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.
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.
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.