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Home / Breaking News / Refund my $20k or award me PhD – Nigerian student tells Wales University

Refund my $20k or award me PhD – Nigerian student tells Wales University

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A Nigerian student, Josephine Lawal, has demanded a refund of the $20,000 she paid for a failed PhD programme at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, United Kingdom.

Lawal said despite spending over five years in the UK, she was frustrated out of the programme.

She noted that the university management later offered to give her a Master’s certificate, which she rejected.

PUNCH Metro reports that the 33-year-old Ondo State indigene obtained a BSc in Industrial Chemistry from the University of Ilorin in 2007.

She thereafter attended the Cardiff Metropolitan University and got a Master’s degree in Business Administration in 2012.

Lawal enrolled for her PhD the same year at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, where she proposed to research on viral marketing.

According to her, the topic was changed to social media marketing and she was scheduled to end in 2015.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the 33-year-old Ondo State indigene obtained a BSc in Industrial Chemistry from the University of Ilorin in 2007.

She thereafter attended the Cardiff Metropolitan University and got a Master’s degree in Business Administration in 2012.

Lawal enrolled for her PhD the same year at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, where she proposed to research on viral marketing.

According to her, the topic was changed to social media marketing and she was scheduled to end in 2015.

It was gathered that Lawal’s problem began when the supervisor assigned to her, Prof. David Walker, allegedly did not attend to her for one year.

She said after several complaints, she got another supervisor, Dr Sunita Dewitt.

Lawal stated, “My first year was wasted with no supervisor, which was part of the dilemma of a black student in the United Kingdom, because they will not leave a white student without a supervisor for a whole year.

“When it became obvious that I would need to renew my visa as the programme dragged to five years, the university did not want to release the Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies that I needed to apply for the visa. I was not the only one affected. My colleagues and I had to fight to renew our visas.

“After a lot of argument, we showed the management where it was written in the handbook and because of that, they released the CAS for us to apply for our visas.”

She said because her visa was to run out in 2017, she pleaded for the viva (oral examination) to be arranged on time so that she could return to Nigeria.

She added, “The viva was not conducted until April 2017. In the law of research in the UK, you cannot use a lecturer or someone you have put his name down as a supervisor to be an internal or external supervisor for a viva. But guess what? My first supervisor, who abandoned my work, was brought for the viva. Then the external examiner was late by one hour.

“They said my work was not up to a PhD standard and I should do corrections and submit it as a Master’s project. I refused and asked why I could not do major corrections and submit it as a PhD, which was what I bargained for. They refused.

“I complained and raised issues on the presence of my first supervisor. They later cancelled the viva, having realised their mistake.”

She noted that six months later, when a second viva held, there was no change in the panel that participated in the first, except for the removal of Walker.

Lawal said her complaints that the panel was already biased towards her project were rebuffed, and she was told that the panel upheld its earlier decision.

The Nigerian said she was asked to write an appeal.

Lawal stated, “They insisted that I should go and work on it for one year and submit it as a Master’s programme. I worked on it and submitted it in October 2018.

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