Former National Union of Ghana students General secretary (NUGS), Julius Kwame Anthony has called upon the Ghanaian government to remove SAT as a requirement to travelling to study in the UK to create a more equitable system for travelers.
His counsel was in conjunction to the recent announcement by the UK of an increase of visa application fees effective 4th October, which creates an additional financial burden for those hoping to study there.
The visit visa for under six months is set to cost £15 more and student visas costing £127 more for people from all countries.
Speaking on Campus Exclusive, Julius Anthony made reference to how other former British colonies had abolished SAT as a requirement, with emphasis on how the measure can help to alleviate the increase of fees for visa application, especially for students wishing to study abroad.
“Other countries who were equally former British colonies have managed to do away with this SAT requirement thing and so if we can also look at the model or the approach they used and also pursue it, we can take some of those things including how much they are charging our visas.”
In light of Ghana’s seemingly receding economy, many students in Ghana have had the desire to travel to study abroad.
Preceding the aforementioned suggestion, the former NUGS General Secretary spoke out against the exploitation of the country’s citizens with remarks on how foreign countries are taking advantage of the situation by commodifying the process.
He explained that this makes it increasingly difficult for Ghanaian students to pursue their dreams of travelling abroad for studies, further insinuating ignorance on the government’s part.
“Foreign countries are taking advantage of our economic condition and our students trying to flee and all that. Seeing the grove of students who are moving to those countries, they’ve decided to commodify them. It is a significant challenge which I wish will be dealt with. But if you speak to our ministry of affairs on this issue, they’ll tell you that they don’t grant visas and it’s outside their jurisdiction….but I really think that something can be done about it.”
He pointed out that the increase in demand for travel outside the country is bound to lead to commodification of travelers by other countries.
Julius believes that the Ghanaian government should take a long-term approach to find a lasting solution to the issue whilst emulating countries that have successfully handled the issue.
“If people feel that a lot of people are demanding a certain service, they’ll commodify it. It is economics. But the most important thing to note as a people is that we can not have short term solutions to problems that are fundamental.”
Story by: Henrietta Owusua | univers.ug.edu.gh