Send-off for SA students to Russia
17 October 2014
Pretoria – South African students, who will be departing to Russia to pursue their studies, received a warm send-off in Pretoria on Thursday.
“To tell you the truth I only told my family when everything was done,” said Luvuyo Fuzani.
Fuzani is among the eight South African students who will be departing South Africa next week to study various courses in Russia, through the Russian government scholarship.
Fuzani will be studying a Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine.
He found out about the scholarship through friends who encouraged him to apply.
“I applied in March and they responded around May saying that I’ve been shortlisted. I wound up doing a telephonic interview because I am from the Eastern Cape and the interviews were conducted in Pretoria.
“After the interviews, they told me I was accepted. I was very happy,” he told SAnews at a farewell ceremony hosted by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) on Thursday.
Fuzani completed his Matric in 2007 and studied further through a bursary obtained through the National Department of Health prior to the Russian Scholarship.
“I did a Bachelor’s Degree in medical/clinical practice called a clinical associate. I worked at a hospital because I had to serve my bursary.
“When I arrive in Russia I will study language at a university for a year after which I will do my medical degree,” said Fuzane.
His mother said she cried when she heard the news that he had been selected for the Russian scholarship.
“My mom accepted it though she was crying. She said that it’s a good opportunity and that she understands that I have to leave,” said Fuzeka.
Fuzeka plans to come back home after the five year period. He hopes to specialise and become a paediatric cardiologist. “I’d love to become one,” he said.
Russian Councillor Counsellor Boris Sokolov wished the students well ahead of their trip, saying that the scholarship will strengthen relations between South Africa and Russia.
“I’m sure that when they return home as trained specialists, they will contribute to the well-being and prosperity of South Africa. They will remain good friends of our country and relations between our countries will become more enhanced. I want to wish you good luck and good marks during your studies,” he said at the ceremony.
Higher Education Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana said the South African government appreciates the scholarships that are awarded to South Africans annually.
“We hope to increase the number of students who are able to take up this exciting opportunity. We value the opportunities accorded to our young people to help them broaden their knowledge and skills which will enable them to return home and make a valuable contribution to our economy and society,” he explained.
The bursaries awarded are for undergraduate and post graduate degrees in the fields of Medical Biochemistry, Nuclear Physics, Chemical Technology and Applied Informatics across various Russian universities.
Eighteen-year old Karen Naicker is also among those heading to Russia next week.
“I’m a bit nervous to say the least. The thing is that it’s a good opportunity, I think that it will be worth the while,” said Naicker of her upcoming trip.
She is due to study medicine, but like Fuzani and others will first study the Russian language before embarking on her medical studies.
She admits that she will miss her family and friends dearly but that technological advancements like Skype will help.
“I will be able to stay in touch with my family in Durban,” she said.
Having studied Maths, Science and Biology in high school, she said her parents were proud of her achievements.
“They told me that they are proud of me, that I got the opportunity [to go study in Russia]. I am really blessed by God,” she said.
Deputy Minister Masina -- who also wished the students well -- said exchange and cooperation programmes are essential to expose students to best educational experiences and practises.
“These engagements help to build and strengthen our relationships with partner countries like Russia. Learning about foreign cultures and languages builds bridges,” he said.
The department has been sending students to study in Russia since 2012 with this year’s number being the largest at 13, of which five are already in Russia.
The scholarship is awarded as a partnership between the Russian and South African governments.
“My department is augmenting the scholarship provided by the Russian government. We also appreciate the commitment from the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) to provide support for two of their employees who are going to Russia,” explained the Deputy Minister.
The Deputy Minister also expressed concern that currently the country does not produce enough PhDs. “This is a challenge as high level skills are needed for the advancement of knowledge,” said the Deputy Minister. – SAnews.gov.za