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Nigerian students, other Africans left academically stranded by Russian war

After Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, about 26,500 African students studying in Ukraine have been left academically stranded.Information Guide Nigeria

The students are still stuck looking for ways to complete their academics in European countries.

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As reported by New York Times, about 26,500 African students in Ukraine before the war started were left to fend for themselves.

PEOPLES GAZETTE reports that those who fled the country are still stuck between Ukraine and its borders with limited opportunities to continue their education.

Mohamed Elfatih Ahmed, a medical student in Ukraine, said that he was 18 months away from becoming a doctor before the Russian invasion.

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According to PEOPLES GAZETTE, the 23-year-old Sudanese said he was sponsored through scholarship and family savings to attend university in Ukraine and cannot “go back home empty-handed.”

Mr Ahmed said that after his residency permit expired, Germany refused to grant him asylum in November, stating that officials German authorities consider Sudan a safe country.

“It just makes you want to stop in the street and scream. They told us: ‘We need doctors in Europe’. We are here, but they don’t want us,” Mr Ahmed said.

Speaking to the newspaper, a Nigerian who is also a Ukraine student, Osinachi Ekenulo, aid returning to Nigeria is “not an option,” claiming the economic situation, security concerns, and university strikes are major concerns to her.

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The 25-year-old who has been living in Amsterdam, in western Ukraine, with host families, said all efforts to gain admission to universities in Europe were unsuccessful.

“I would have to start from scratch. If I stop now, I’ll have nothing to show for all these years,” Ms Ekenulo said.

She revealed that she has until March 11 to leave the country after she succeeded in gaining admission to a medical school in Georgia.

Ekenulo hopes to get an extension of her visa application which the government rejected.

Another medical student studying in Odesa, Ahmed Habboubi said he is awaiting a response from a medical school in Portugal about whether he will continue with his academics.NYSC Portal

The 23-year-old who fled Ukraine to France, said he was denied a residency permit, then he moved to Portugal, where he is currently learning Portuguese.

PEOPLES GAZETTE reports that universities in Ukraine are now opening to offer remote learning, but medical science students are required to attend in person.

Recall that in March, Ukraine universities sent letters to final-year students with the directive of the government that they would be expelled from the institutions if they refused to return to classes.

Some students were also urged to sign a disclaimer that they were aware of the risk of returning to a war zone and were responsible for their “own safety and life.”

After public outcry, Ukraine’s education ministry denied giving a directive that international students should return to the war zone, PEOPLES GAZETTE reports.JAMB Result

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Idongesit Akpa-Ayang

Idongesit is a graduate of Communication Arts, University of Uyo. Currently working as a news reporter at InfoGuide Nigeria.

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