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Ghanaian students starving in Hungary

Ghanaian students benefiting from a Hungarian government scholarship have been compelled to call on the government for support to cater for their basic needs because their stipends are inadequate.

These students, numbering over 40, are beneficiaries of the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship for 2016/2017.

The beneficiaries currently receive monthly stipends of 40,460 HUF (Hungarian Forint) for Undergraduate and Masters students and 140,000 HUF for doctorate students from the Hungarian government.

But in a letter sighted by Citi News from the students to the Scholarship Secretariat, the students decried this amount as insufficient given the high cost of living in Hungary.

“It is sad that our situation keeps worsening day by day and we are therefore pleading with you, to use your high office to call on our government to come to our aid,” the students implored the Scholarship Secretariat.

“It is undoubtedly highly difficult to put a 3-square meal on our tables, not to talk of other expenses such as transportation, books and clothing. To mention a few, an average meal cost 1,500 HUF, a proper winter cloth sells between 20,000-30,000 HUF, a pair of shoes 20,000-35,000 HUF and a t-shirt averagely 4,000 HUF.”

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“Our health insurance only covers consultation fees and excluding medications. Currently, a majority of us are forced to use part of the stipends to supplement our accommodation allowance to hire apartments since there are limited hostel facilities on most of the various campuses.”

As it stands now, the students also fear they will not be able to afford return tickets back home to Ghana.

Their situation is seemingly made harder to swallow by the fact fellow students from around the globe on the same scholarship get adequate support from their governments and can focus on their studies.

The students say colleagues from other countries benefitting from the scholarship are given support from their governments. Nigerian students, for instance, are supported with $500 dollars a month from their government.

“We are faced with a very tough reality of competing with our colleague students from across the globe, who unlike us have sound minds to concentrate on their studies because they receive additional support from their respective governments.”

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By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana