Zimbabwean Students Studying in Russia Continue To Struggle Due to Lack of Promised Support from Their Government
Students take to Twitter recounting the adversity they are facing due to the Zimbabwean government not holding their end of the Russian Government Scholarship agreement.
Zimbabwean students pursuing higher education in Russia are fed up.
About 360 students have been studying abroad in the country either by private arrangements or via the Russian Government Scholarship—a bilateral training agreement between Russia and Zimbabwe's Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education. According to a thread from the students on Twitter, the scholarship promised tuition be covered by Russia, whereas living expenses, visas, medical insurance and transport costs are to be covered by Zimbabwe.
They have yet to see any support from their home country—which in turn has left them starving, struggling with Russia's harsh winter climate and taking desperate measures to make ends meet, forcing some students to stop their studies.
We are Zimbabwean Students under the governmental scholarship in Russia. Below I will list 5 accounts from fellow s… https://t.co/FBPI1s1rL0— ZimStudentsRussia (@ZimStudentsRussia)1549916417.0
1. This scholarship is meant for underprivileged students like those who don’t have parents like us.Our Zim govt pr… https://t.co/xRpRTl6Zkr— ZimStudentsRussia (@ZimStudentsRussia)1549916417.0
We haven’t paid rentals and compulsory medical insurance. There's no food to eat and warm shoes for this winter. We… https://t.co/q2vtlyl2qM— ZimStudentsRussia (@ZimStudentsRussia)1549916417.0
If you had told us the truth we wouldn’t have accepted this offer from the word go. Why are you making us suffer li… https://t.co/pBm4584LhM— ZimStudentsRussia (@ZimStudentsRussia)1549916418.0
Boys are making shisha in Nightclubs to make ants meat and few unfortunate ones are being sodomised. The situation… https://t.co/NrDgJQeYRU— ZimStudentsRussia (@ZimStudentsRussia)1549916418.0
2. As students in Russia who came to study through the so-called the Zimbabwe-Russian Government bilateral scholars… https://t.co/6Z96mkV5nE— ZimStudentsRussia (@ZimStudentsRussia)1549916418.0
This is not the first time Zimbabwean students studying in Russia have pleaded for their government to hold up their end of the scholarship agreement. Reports from Zimbabwean media going back as far as 2016 say the students have yet to be issued living stipends, despite the government claiming that they've done so.
In January, student representatives Fraternity Makande and Artwell Muzata met with President Emmerson Mnangagwa to address the matter, according to The Chronicle. Mnangagwa promised the students that the government will start issuing the backlog of living expenses—which now amounts to $600,000—over the course of three months. Although the president's spokesperson says he's very sympathetic to the student's concerns, students remain unhopeful as they have yet to see any funds from government now that it's February.
The ZBC broadcasted that the students have been given their money.That's assuring our parents with false hope. Now… https://t.co/dgdxYPEuAi— ZimStudentsRussia (@ZimStudentsRussia)1549916422.0
It's now the third week, we are still waiting. Next week surely never arrives. In 2016/17 academic year, we didn't… https://t.co/LkyGNPYyfW— ZimStudentsRussia (@ZimStudentsRussia)1549916423.0
Read the rest of the thread here.
OkayAfrica has reached out to the ZimStudentsRussia Twitter page for comment and will update as soon as a response is received.