About a month ago, Flutterwave launched Tuition, a product that it billed would help Africans, starting with Nigerians, pay their fees for school abroad in their local currencies. Ideally, according to Flutterwave, it will take about two days for them to remit the money to the school and for payment to be confirmed.
Flutterwave CEO, Olugbenga Agboola, said: “We are excited to launch Tuition to support the dreams of African students across all levels who want to study anywhere without worrying about how to meet the deadline for their school fees payment.”
Speaking on the launch, Product Manager Tuition by Flutterwave, Stella Elele, said: “We are always looking for new ways to make payment challenges in Africa hassle-free, and we are confident that Tuition will be a game changer for parents who want to support their children’s education. We are excited to offer this solution to parents in Nigeria, with plans to eventually roll out the service to other African countries. We want to provide the best possible service and support for our customers.”
Nigerians have always looked to the international market for what many hope is better, more convenient tertiary education experience. Attending a university in Nigeria, especially a government-funded one, often for even the luckiest, can be tedious. For starters, it is hard to secure admission largely because of the corruption ingrained into the system.
But even more so, the country doesn’t have enough universities to accommodate its populace. For those that jump over this hurdle, a wrenching life follows, with no job guaranteed after securing a degree.
While there are all these underlying reasons Nigerian favour studies overseas, in the past few years, with the economy in decline and depression on the rise, stemming from a refusal to adopt and adapt to contemporary societal expectations, to believe or at least pretend to believe in a global idea of modernity, young Nigerians have been fleeing.
The dwindling Nigerian economy is offered as the most logical reason. But underneath that facade is that the Nigerian institutions are not built for 2023, so it feels like everything is crumbling.
This is why securing a visa in the guise of education has remained one of the most lucrative ways to migrate or japa from the country.
But there remains a problem.
In the past six months, finding a Naira card that can be accepted for international transactions has become nearly impossible. This led a huge swathe of people with only Naira card access to opt for virtual Dollar cards. But when restrictions and unfavourable policies dominated the dollar card scene, for many, it became evident that the success that these cards once enjoy is only temporary.
It’s why tuition by Flutterwave is timely and could rise to the occasion with an ambitious bid to solve some of these problems. Tuition by Flutterwave offers itself as a platform from which Nigerians can interact with the international market, for now, the United Kingdom, with their naira cards.
While the Tuition allows users to enrol their schools on the platform, its current list of schools is populated by the familiar Japa options, Swansea University, University of Hertfordshire, University of Leicester, etc., all schools in the UK.
Tuition by Flutterwave doesn’t yet seem to have an option for schools in America. But it offers an option to pay for AltSchool Africa, which teaches tech skills, including Data Science, Data Analysis, Data Engineering, Software Engineering, Product Management, Product Marketing, and Product Design.
For a transaction to a school in the UK, Tuition by Flutterwave charges a flat fee of 20 pounds.
In the current climate, which an unstable exchange rate, Tuition by Flutterwave is standing before a real opportunity to become the favoured way to pay fees. But it should realise that there is another option, albeit more stressful, with a long history of offering the best rates. Form A subsidises the prices of school fees allowing students to pay at CBN rates. However, the payment takes months.
Tuition by Flutterwave is offering two days. This seems like a good selling point. But Tuition has to have very competitive rates to gain any users. It currently does, selling a pound at roughly 1160 naira. This is where the tricky part is. What will it do if the government breaks at the onslaught of backlash over the rising cost of the exchange rate? That’s the million-dollar question.
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