Nearly 500 Ghanaian Students choose war-torn Ukraine over Ghana
A total of 451 Ghanaian students out of 700 have chosen to stay in Ukraine over returning home to Ghana despite the raging war in the eastern European country.
Most students prefer to stay in Ukraine over Ghana, where their security will be assured.
This leaves only 249 students who accepted to return to their motherland as they were caught up in the Ukraine-Russia war.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration told Parliament that “notwithstanding the preparedness of the government of Ghana to airlift home our compatriots who had left for Ukraine, some of them, many of them, the majority of them, were unwilling to return to Ghana”.
The majority of the students have decided to stay in Ukraine, barring the consequences of the war.
These students have had a bite of the conversation and the reality surrounding the living standards of Ghanaians and don’t want to add up to the woes of parents and guardians in the country.
The living standards in the country have soared since the beginning of 2022, with skyrocketing inflation pushing up the prices of goods and services.
Petroleum price hikes, high debt and low government revenue, and a weakening cedi, have worsened the situation.
Most of these students are beneficiaries of scholarships in these foreign schools and the fear of losing them and coming back empty-handed is unbearable for them.
Ghanaian students are not the only ones who refused to return to their countries of origin, with reports of some Nigerians also choosing to remain in the war zone.
Others left Ukraine but made a detour to other European countries without any consideration of returning to Africa.
According to an estimate by several charities, about 10,000 African students, who were studying in Ukraine before Russia’s invasion on February 24, are now spread across Europe, facing obstacles as they seek to fulfil their educational aspirations.
Entangled in the complexity of European countries’ migration laws, war-scarred students from third countries find themselves trapped in limbo.
Tuition fees in the countries they fled to are too high, and scholarships are primarily offered to only Ukrainian refugee students.
While a return home is not a viable option for many, they are also excluded from accessing rights under a new European Union scheme. They might have fled Russia’s invasion like their Ukrainian counterparts but are seen as not native to a war-torn country. Without a strong support system, they have to rely on financially struggling charities for shelter, food and funds.