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Director, DIAL Dr. Catherine Aurah addressing the International students during the workshop.

“The life of an international student is a complicated life. Being away from home or making another country your home is not an easy thing to do. I applaud all the international students who have successfully completed their studies and are looking forward to graduating on 17th December 2021. I encourage you to continue with your academic journey at MMUST,” said Dr. Aurah.

She shared her concern over the International Students on Scholarships missing examinations due to fee payment delays. She urged the students to be proactive and report such challenges including welfare and social life early enough for them to be addressed.

“Your issues of school fees are minor because over 90% of you are sponsored. There may be logistics for failing to remit your fees in time or delays in the finance department, but that should not translate to missing examinations. As a Directorate, we care about your welfare and we have your interests at heart, but we cannot take care of them if you do not reach out to us,” added Dr. Aura.

“The Office of Dean of Students is a non-academic Department that works to provide quality and efficient welfare services which support students’ desire to achieve academic excellence. We strive to produce holistic individuals through our activities, clubs and associations where students get to nurture their talents, facilitate exposure and networking opportunities with other institutions and organizations outside the University,” stated Mr. Oscar Waswa who represented the Dean of Students Dr. Bernadette Abwao.    

Representing the Office of Finance, student finance accountant Ms. Betty Matiany commended the international students for continuously reporting and registering courses in time. She encouraged them to keep up and freely consult the students finance section when faced with challenges on matters of finance.

Ms. Betty also reminded the students to ensure that they indicate the correct registration numbers during fee payments to avoid challenges of transactions not reflecting in the system.

 Further, she tasked them to nominate and elect a representative to serve as liaison personnel between the International Students and Finance Office. This she said will ensure timely and accurate flow of information between them.

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A section of the International students following the workshop proceedings.

International students through its leadership were given the opportunity to share their experiences with regards to welfare challenges they face. Some of the concerns raised included late issuance of transcripts which ought to facilitate timely remittance of school fees by sponsors, need for benchmarking opportunities and travels to boost their familiarization and interaction with different cultural set-ups in the country.  The students also requested the University to have trust in their sponsors and allow them to take examinations and make follow-ups on fee payment thereafter.

They suggested that MMUST should establish and strengthen working relationships with sponsors by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This would also increase the enrolment of sponsored students including those pursuing post graduate studies. Additionally, the students requested the University to set up a museum that will display artifacts from different states represented on campus and an ‘International students’ walkway’ for representation other than the physical identification.

The international students’ leaders present included; The Chairperson International Students Guild (ISG), Mr. John Juuk Kuol, the Deputy Chair-ISG Ms. Gloria Tamanok, ISG Secretary General Mr. Christopher Oromo Vinansio, ISG treasurer Mr. Yousif Majdi Kalo, ISG MMUSO Representative Ms. Mary Adum, and the DAFI Scholarship Representative Mr. Sultan Hamdam. 

 By Caren Mutoro

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