Friday, June 21, 2024

African students who were studying in Ukraine continue to experience exclusion

African students who were studying in Ukraine continue to experience exclusion
African students who were studying in Ukraine continue to experience exclusion: Kenyans Who Were Stuck In Ukraine As Russian Invasion Intensifies

When the Ukraine-Russian War broke out, Africans in Ukraine were subjected to racist violence and discrimination and were barred from getting on trains and buses out of Ukraine and were told the trains and buses leaving the country were for ‘Ukrainians only’, a euphemism for white people. Africans were told to walk in sub-zero temperatures and when they got to Ukraine’s borders, they were threatened with further racist violence and forced to spend days in queues while their Ukrainian counterparts’ exit from the country was expedited.

A year since the start of the war, African students who were studying in Ukraine continue to experience exclusion. While countries and universities in Europe, the United States and Canada have offered support packages and scholarships to Ukrainian students, African students continue to struggle to get their transcripts from Ukrainian universities and are being threatened with deportation from the countries they moved to in Europe. The students also continue to struggle to find university places that will let them continue with their studies.
In addition to this, Ukrainian education authorities and universities are currently asking the students to return to Ukraine to sit exams despite not being able to guarantee the students’ safety.
The students have a petition, signed by over 35,000 people, asking for scholarships and support packages on the same terms as their Ukrainian counterparts.

Below, for your attention, is an email and a statement from the Africans in Ukraine Education Fund (AIUEF) which was founded by Korrine Sky, a Zimbabwean-British medical student who was studying in Ukraine, on the situation the students are in.

By Ambrose Musiyiwa/Facilitator, CivicLeicester

Statement on the situation of African Students who were studying in Ukraine

As the thousands of African students who fled Ukraine following the Russian invasion in
February 2022, we are writing to you in a time of great need.

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We are calling on your humanity to hear our voices as we face obstacles that threaten our education, our
safety, and our future.

When we sought refuge, we shared our heartbreaking stories of racism, violence, and
discrimination that we faced at the Ukrainian borders.

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Despite the scholarships and support packages that have been put in place to assist Ukrainian refugees,
non-Ukrainian students have been denied equal support.

This has left many of us unable to continue our education and with no clear path forward. With time running out,
we are being forced to leave the countries we fled to, with very few options.

We are appealing to your compassionate spirit to help us.

We are asking UNESCO, the Global Education Coalition, the European Commission, universities in Europe, Britain,
the Irish States, Canada, the United States, and all countries and organizations that
care about 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 we can
continue with and finish our studies.

Education is a fundamental right, and we should not be deprived of it because of our nationality.
We also call upon Universities to offer African students access to university places on
the same terms as their Ukrainian counterparts.

We should not be discriminated against and denied the opportunity to continue our education.
Furthermore, we implore the Ukrainian Ministry of Education and the organizers of the
Krok 2 exam, to cancel the exam due to Ukraine being an active war zone.

It is an irresponsible and heartless request to ask students to risk their lives by returning to
Ukraine to write this exam and renounce all legal rights in case of any harm.

Finally, we urge Ukrainian universities and agencies to stop their exploitative practices
and make it easier for students to transfer.

They must release students’ transcripts, renew posvidka cards (residence permits) for all internal students, release (as opposed
to ‘expel’) all international students who want to be released, and let the students

They must also stop recruiting more international students.

Yours Sincerely,
Korrine Sky
2nd Year Medical Student,
Dnipro Medical Institute, Ukraine
Director, Africans in Ukraine Education Fund
UNHCR Young Champion
UN Women UK Delegate for CSW67


African students who were studying in Ukraine continue to experience exclusion


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