What you need to know:
- Parents were to meet the study costs of the learners through the county government
- Some parents failed to comply with the timelines, failing to pay 90,000 euros, an equivalent of Sh13.4 million
- The county negotiated twice for a deadline extension until May 6, 2023, but the payment did not materialise.
At least 15 students from Nandi County who are studying in Finland are stranded after Edusampo University threatened to terminate their studies over non-payment of fees.
The complaints have emerged in the wake of a similar controversial study programme that exposed 202 learners from neighbouring Uasin Gishu county to deportation from Finland over fee arrears. One of the students took his own out of frustration, and his body is yet to be brought back home for burial.
Like Uasin Gishu and Elgeyo Marakwet counties, the County Government of Nandi entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Finnish university in June last year to facilitate 25 students for further studies and work in the foreign nation.
Under the arrangement, parents were to meet the study costs of the learners through the county government.
Fifteen of the students paid the fees amounting to Sh22 million through the county government after securing a chance to study nursing at Edusampo.
The first group of 15 students left Kenya on January 22, 2023, while 10 remained behind as travel arrangements were finalised.
In the agreement, which Governor Stephen Sang signed with Edusampo University CEO Terhi Toikkanen, the county government was to make fee payment for all the 25 students in three installments, with the final payments to be made by December 1, 2022.
But some parents failed to comply with the timelines, failing to pay 90,000 euros, an equivalent of Sh13.4 million.
The county had negotiated twice for a deadline extension until May 6, 2023, but the payment has not materialised, and attempts by Edusampo University to engage the county government over the matter have failed.
Consequently, Ms Toikkanen issued a notice to the county government to settle the school fees arrears, failure to which the students will be sent back to the country when the 30-day notice elapses.
"The county's failure to honour the agreement will portray Kenya negatively before the international community and would put any future agreement between the county into question, since it was supposed to contact parents and families of the students going to study in Finland,” reads the letter.
In Nandi, shocked parents have petitioned the government of Finland to intervene and allow students to continue with their studies as per the agreement, which the university, parents and county government of Nandi signed before the students left the country.
In a Twitter post on May 13, 2022, Governor Sang announced that Nandi county had embarked on a partnership program with five Universities in Finland to offer work and study opportunities to people coming from the county.
He named Edusampo University as one of them, offering graduate nurses and clinical officers an opportunity to take up work opportunities in Finland.
Other courses on offer included engineering and masters programmes, he said when he met with the University representatives to kick start the recruitment exercise.
Nation.Africa has established that parents were required to pay fees, airfare, and accommodation, among other obligations for their children.
The county government was required to facilitate the process by linking the parents and the university. All parties had been informed about their roles under the arrangement.
Some parents told Nation.Africa that they had paid a combined total of Sh22,199,632, which was enough to facilitate the 15 students for the one-year programme.
Parents claimed as soon as the programme started, the college CEO demanded full payment of fees amounting to Sh22 million. This included fees for the 10 students who were still in Kenya.
They claim that the university CEO became uncooperative and threatened to terminate the programme. She reportedly stopped processing the visa applications for the 10 students who are still in Kenya.
Some of the affected students told Nation.Africa it was unfortunate that the CEO became hostile and threatened to terminate the programme.
This has caused shock and disappointment for the parents and students involved in the programme.
They have urged the government to intervene to find an amicable solution that will benefit all parties involved.