African students fight for their Ukraine diplomas and question the EU’s ‘false promises’

By Ray Mwareya
Posted on Tuesday, 20 September 2022 16:42

One of the returnee student smiles as he embrace his mother after arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja
A student returning from Ukraine embraces his mother after arriving at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, Nigeria, on 4 March 2022. Picture: REUTERS/ Afolabi Sotunde

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February, the EU trumpeted promises of generous new starts for uprooted students. Seven months on, African students who were studying in Ukraine say their exclusion from ‘solidarity’ programmes extends to the universities holding their academic transcripts ‘hostage’.

Korine Sky ‘Koko’ (who hides her real name after suffering doxing and harassment online) is in this predicament and has become a leader “on a mission to fight for equal access to higher education for African refugee students”.

She tells The Africa Report that she is a 26-year-old Zimbabwe-British medical student who was studying to be a doctor in the east Ukrainian city of Dnipro because “it costs around $3000 in Ukraine versus $30,000 in Britain”.