Mary* always knew she wanted to be a doctor. “When I was in school, I had everything planned out,” said the 20-year-old, who moved to the UK from Nigeria aged five.
But after months of intense revision for her A Levels, the top-grade student discovered that her immigration status meant she was effectively barred from university.
Despite having lived in the UK for the vast majority of her life, Mary was told she would not be considered a home student because she had only been granted “limited leave to remain” in the UK the year before.
As a result, she would not only have to pay international student fees, often more than double the £9,250 British students are charged, but she would not be eligible for a loan - the only way she could afford university.
Discovering the news the day before her A Level chemistry exam, she simply “packed up and went to bed”.