Warning against sending Zimbabwean students abroad for education with inadequate financial resources It has come to the Ministry’s attention that many Zimbabweans are being arrested, imprisoned and detained in foreign countries for various crimes, ranging from illegal stay, vandalism and illegal employment. Amongst them are some Zimbabwean students who would have been expelled, arrested and deported after failing to pay their tuition on time.
Zimbabwean students studying abroad are facing serious challenges such as the payment of tuition and accommodation due to the financial problems the country is experiencing. 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.
We wish to inform parents and all those intending to study abroad that most universities facilitate the issuance of student visas by the host Immigration Departments based on the period covered by the tuition paid by each student. Some students seek enrolment abroad ignorant of the cost of their living expenses and other costs. Often they assume that life in those countries is very cheap and that they can easily find well-paying part time jobs. 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.
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We wish to warn parents and guardians intending to send their children to study abroad that they should do so only if they have adequate foreign currency to sustain their children for the entire study period. Such an arrangement ensures uninterrupted study for their children.
Warning against Participation in Drug Trafficking
On a related issue, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade takes the opportunity to conscientise the public of the dangers associated with drug trafficking which carries heavy penalties worldwide. In most Asian countries, this carries the death penalty. The scourge of drug trafficking has become a big challenge on the continent as international traffickers are now using Africa as a transit territory and Africans as drug mules. Zimbabweans are, therefore, called upon not to be duped by fraudsters on the promise of a “quick buck” by being sent to Asia to buy such things as beauty products and cheap textiles since this is just a cover to lure people into drug trafficking.
Those gullible to the criminal schemes are invariably asked to carry ‘baggage’ which contains drugs and end up being arrested on arrival at Asian airports.
Warning against Bogus Education/Scholarships Agents for Educational Institutions
The Ministry also wishes to warn Zimbabwean citizens of the proliferation of bogus education/scholarship agents who are fleecing prospective students and their families of their hard earned cash. In the majority of cases, students are promised non-existent scholarships as well as jobs to sustain themselves.
The agents advertise in the Zimbabwean media and/or websites that offer scholarships to Zimbabweans who want to study in foreign countries. In some instances they claim that they offer “part-scholarships”, implying that parents or guardians have to meet the other costs. There are cases when prospective students are denied visas after having paid all or part of the tuition and accommodation fees.
Citizens should be wary of such promises and verify the authenticity of the purported scholarships with the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology Development,the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade or our Embassies abroad before undertaking foreign study.
The Ministry strongly advises parents and the general public to take serious heed of these warnings.