African students who fled Ukraine last year following the Russia invasion are now reportedly being ask to return to the warzone or they will be unable to complete their degrees.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Education is claimed to be asking medical students to return to the war-torn country by March 14 to sit a crucial exam. They must also sign a consent form they are “responsible for their own safety and life”.
Korrine Sky, Founder of the Africans in Ukraine Education Fund and a Refugee Education Activist, who was forced to return to the UK last year after fleeing Ukraine, wrote on Twitter: “Reports from students who have gone to Ukraine and the well-documented experiences of students who fled last year give enough evidence to suggest that the Ukrainian government are not concerned with the lives of black and brown students and residents of Ukraine.
Ms Sky ask: “If they do not write this exam they will not be getting their degrees and I just think that is a completely unreasonable ask.
“Especially at such short notice, because some students did return back to Africa or India.
“How are they supposed to raise the money to come back to Ukraine?
Students are claiming the university faculty are threatening them with expulsion if they do not attend the exam.
Ms Sky, a British national, was a medical student at Dnipro Medical Institute in Ukraine says there are many other Britons who are being told to return, against the Foreign Office travel guidance.
Her online platform – Africans In Ukraine Education Fund has been a source of information, an online resource providing a list of scholarships, and other practical information to help those in need.
According to Ms Sky, the African students who stayed in other parts of Europe, were given temporary visas and are not considered refugees, but are considered “Third Country Nationals” who are being ordered to leave in the next two weeks – or face deportation.
She also wants there to be an option for students to transfer to other universities to complete their studies where it is safe.