A YouTuber, Emdee Tiamiyu claims that Nigerians seeking migration to the United Kingdom employ the strategy of using education as a deceptive tactic to secure entry into the country.
During an interview with BBC on Tuesday, Emdee Tiamiyu suggested that Nigerians migrating to the UK use schooling as a ploy to enter the country through the student visa route.
He said, “So the student thing is not real. It is not like they need the degrees. They need the degree as an access road to come into the country, so a lot of this people their priorities shifted real fast.”
According to BBC, Emdee Tiamiyu promotes himself to thousands of subscribers on Youtube, offering them unparalleled guidance on “scholarships, fellowships, and japa-ships” – a term he defines as the Yoruba word for “to leave.”
Nigerian UK-based Youtuber explained that “Japa” is a buzzword among Nigerians eager to escape their country’s problems with corruption and poor governance.
Tiamiyu said, “People are looking for alternatives. They want to escape Nigeria. The student route is more like an answered prayer,” he says. It is a “big bracket that’s able to take a lot of people, the ordinary people“.
Tiamiyu offered advice on maneuvering through immigration systems in UK, emphasizing that, for many people, the education system stands as the sole legal and widely accessible pathway.
“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 says.
The YouTuber said there is a growing trend where people are signing up to courses and willingly paying an average annual cost of £22,000 to educational institutions in the UK, just to enable them to secure visas not only for themselves but also for their dependents.
Tiamiyu noted that while the majority of people genuinely have the intention to study, there is a growing minority who do not share the same commitment.
He points out that some students are unconcerned about the educational aspects and view the course as a means to pave the way for a new life in the UK.
According to him, they take advantage of the opportunity to extend their stay through a graduate visa, which grants an additional two to three years, or a skilled worker visa if they secure an appropriate job.
During their studies, international students in the UK face restrictions on working hours, typically limited to 20 hours per week during term time, making it difficult to generate substantial income.
Tiamiyu highlights that the inclusion of family visas can enhance the economic viability, as a spouse accompanying the student can engage in full-time employment.
He, however, acknowledges that not all marriages accompanying the student are genuine, noting instances where “people would just team up somewhere in Lagos” before they travel.
Regardless of the means of entry, he emphasizes that Nigerian students must possess genuine skills and experience due to the challenging job market in the UK.
Tiamiyu said students who lack interest in education have the potential to undermine the reputation of UK universities. He believes that some people might reconsider pursuing a UK education if they are unable to secure visas for their children or spouse.
“They’ll probably go elsewhere,” he says. “But if they really need that Oxford degree, they’ll still come.”
Nevertheless, Tiamiyu emphasizes the importance of continuing to support legal pathways for migration because people are “so desperate”.
On his YouTube channel, he interviewed young Nigerians on the streets, posing a question about whether they would opt for an illegal “japa route” to a foreign country, even if they were aware of the risks and potential failure.
“You’ll be shocked at how many people said they will still take it,” Emdee Tiamiyu says.
Watch the video below: