Desperate Zim students abroad land into trouble with authorities

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

MANY Zimbabwean students at universities abroad often find themselves in trouble with authorities of host countries when they are forced to undertake illegal income generating activities to try and raise income to meet their tuition fees.

This was revealed by Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs Ministry in a statement this past week.

According to the ministry, most parents back home often struggle to raise tuition in foreign currency to meet the expenses.

“Parents have been failing to access the requisite foreign currency to enable them to meet their children’s educational needs on time.

“Due to these delays, some students have been expelled from universities and their student visas revoked, and subsequently detained and deported,” said the ministry.

The problem, it has been observed, is caused by that some parents shun local universities which accept payment in local currency.

The ministry said students who fall foul of laws in those countries often get arrested, imprisoned and detained abroad.

The most common offences include illegal stay, vandalism and illegal employment.

The Zimbabwean government is also caught up in the same quandary while struggling to pay millions of dollars in living costs for students under its sponsorship.

“Some students seek enrolment abroad ignorant of the cost of their living expenses and other costs,” said the ministry.

“Often, they assume that life in those countries is very cheap and that they can easily find well-paying part time jobs.”

The Foreign Affairs Ministry added, “When they find that not to be the case, they often undertake illegal activities to supplement their income and often end up being detained and deported.”

The ministry also urged parents and guardians to be wary of the proliferation of bogus scholarship agents who are fleecing prospective students and their families of their hard earned incomes.

In the majority of cases, students are promised non-existent scholarships as well as jobs to sustain themselves and end up losing thousands of dollars.