UK ban: Nigerian Youtuber responds to backlash over BBC interview

A Nigerian Youtuber Emdee Tiamiyu, known for providing advice on studying in the United Kingdom (UK), has reacted to criticisms that trailed his controversial interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

Tiamiyu’s comments suggesting that many Nigerian students were not seeking qualifications but rather using education as a means to start a new life abroad have drawn backlash.

This is especially so as the interview took place within the context of new immigration rules that will prohibit Nigerian students, among others, from bringing their families as dependents to the UK, except under specific circumstances.

“The student route is more like an answered prayer…We’re beginning to see that a lot of people just hide behind the studentship. So, the student thing is not real, it’s not like they need the degrees,” he said in the interview.

Social media platforms, particularly Twitter, were flooded with criticisms directed at Tiamiyu, claiming that his statements was harmful and detrimental to Nigeria’s image. Many also accused him of seeking popularity and labelled him a clout chaser.

Responding to the mounting criticism, Tiamiyu said, “I do know I would have to find the balance between being real and being diplomatic. If you want to be real, you will offend people”.

The UK government’s ban on Tuesday raises questions on the implications for international students, and the broader discourse surrounding education opportunities and migration.

The ICIR reported came up with new restrictions to prevent Nigerian students and those from other nationalities studying in the country from bringing their families over.

Under the restrictions, all Master’s students and many other postgraduates are banned from bringing their families.




     

     

    However, the ban will not apply to PhD students, who are considered highly skilled, and whose courses typically last between three and five years.

    The ban was in response to alarming reports of net migration into the UK reaching one million, with members of the Tory party urging Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to address the escalating numbers.

    The number of people entering Britain under the guise of their relatives’ student visas has seen a significant increase. In the past year, students brought over 135,788 family members to Britain, which is nine times higher than the figure reported in 2019, according to reports by The Sun UK.

    Notably, Nigerian students accounted for over 60,000 out of the total, bringing over relatives. The UK has been considering imposing restrictions on Nigerian migrants since October 2022.

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