Hungary/Poland – As a consequence of Russia’s war in Ukraine, hundreds of thousands of refugees are pouring into bordering countries, mostly Poland and Hungary but also Slovakia, Romania, and Moldova. Among those fleeing the war there are not only Ukrainians but also foreign students, many of them from Asia and Africa, who now find themselves in an extremely precarious situation.
Some 76,000 foreign students in Ukraine before the war
Attila Demkó, director of the Centre for Geopolitics of the Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC) in Budapest, declared on 6 March on Twitter that
“Hungary is offering foreign students who escaped Ukraine-Russian War (India, Nigeria, other African countries) to continue their studies at Hungarian universities.
All third-country refugees (mostly Africans) were accepted without problems and repatriated if they wished so.”
This is not insignificant as there were no less than 76,000 foreign students studying in Ukraine before the war, including 20,000 Indian students, the others being mainly from Nigeria, Morocco, and Egypt.
“Ukrainian degrees are widely recognised and offer a high standard of education”,
the head of a West African student support organisation has stated, quoted by the BBC. Of these students, about 10,000 were found among the refugees who have fled Ukraine in recent days.
Some of these students want to be repatriated to their home countries, and flights are being organized for that purpose from Poland and Hungary, while others are choosing to accept Hungarian and Polish offers to continue and complete their studies in the two Central European countries.