Over 100 students pursuing studies at various universities in Finland through the sponsor of the county government of Uasin Gishu risk deportation unless some outstanding tuition fee is paid.
The students are studying through the Finland Overseas Education programme.
Those affected include sixty-six students studying Nursing and Physiotherapy at Laurea University of Applied Sciences, who risk losing their admissions and residency permit if the tuition fee is not paid by the end of March 31, 2023.
In a response to a letter by the county requesting Laurea University to extend the fee payment deadline until April 15th, 2023, the University stated that the payment deadline of second-semester tuition fees will be March 31.
“If the tuition fees for the second semester for groups Nursing Lohja 200-65, Nursing Tikkurila 200-66, Nursing Porvoo 200-67, Nursing Otaniemi 200-68, and Physiotherapy Otaniemi 200-69 (invoices 258, 259, 260, 261, and 262) by March 31st. 2023, Laurea will terminate the right to study of the students in these groups and end the programmes,” the letter signed by Jouni Koski, President Laurea University of Applied Science states.
It further cautions, “The information of the terminated right to study will automatically flow to the Finnish Immigration Service Migri through electronic systems, which will be followed by canceling of the residence permits”.
Another university, Tampere University with 111 students airlifted under the programme that was initially dubbed ‘Finland Scholarship Programme’, has already ended cooperation with the county government after declining to extend its February 28 deadline for the tuition fee to be paid.
However, in a press statement released by Uasin Gishu Governor Jonathan Bii on Sunday, the universities indicated that they were willing to continue with the program if the parents met their obligation.
Governor Bii in his statement said the program was run independently of the county government by a trust, categorically stating that no public funds were used to fund the program.
“This, therefore, means that no public funds were or will be appropriated to fund this program. The overseas program was created to enable parents who did not have the ability to obtain bank statements or even bank accounts to support the visa application process,” the governor said.
According to the County boss, a total of 202 students studying degree and diploma programmes are already enrolled in various universities in Finland. Apart from Tampere (111), and Laurea (66), 25 other students are studying at Jvaskyla University.
The first group of students left Kenya for Finland between September 2021 and September 2022. Another group of 56 students who have been studying online is expected to join Laurea university, but after paying the second-semester fees by March 31st, 2023 before traveling, according to governor Bii.
He added that 48 students in Kenya whose first-year fees have been paid and have obtained visas and completed the pathway to study engineering at LUT University are ready to travel, 78 other Students in Kenya whose fees have been paid by their parents to the universities and whose visa applications have been launched are waiting for Visa approval before traveling.