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. 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. 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 transfer. They must also stop recruiting more international students.
2nd Year Medical Student,
Dnipro Medical Institute, Ukraine
Director, Africans in Ukraine Education Fund
UNHCR Young Champion
UN Women UK Delegate for CSW67
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