Lincoln University, in Pennsylvania, United States, has threatened to deport 21 scholarship students in three weeks owing to the failure of their sponsor, Nigeria’s Bayelsa State, to pay up their school fees, which now totals nearly one million dollars.
Appealing to the government to intervene urgently to save their career prospects, two of the students, who are all in their final undergraduate semester at the institution, told a NAN correspondent by telephone that following the payment for their first session, payments became irregular until Bayelsa’s indebtedness of $970,000.
One of the students, Akpos Akins, explained that the university would not even honor individual payments by the students or their parents as the institution maintains that that would violate the agreement it signed with the Bayelsa State Government.
He said their parents’ association had been working hard to get the state government to clear the outstanding fees to no avail.
The students, who acknowledged the good intentions of the foreign education scholarships by the government, led by Governor Seriake Dickson, pleaded for the immediate release of funds for the payment.
They said that the management of Lincoln University had been very good to them despite the failure of the government to meet up with payment for some time now.
Drawing attention to the three-week deadline given to them before the school’s management takes action, the students pointed out that without their transcripts, they cannot proceed with Industrial Training or to graduate school.
"The management is then obligated to report us for deportation seeing we have no further business in the country,” they said. “Our time and efforts would have been wasted if that happened. We want to be seen as worthy ambassadors of Bayelsa State. We are going through psychological trauma now, we cannot even focus on our studies.”
The students described the non-payment of their tuition as an unnecessary distraction, noting that they were not even particular about their irregular allowances at this point.
“We want to appeal to our countryman governor to save our future,” they said. “The students are very grateful for this gesture to go study abroad. Apart from giving us hope, we are coming back to contribute our quota to the development of our dear Bayelsa State.”