The Cape Verdean Secretary of State for Youth participated in a meeting of young people from his country studying in Portugal whom he asked to pressure politicians
Carlos Monteiro attended, in Bragança, the meeting of young Cape Verdeans studying in Portugal, to whom he asked to embrace this cause and pressure politicians to adopt the solutions that should have already been found for the problem.
"Because it is not admissible that nearly at the year 2020 we continue to have Portuguese speaking students with vacancies assigned by Portuguese speaking educational institutions who are unable to move from one country to another to get their education", he said.
Instituto Politécnico de Bragança (IPB) is the host of the meeting and welcomes 1,200 Cape Verdean students, the largest community of the overall 3,000 foreign students from 70 nationalities attending that institution.
IPB President Orlando Rodrigues corroborated that he is waiting for "more than 400 international students", mostly from Lusophone countries such as Cape Verde that, almost at the end of the first semester, have still failed to travel to Bragança.
The number equals "more than half" of the total visas requested for the Bragança polytechnic with all the documentation confirmed and taxes payed as well as the first tuition fee.
"On the issue of visas we still have a lot of problems, despite the new special visa facilitation regime for students, but what happens in practice is that embassies, either because of human resources problems or lengthy procedures, have not complied with this legislation and continue to create major obstacles to the granting of visas in a timely manner", he said.
Portuguese Higher Education Minister Manuel Heitor heard the complaints and replied that these are "very complex issues because many cases of fraud have been detected in other parts of the country, such as document forgery"
"Of course we are interested in attracting young people to Portugal, particularly to areas like Bragança, but at the same time this process has to be done very seriously and the resources are always finite because there are evidences that must be determined", he said.
The minister assured that "the system is mobilized, both the Foreign Health and Home Affairs entities in articulation have been making an additional effort to ease procedures, but the processes have to be seen and reviewed because there have been frauds in the past and similar cases of fraud have to be identified and eliminated".
Portugal is the country with the largest community of Cape Verdean students, according to Celecina Lima, advisor to the Cape Verdean Embassy, which coordinates the student department.
The embassy estimates that the number is around "7,500" and is collecting information from higher education establishments in order to compile a database and know for sure how many Cape Verdean students are in Portugal.
Bragança is the third Cape Verdean "island" in Portugal, after Lisbon and Porto, says Maribel Brito, president of the meeting that brings together a few hundred students today and again Saturday in the city of Trás-os-Montes.