Going to university or college is developing new skills and exploring career options. Age is not a barrier to learning, and being an adult should not stop you from achieving your dreams.

You might be a school dropout in Nigeria or have finished your undergraduate programme for a long time. On the other hand, you might have a foundation degree or diploma or want to start afresh as an adult. There's still room for you to apply for different courses in the UK as an international student.

Many schools in the UK are primarily designed for young students, and older students might feel left out. However, there are schools in the UK that focus on mature students too.

As a mature Nigerian student wanting to study in the UK, you have to leave everything behind in Nigeria, your work and family. Also, you might not be as dedicated as a younger student.

There are ways to overcome obstacles with studying as a mature international student.

In this article, we'll be giving you tips on studying in the UK as an international student. We'll also discuss the common issues you might face as a mature Nigerian studying in the UK and how to get support.

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Applying to UK Universities as a Nigerian Adult

Aside from adults who have completed their undergraduate studies in Nigeria, many mature students have little or no qualifications to meet the requirements for studying in a British university.

Most of them have only their WASSCE results, while some took a foundation programme like an A level and higher diploma.

Applicants that want to study in the UK must have a foundation education. If you don't have one, you should enrol for a higher diploma or A level programme and have your result before applying.

Also, to apply to UK universities, the level to which you understand the use of the English language will be tested. You have to take the UK accepted English language tests such as TOEFL or IELTS.

When you have the complete entry requirements, do your research, get information and apply online for the courses that interest you using the UCAS website.

For mature applicants, universities include work experience and the skills you've acquired as one of the entry requirements. Another essential entry requirement for your application is the personal statement.

Of course, during your years of not being in school, you would have gathered different skills and experiences. So, when writing the statement about yourself, you should focus on the relevant skills you've acquired, your work experience so far, and how it can help you in the course, you're applying for.

Old man and woman
Studying in the UK as a mature student may seem difficult, but it's achievable || Image Source: Pexels

As a mature student, it is understandable that you want to work to pay for your fees and living cost. Therefore, you should apply for a work and study visa during your visa application process.

When applying to UK universities for undergraduate or postgraduate courses, focus on universities relevant to your course and mature students.

The following are some of the universities that create a friendly space for adult students:

  • Leeds Trinity University
  • Birmingham City University
  • Harris Manchester College
  • Kingston University
  • University of Derby
  • The University of Wolverhampton, etc

Tips For Mature Nigerian Students Studying in the UK

Deciding to return to school at an older age requires commitment, especially as an international student. To have a successful education experience in the UK, here are a few tips you might need:

Be Academically Prepared

To get the best from studying in the UK each academic year, you must be very attentive and take detailed notes in class. Pay attention to instructions and the subjects you'll be learning in class.

It would help if you went through the syllabus for each course to know what they are about. You should also go over your learning materials ahead of a lecture to better understand that subject.

It is also advisable to regularly check your email since most UK universities use email to pass important information to students and send assignments and study materials.

Plan Ahead

To have overall success in your education, you need to plan while focusing on what you're getting out of school.

Making plans and organizing your schedule is very important. However, it would be best to prioritize everything you'll be doing. Also, ensure to do things right and not when you feel like it.

You can use the free time you have to get things done. For example reading, researching and working on your assignments. Moreover, you should be able to manage your time well to avoid piling up school work and assignments. You should know that piling things up could affect your grade.

Communication

It might be uncomfortable to ask questions in class as an older student, especially if younger students dominate your class. However, you shouldn't be uncomfortable asking your questions. It's normal not to grasp things easily like the younger students.

So always ask your questions to get clarity and understand a subject.

Asking questions is a way of getting useful information about the course you're studying. Also, a university education is not something you can do all by yourself. So, interacting with students from your level and getting a study partner can help you learn better.

Old man and young female student
As a mature student, always feel free to ask younger students for help when necessary || Image Source: Pexels

Focus on the Reason You Enrolled for the Course

Studying might get tough, but giving up is not an option. When you're at that point, focus on what brought you there in the first place.

It might be for recognition in society, earning more money, networking or gaining a certificate and specific qualifications, etc. Whatever it is, you need to focus on it to keep you going.

Build a Good Relationship With Your Teachers

To stay on the right track in your education, you need to have a good relationship with your teachers. This will help you understand the subjects they are taking you.

Also, the relationship you build with your teacher doesn't end within the four walls of the university. It can be useful after your graduation because you need every support you can get as a Nigerian in the UK.

Common Issues Faced by Matured Nigerian Students Studying in the UK

Having issues as an international student far from home is normal since you need to adjust to your new environment. But being a mature international student is harder since you've built a life back in Nigeria.

It might be difficult to leave, especially for those with kids. You need to discuss things with your family and communicate with them regularly.

If you have the opportunity to travel down to Nigeria, you can do that once or twice a year.

As an adult, you are responsible for your tuition fees and living cost. You might find it difficult to merge work and study, especially as an international student who is not yet familiar with the UK learning system. All you have to do is organize and plan your time.

Having doubts about education is something many mature students have to go through. But unfortunately, many older students have accepted that they can't do well in school, and they keep feeding their minds negatively.

We understand that going to school at an older age is not easy, but you have to block out all forms of negativity to get something out of it.

You can speak to your school counsellor and talk to people that can encourage you to do better. You can also learn from people with similar experiences.

Support for Mature Nigerian Students Studying in the UK

Two old men
As a mature student, getting a Superprof tutor isn't a bad idea || Image Source: Pexels

Every adult student needs academic support to have a successful education, either undergraduate or postgraduate. For academic support, you can use the internet to gather relevant information about the subjects you're taking.

Your university will have academic centres and resources open to undergraduate and postgraduate students for different courses. So, you can use them to support your education by using them for research, academic writing, referencing and personal study.

Getting a private tutor is a great idea. You can get yourself tutors to help you with your studies. You should visit the Superprof platform to get access to tutors with excellent qualifications.

In addition, just like young students, some mature applicants also need scholarships, bursaries and government grants. Many universities offer scholarships to international students, and it's the responsibility of interested students to apply.

Before applying, do your research well because scholarships vary in different countries.

To apply, you should check the school's website you are interested in or send an email to the school to get relevant information on scholarships.

The following are scholarships for mature international students:

  • Lancaster University mature students scholarships
  • Loughborough University international scholarships
  • Goldsmith's adult student scholarships

Most universities have careers and employability services for mature students that apply for part-time courses. This will help your academics and your job searching experience as an international student.

Also, if you want to bring your kids with you, consider that when applying for courses and universities. Also, ensure you state it in your Visa application. In addition, you can apply to schools that have facilities for childcare and family accommodation.

 

 

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Emmanuel

Emmanuel Oyibo is a Content Writer and budding Python Developer. He's adept at many niches, but his expertise shines more in the medical sciences, tech, and blockchain niches. Emmanuel has a Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry, and he's currently a full-time freelance content writer. When he's not working, he's probably absorbed in some television adventure series or a good book.