Universities threatening to suspend scholarships

Russian military recruiting African exchange students

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According to Times Higher Education and several other publications, it's becoming more and more common for Russian universities to recruit exchange students from Africa. The Southern Federal University in the city of Rostov-on-Don, near Ukraine, is said to have recruited 2,500 African exchange students alone. This university threatened to revoke their scholarships and raise their tuition fees if they refused to take up arms. The students, many of whom are in a financially precarious situation, were allegedly offered sums of up to 4,000 dollars to join.

To the front
The first exchange student was killed in November in the Donbas region during a battle against Ukrainian forces. According to Times Higher Education, the student in question was a 23-year-old Zambian national who moved to Moscow two years ago to study nuclear engineering. He was arrested for unspecified reasons and sentenced to nine years in prison. While serving his sentence, he was forced to enlist in the army, after which he was immediately sent to the front.

Training centres
Under the current partial mobilisation, university students (Russian or otherwise) up to the age of 27 are not subject to a mandatory draft, but are allowed to sign up for military service voluntarily. Some 100 university campuses are now said to have opened military training centres where new recruits are prepared for combat.

Many Russian universities are helping to spread President Vladimir Putin’s war propaganda, forcing students to attend lectures and firing critical academics.