enable students stay and work, or look for work in the UK, at any skill level for two years.This, Donelan said would give students the opportunity to kickstart a career and consider their next steps freely.

“The UK government and higher education sector are clear that both current and prospective Nigerian students are welcome and safe here, both on and off campus. Our National Health Service has taken care of people from around the world and we will continue to ensure international students’ physical and mental health are well looked after.


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