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France: What's next for African students who fled Ukraine?

Nigeria students in Ukraine wait at the platform in Lviv railway station, Feb. 27, 2022, in Lviv, west Ukraine.   -  
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Bernat Armangue/Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved


About 20 French universities have recently registered their first applications by African students who fled the conflict in Ukraine.

Could African students who have fled the war in Ukraine be allowed to pursue their degrees in France ?

Some 20 French universities have recently registered their first applications by African students.

The Unesco estimated in 2020 that 61,000 international students were enrolled in Ukrainian universities.

If EU countries have taken emergency measures to grant an up to one year temporary protection to all students from Ukraine, these Sub-Saharan students who arrived in Belgium denounced an unequal European policy that could shatter their education dreams.

Indeed, some EU countries demand Non-Ukrainians to prove they are unable to return to their country of origin in a safe and sustainable manner in order to stay. Whereas many African students go abroad because the curricula they follow is not available in their home countries.

First host country for Sub-Sahara African students

If the French Presidential Council for Africa launched last month an initiative to help Africans whose studies have been disrupted by the Ukraine war, associations accompanying affected students question the duration of the temporary protection status.

They urge the French Foreign Affairs and the Interior ministry to enable those who want to, to reside and study in France. In the university of Strasbourg in the East of the country, 29 Non-Urkainian students enrolled. Even if they come from francophone countries, they shall take French language courses starting next May.

According to the French Agency for the promotion of higher education,international student services, and international mobility, France was the first host country to Sub-Saharan Africans in 2018. With more than 50,000 students welcomed.