Nearly 14,000 foreign students on scholarships in Cuban universities

Campaign News | Saturday, 10 April 2004

Free education offered to developing countries

April 10: CUBAN universities have this year so far welcomed more than 13,945 foreign students from 113 countries, via a cooperation programme that is systematically growing.

This programme, which is free of cost to the students, began in 1961 and increased during the 1970s in response to requests by African and Middle Eastern countries, mainly for middle-level education, according to an April 10 article in the Cuban newspaper Granma.

Francisco Martínez Pérez, director of the National Office for Attention to Foreign Students, explains that the overseas students have the same rights and responsibilities as Cuban students; they may join the Federation of University Students and participate in sporting and cultural activities.

Martínez Pérez adds that the goal is for those students to return to their countries and use their acquired education to the benefit of their homeland, given that Cuba has no need to steal trained professionals, as is the case with powers like the United States.

As of this past term, 17,654 students had received their degrees, with 70% of them from African countries, and it is expected that the number of those from Latin America and the Caribbean will grow during coming terms.


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