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Kenyan student under Finland program takes own life

A Kenyan student on the Finland programme died by suicide in his hostel room on Tuesday, April 18 under unclear circumstances.

Rodgers Kipruto Kosgei, from Kesses in Uasin Gishu County, studied nursing at Laurea University’s Tikkurila campus.

His body was reportedly found hanging in his room days after his family reported him missing.

Uasin Gishu Governor Jonathan Bii confirmed his death on social media on Wednesday, describing Kipruto’s death as a “great loss to his family, friends, Chirchir community and the nursing profession”.

Also read: Missing: Kenyan mother and daughter found dead in van in Finland

Bii said he was shocked to learn of the student’s death, who left Kenya in September 2022 to pursue his studies under the county’s overseas education programme.

“His ambition and unwavering commitment to making a positive difference in society is a testament to his character,” Bii said in a statement. “I extend my condolences to his family and loved ones

Before studying nursing in Finland, Kipruto worked at Mediheal Hospital in Nakuru.

Kipruto was one of the students on the Uasin Gishu-Finland Scholarship Programme sponsored by the county government.

The row has deepened after two more universities threatened to expel 91 Kenyan students over fee arrears.

Last month, three Finnish universities, namely Laurea University, Jyvaskylla University, and Tampere University, threatened to withdraw and deport 91 Kenyan students over fee arrears.

This was after the county government failed to remit their fees after funds meant for the programme were allegedly embezzled by senior county officials.

Laurea University, where Kipruto studied, was one of the universities that suspended 67 Kenyan students studying nursing and physiotherapy until their second-semester fees were paid.

“No classes will be held for these groups while they are on hold. The second semester for these groups will commence after Laurea has received the tuition fees,” the university said in its notice.

Also read: Kenyans blame KWS for the death of migratory bird from Finland

It said that information about the termination of the right to study would automatically be sent through electronic systems to the Finnish Immigration Service, Migri, which would then cancel the residence permits of the affected students before deporting them.

Shortly afterward, Governor Bii convened an emergency meeting of the Executive Council to discuss the developments.

In a communication to Deputy Governor Eng John Barorot and Programme Coordinator Meshack Ronoh, Laurea University set strict conditions to extend the deadline for payment of fees for some of the programmes to 15 April 2023.

“After discussing the matter with the board of Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Laurea will extend the deadline for payment of second semester tuition fees to March 31 on the condition that Uasin Gishu County government enters into a written agreement with each of the students or their parents and sends a copy of each of the agreements to Laurea,” said Jouni Koski, president of Laurea University.

The Uasin Gishu-Finland scholarship programme was started under former Governor Jackson Mandago.

Also read: Kenyan woman verbally attacked in Finland for being black