Howarth
Howarth

‘Third Class no barrier to studying abroad’

A British foreign higher education expert, Mick Howarth, has urged Nigerian students seeking post-graduate study visas not to despair even if they only have a Third Class degree.

Howarth, the Director-General of Global Education Study Centre (GESC), an education recruitment agency representing varsities in Europe, North America, Asia and the Caribbean, said students who use his agency almost always get their study visas.

According to him, GESC, with offices in Lagos, Abuja, Warri and Douala in Cameroon, has sent “hundreds of students overseas” irrespective of their class of degrees, since it began operations in 2006.

Howarth said: “To get a student out of the country with a Third Class degree can be quite difficult. So, what we do is, we help them write personal statements, to explain what the problems have been and usually we can overcome the issues.

“A lot of students will come in if they’ve done something online themselves and been rejected and then we’ll work on their application. So we can take high, medium and low performing students and we can help them.”

The help, he explained, also includes mock interviews to prepare students for – in the case of The United Kingdom – a credibility interview.

Howarth said: “The credibility interview is something the students do on Skype. You get approximately five minutes with an entry clearance officer for the UK and if they don’t answer those questions correctly, or in a manner that they need to, then they will get refused, irrespective that they’ve met all the conditions i.e. they’ve paid all the fees, they’ve got their living expenses, they’ve attached all the credentials, everything’s in order.

“Our success rate for the UK is 98 percent, and we’ve maintained that ratio over the last five years. That’s why universities are very happy to work with us.”

He identified regular destinations for Nigerian post-graduate education seekers to include The UK, Canada, Ireland, Germany and The United States of America.