Zimbabwean students have opted to stay home while their South African colleagues fight with authorities over university fees increases effected across the country.
A student was shot yesterday at University of Kwazulu Natal in South Africa as police were involved in violent clashes with students who are protesting against the hiking of fees under the #feesmustfall campaign.
Following reports that vice-chancellors at various institutions had agreed to an 8% fee hike for 2017, the UKZN Fees Must Fall movement urged students to begin protesting.
The protests have been reported at other universities including Cape Town where a Vice Chancellor was held hostage by students.
Breakingnewszw caught up with some Zimbabwean students who are studying at various universities in South Africa to understand how the protests have affected them.
A student at UKZN who wished not to be named said that the #feesmustfall protest was not a battle for foreign students to get involved in. Foreign students already pay exorbitant fees and no one fights for them.
“It’s more a matter of rival student unions trying to have a voice so Zimbabweans and foreigners normally stay out. It is not our war because we are forced to pay the fees whether it is increased or not” he said.
The student added that the last time they participated in the protests in solidarity with South African students he was caught up in the violence and injured.
A Zimbabwean lecturer in Cape Town said Zimbabweans would benefit from the fees standoff if the students get their way. “Zimbabweans are mostly beneficiaries especially with fee increases being suspended. You would know that SA has no obligation to provide relief to foreigners” he said
Zimbabwe has thousands of students in South Africa who have left the country in search for better education in the neighbouring country. Some of the students are on the Presidential scholarship which is fully funded by the Zimbabwe government. Other students are funding their own studies.