Student, 28, stranded with £14,000 uni fees after dad dies days before she moved to London

A student hoping to study in London has been left ‘stranded’, after her father’s sudden death left her without access to the money she needs to pay her £14,860 tuition.

Nnenna Joseph, 28, who is living in Iford, had been planning to start her course in International Communication and Development at City, University of London this year.

But now, left temporarily unable to pay her first tuition instalment of £7,430, and with the university not willing to provide flexibility and no longer sponsoring her visa, Nnenna is stranded in London weeks after losing her dad, and may be deported.

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Speaking to MyLondon Nnenna said: “I feel devastated, devastated doesn’t even come close to be honest.

“On the first of October I lost a parent.

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“My dad was my favourite person on this earth and I’m realising I want him to help me right now but he really can’t, I just wish more than anything that he would come back.

“He’s always been my shield he has a way of sorting me out, he always had a way of sorting us.

Nnenna feels the University showed a 'serious lack of empathy' in how they treated her

Nnenna feels the University showed a ‘serious lack of empathy’ in how they treated her

“Right now I feel, we all do the whole family, we’re all at that point where we’re like where is he? Why did he have to leave just right now when we need him the most?”

Nnenna had been due to join up with her course on October 1, flying in to the UK from Nigeria where she lived with her parents Joseph and Mary as well as her two siblings.

Her dad Joseph had been feeling ill for several days before she left, but said he was feeling better, so Nnenna set off to catch her flight.

But before she could board her plane she received a call telling her that Joseph had died.

Rocked by the tragedy Nnenna delayed her trip to the UK by two days, arriving instead on October 3.

But the money she had planned to use for her first tuition instalment was in her dad’s account so when the payment was due, her mother went to the bank to arrange it but was unable to access the money and told Nnenna, by this point 6,000 miles away in London, had to be there in person.

The option presented to Nnenna by the university was “pay your tuition or defer”, which means go back home and if none of these, she faced imminent deportation.

She added: “I tried to explain this to City, that I’d lost a parent and I needed some time, but they just gave me one week to pay.

“Then after that, they said they’d reported me to the home office and disconnected my IT access.

“They could have at least arranged a meeting and had a conversation with me to actually see if I’m genuine or not but they didn’t do that, they just gave me one week to pay and nothing else.

“My tutors Carolina and Liza They were really supportive they even tried to communicate with the registration team, explained my situation was genuine, that this was someone who’d just lost a parent, but they weren’t budging.

“It’s a serious lack of empathy.”

Nnenna has no friends or family and currently has no money to support herself, she says she now fears the Home Office will try to deport her after City notified them.

She is currently living with a friend she met online, who has been paying rent for both of them and even feeding her. Nnenna says she has been her ‘strength’ but that the situation makes her feel ‘dreadful’.

In order to support herself Nnenna has set up a fundraiser, to try and get on her feet and pay the tuition as soon as possible.

She said: “To the people who’ve already donated I want to say a very big thank you, I am very grateful, gratitude is all I have. I can’t pay anyone back all I have is gratitude and prayers.

“And to those who choose to donate after this I wish that god provides for them to be able to donate, and to those who are just praying for me – because it’s not just donations people are praying and wishing me well.

“I say a very big thank you to them, thank you to every one of you, I pray you never lose a loved one when you need them most, and you never become stranded in a place where you have no friends, no relations, no family.”

If you want to donate to help Nnenna you can do so here.

MyLondon have reached out to City, University of London for comment, and as of November 30, MyLondon understands that the issue has been resolved and Nnenna is enrolled on her course.

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