This a recounted story, untold tales of Africans studying in Ukraine; largely in the Scandinavian countries. The hardships and the drama over the years of their stay and studies.
For parents, the quest of positioning their wards for a better life than they had coupled with the limited opportunities in the educational sector of most African countries and the high regard for educational certificates outside the shores of Africa has pushed many for education abroad.
This decision may look luxurious to you if you’re not privy to the toils it entails and not mentioning the trauma students go through when they arrive at their study destinations.
Largely, the higher education institutions in Ukraine use what is commonly known as the agent system among students.
To gain admission to the higher institution an agent will have to secure what is known as an invitation of study on behalf of the prospective student without the student’s knowledge of what the process entails giving these agents the opportunity to extort monies from these parents and prospective students.
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Listening to the recounted stories of the sample size, it surfaced that securing the letter of invitation was less than what these agents collect as fees from these students and parents.
It also came to the fore that most of the agencies who transact business on behalf of higher education institutions in Africa have no direct relationship with the institutions but are rather middle men for the agencies in Ukraine.
These so called agencies charge as much as U$D 5000 for processing for admission into the Ukrainian institutions of higher learning, a fee too exorbitant with no guaranteed accommodations or assistance upon arrival in Ukraine.
Question the norm and the usual is a “deportation threat” or non admission into the chosen course of study.
With the exploitation mindset some of these students are forced into language preparatory school for a whole academic year where they made to pay three to four times the original course fees. Who is to be blamed?
Without regulation by the Ukrainian institutions, these agencies are able to charge these new students as high as U$D 2800 for airport Pick up. Who are you to ask questions?
Let me help you do the maths, you are close to U$D10,000 when the real programme of study hasn’t started yet. Wait, there is always a contract where the student is bonded to make 10% of every academic fee payment to the agency that led your hands into Ukraine.
Dear African wanting to study in Ukraine or these Scandinavian countries through these so called agencies, would you love to stay in Africa or you want to try other alternatives?
How about equipping our African universities to deliver world quality tuition? Must everything be about partisan politics?
This is the untold tales of the Africans studying in Ukraine. Share your experience with us in the comments below. Credit: Kokui