THE Federal Government has raised hope for the Nigerian students evacuated from Ukraine following the Russia/Ukraine war, as efforts are on to secure placement for them in Nigerian universities.
According to the country representative, Ukrainian Universities in Nigeria, Dr Cliff Ogbeide, over 12,000 Nigerians are on studies in various Ukrainian universities.
The Nigeria in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), however, revealed that the Federal Government had evacuated a total of 1,300 stranded Nigerians, mostly students, from Ukraine through Hungary, Poland, Romania and Greece, since Russia launched war against Ukraine on February 24.
Most of the evacuated students are faced with bleak future. The public universities that could easily absorb them have been under locks and key as a result of strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
However, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr David Andrew Adejo, said arrangements are being worked out to find placements for them.
The minister stated this in Abuja while speaking with newsmen on the status of Nigerian students in Ukraine.
According to him, the ministry is interfacing with the foreign affairs to gather information on the students and sort for placements for them in the Nigerian university system.
He said: “On the issue of our returnee students from Ukraine, we have liaised with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A good number of the students were sponsored by a number of State Governments and it will be difficult going from state to state to get information about them, since they have also arranged for their evacuation.
“We had written and given the Ministry of Foreign Affairs a template on how to feed us with information about those who have been evacuated and once we have that information, the first thing we will do is to liaise with them because it is a question of choice.
“Some of them and their parents have made different options or alternative arrangements. However, for those whose parents cannot because they are scholarship beneficiaries, we will contact the universities in the country through the NUC to see how we can make placements for them.
Some of the students and their parents said that they opted for studies in Ukraine due to its comparatively lower tuition fees and to avoid the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU)’s strike and uncertainties that might affect their studies.
It was also gathered that some students had started exploiting opportunities to continue their studies in Poland since they did not want to return to Nigeria to face the uncertainties that might affect their studies.