By Shadrack Nyakoe
African students who are applying for scholarships that have been made available for Ukrainian refugees are being told they are ineligible for the scholarships because these are for Ukrainian nationals only.
Both Ukrainian and African students fled the war together, yet Ukrainian students are receiving remarkable support while their African counterparts are facing obstacles and have been left to fend for themselves or rely on grassroots organizations for support.
“We are asking that African students be offered access to university places on the same terms as their Ukrainian counterparts. Everyone should have a right to education and this should not be a right that is given to some and not others. Whilst the world has opened its arms to Ukrainian refugees, African students have experienced racism and discrimination,” said Korrine Sky, a student in Ukraine.
Ukraine was home to 70,000 international students, a quarter of whom are Africans most of whom have fled the country. African students who have returned to their countries of origin are now unable to continue with their studies.
“We are calling on UNESCO, the Global Education Coalition, the European Commission, universities in Europe, Canada, and the United States, and all countries and organizations that are concerned with education to put in place a support package and scholarships for African students whose studies have been disrupted by the war in Ukraine so that the students can continue with and finish their studies,” added Korrine.