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Nigerians fleeing Sudan struggle to get seats at home

Hundreds of the 2,500 Nigerian students who fled fighting in Sudan are yet to find places in universities back home three months down the line, over what they say are tedious and complicated requirements for gaining admission in local universities.

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At the beginning of May, authorities announced that they were making plans to admit some of the estimated 5,000 ex-Sudan students

The returnees are blaming a lack of academic transcripts from their former institutions among other documents and bureaucracy at home for their continued state of uncertainty despite their desire for local universities to accommodate them.

The need to obtain clearance from their government through Nigeria’s student placement body, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), is complicating the transfer process, they say.

At the beginning of May, the Nigerian governments and local universities announced that they were making plans to admit some of the estimated 5,000 ex-Sudan students, in a move meant to ensure they completed their studies on time.

The Nigerian in Diaspora Commission, the body mandated with handling the affairs of the country’s citizens living abroad, had promised to follow the steps it took during the Ukraine crisis when some of the 4,300 students were absorbed by local universities, further assuring that universities would be ready to accommodate them.

Similar assurances were made by the ministry of foreign affairs, which said it had created a division for the returnees to ensure they got placed without a hitch.

“We cannot get our transcripts from our universities in Sudan right now because of the crisis”

However, students interviewed by local media expressed frustration that even where they had been cleared by relevant government bodies, universities could still not accept them.

“We cannot get our transcripts from our universities in Sudan right now because of the crisis. I am trying my best to see if I can get my documents, especially my results and clearance from the ministry of education and upload them on the JAMB website,” one student told the Punch newspaper.

While the education ministry certified that the evacuated students had come from universities in the war-torn country, Nigerian universities needed to conduct interviews for students to determine their suitability for degree programs.

The sheer number of applicants seeking emergency enrolment into the universities has also been cited as reason for the sluggish process.

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