Ex-Ukraine students facing tough choice

13May 2022
Songa wa Songa
Dodoma
The Guardian
Ex-Ukraine students facing tough choice

​​​​​​​TANZANIAN students who came back home due to the ongoing conflict in eastern Europe have tough choices to make, including changing courses or starting afresh, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa has declared.

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa.

He told the National Assembly yesterday that the students are required to report to the Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU) and present details of their foreign universities for perusal and advice on the way forward.

The learners are supposed to submit their assessed performance—if they have such documents—to TCU to enable the agency to map out how they can continue with their studies here, he said.

One requirement is that the foreign universities they were enrolled be recognized by TCU and if the courses they were pursuing are offered by public universities here, he said.

If those institutions are not recognized, their standards are below the threshold for TUC recognition, the students will have to consider applying afresh in various courses to start afresh, the PM said.

“TCU has set standards for advising the students on the next course of action,” he said.

Observers noted that the premier didn’t dwell on sponsorship for the returnees, many of whom were on government scholarship, while a substantial number were fully sponsored by foreign governments.

As Russia and Ukraine were among top sponsors of Tanzanian students owing to historic affinities, the conflict is touching a number of students whose full scholarships now hang in the balance.

This poses a challenge to the students and their families, now facing the reality of lost education opportunities and the pain of mobilizing financial resources for a new beginning, they said, noting also that as the conflict goes on, it jeopardizes chances of such scholarships being availed in the near future.

The premier was responding to Saasisha Mafuwe (Hai) in premier’s question and answer hour, seeking to  know what the government was doing in relation to students who returned home due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict in particular.

Ambassador Liberata Mulamula, the minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, said early March that most Tanzanian students stranded by the conflict had safely left Ukraine and crossed into Poland, Romania and Hungary.

A total of 71 students mainly from the Kyiv capital region entered Hungary and 38 made it to Poland, while other reports said a number of students were looking at other options and not fly back home. There were also students who were stranded in Sumy, northeastern Ukraine, who were directed by diplomatic offices to for Sudja where Russian combat units were to take them to an embassy office at Belgorod, close to the border with Ukraine.

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