A Birmingham City University student has claimed she needs to fundraise £14,500 total in 24 hours or face her studies coming to an abrupt end. International student Joanna Idowu, originally from Nigeria, only has four months left to finish her bachelor’s degree.
But the 20-year-old said she will be forced to return home, leaving her education in tatters, if she fails to raise the cash needed to pay off her outstanding tuition fees by 12pm on Friday, January 26.
“It was previously covered by an extended family member,” said the media and communications student. “But they have expressed inability to pay before the deadline set by my university, because of Nigeria’s socioeconomic situation, and the increased devaluation of the naira.”
Read more: Aston Expressway delivery rider cycles past shocked motorists heading to M6
Joanna, in the UK on a Tier-4 student visa, has told how she faces a race against time to raise the money otherwise she won’t be graduating this year. As a last resort, she has set up a GoFundMe page asking the public for help.
She added: “I’m unable to self-fund as I can only work 20 hours a week in the UK – which I currently do as a recruitment assistant. Sadly, my father passed away in 2020, and my mother is a Nigerian civil servant who is barely making ends meet back home.”
Joanna said moving away from home shortly after her father’s death was “depressing”, but that studying in the UK was an “opportunity” which her family agreed was worth “holding on to”. “I have given my all for the past three years,” she said.
“And despite the difference in the educational system, I have so far achieved an overall grade of 2:1. I have only four months left to turn in my final major project in May.”
Joanna claimed she appealed the university’s decision at the end of last year in hope of giving herself more time to find the money. But, having only raised just under £2,000 at time of publication, time appears to be running out.
Get breaking news on BirminghamLive WhatsApp
“I will keep trying to raise the money I need to pay by Friday at 12pm. However, if I am unable to do so, I will take a break in study.
“I will go back home to Nigeria and continue my GoFundMe campaign to raise the full tuition of £14,500 in hope of coming back in September 2024 to complete my studies.”
On setting up a fundraising page, she added: “I searched for other options and found none; this is the last resort I could think of. I am not asking out of entitlement, but rather out of desperation.
“I know and understand that these are difficult times and everyone has one struggle or another, but if you can find it in your heart to contribute or share my story, it would mean a whole lot to me.”
A BCU spokesperson told BirminghamLive: “We offer confidential support and advice to students facing financial hardships on a case-by-case basis.”
Click here to view Joanna’s GoFundMe page where you can donate.
You can find this story in My Bookmarks.Or by navigating to the user icon in the top right.