Ukrainian refugees flooded European countries. According to the UN, at the end of last week there were 3.1 million. As a support, Europe offered those who wished to join educational tourism. We are talking about providing places in educational institutions to Ukrainian students for little or no charge at all, as well as jobs for Ukrainian teachers. Thus, the European educational sector is experiencing a real boom: they have not accepted such a number of foreign students in the middle of the year.
The number of foreign students and citizens of Ukraine studying abroad
In the last decade, the country has seen a gradual influx of foreign students, and by 2019 their number will reach 80.470. According to the Erudera.com educational platform, the main nationalities who continued their academic careers in Ukraine until recently were:
- Indians – 18,429 students
- Moroccans – 8,233 students
- Azerbaijanis – 5,470 students
On the other hand, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics showed which areas are in demand among Ukrainian students. The most popular destination country for Ukrainian students is Poland: 26,938 of them study at universities in this country. The second is Russia. 21.609 Ukrainian students study in our country. The rest of the countries are mostly in the EU: 6,313 students study in Germany, 3,132 in the Czech Republic and 2,911 in Slovakia.
In addition to the fact that the neighboring country of Ukraine has already taken in about 140,000 Ukrainian refugees and provided them with the necessary conditions for life, Hungary also offered free education at the oldest medical university in the country, Budapest Semmelweis University, until the end of the special operation. In addition, the country provides vacancies for medical personnel coming from Ukraine.
Six German universities volunteered in one way or another to help incoming Ukrainian students. For example, the Technical University of Munich announced financial support, consulting services, the provision of places in educational institutions and easier entry for Ukrainian citizens.
- The oldest and one of the most prestigious universities in modern Germany, Heidelberg University also offered financial assistance, plans to help Ukrainians in obtaining a residence permit and facilitate the passage of other administrative procedures.
- In addition, the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich offered advisory services to Ukrainian students and also established a fund dedicated to them. The Free University of Berlin (Freie Universitaet), one of the leading universities in Germany in the field of geosciences and computer sciences, said it would accept Ukrainian students, help them find jobs and help them with money.
- In addition to financial support through the Berlin-Ukraine Relief Fund, the Technical University of Berlin has offered to reimburse the tuition fees of Ukrainian students attending German language courses.
- Other universities in Berlin, such as the Humboldt University, have offered scholarships and other opportunities for students from Ukraine.
The University of Southern Denmark and seven other universities in the country have suspended cooperation with Russian and Belarusian organizations and announced their readiness to help Ukrainian students. According to some reports, the country can provide them with free education, but a final decision on this issue has not yet been made.
“It seems that there is a broad political understanding in Parliament that we will give Ukrainian refugees the opportunity to enter a university here no tuition fees. This will be decided next week,” Danish university director Jesper Langergaard was quoted as saying by University World News.
The Irish Ministry of Education has offered a discount on tuition fees for Ukrainian students, as well as language courses and other aids. A group of students from Trinity College Dublin contacted Ukrainian students, and the Irish National University said it was working on creating scholarships for them. In addition, the University of Limerick team prepared humanitarian aid: they collected medical supplies and essentials for hospitals in Ukraine.
The Icelandic government offered housing to students and other refugees from Ukraine. “Icelandic universities will closely monitor developments and respond as they unfold. Universities will work with the Icelandic government to explore accommodation options for Ukrainian students and staff who left for Iceland during the special operation,” the Icelandic Rectors’ Conference said in a statement.
A fund of 500,000 euros has been allocated to help Ukrainian students and researchers. The government has also called on academic institutions to provide grants and opportunities for Ukrainian scientists.
Under the current conditions, the burden on Poland is too great: 1.8 million refugees arrived in the country. It is specified that Ukrainian students will be able to continue their education in Polish universities, and teachers and professors can be employed in higher educational institutions in Poland.
In addition, people with sufficient knowledge of the Polish language can work as teachers to support students who do not speak Polish.
Polish universities help Ukrainian refugees in different ways. For example:
- The Medical University of Gdansk has launched an initiative called “Midwives for Ukraine” to help arriving Ukrainian pregnant women.
- The University of Lodz helps its Ukrainian students by offering accommodation in university hostels for members of student families who come to Poland.
- Warsaw University students collect medical supplies and medicines to send to Ukraine. They also offer free legal assistance to students and doctoral students who want to stay in Poland.
Romanian universities have offered Ukrainian students the opportunity to continue their studies even for those without a degree. For those who cannot verify their academic achievement, for example with a diploma, the authorities will set a grade.
“If a student or doctoral student is unable to prove the completed studies with documents issued by a higher education institution that he previously attended in Ukraine, the Romanian higher education institution will evaluate, based on its own criteria and in accordance with international best practice, the learning outcomes, competencies and skills and will decide on the recognition and award of transferable study credits,” the approved order of the Romanian government said.
The Comenius University in Bratislava has provided about 300 beds for incoming refugees in addition to language translation, medical care, legal aid and blood donation. However, according to the vice-rector of the university, there is little interest among Ukrainian students in staying in Slovakia.
“We have received individual requests from some students and some scientists from universities who would like to continue their work at our university, and we are doing our best to make this happen. Most people would like to continue their work in Ukraine and just want to come here for housing,” said the University Vice-Rector Radomir Masaryk.
The University of Ljubljana started a humanitarian campaign called Heart University, which raises money for students from Ukraine – they can be used to pay rent and housing, food, clothing, teaching materials and computer equipment for study.
Universities in the Scandinavian country aim to offer support in matters related to well-being and difficulties related to studies. The University of Helsinki has provided health and wellness support to incoming students to help them complete their studies without a degree.
On the other hand, the University of Eastern Finland has promised to admit 20 Ukrainian students, as well as cover their living and travel expenses.
The French government has set up a €1 million support fund to help Ukrainian artists and art professionals. In addition, the ministry offered an additional 300,000 euros to Ukrainian students for admission to colleges and organizations of the French Ministry of Culture.
“The minister wants Ukrainian artists to be supported so that they can continue their creative activities in France… this additional support will be provided in the form of research grants and funding for art projects, as well as for the organization of exhibitions,” the ministry said in a statement.
Ukrainian students can receive free meals, consulting services and even free education at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Zagreb. In addition, it will be possible to undergo clinical practice there, as well as receive academic and psychological counseling for Ukrainian students.
As a help to Ukrainian students, the University of South Bohemia offered extraordinary and social scholarships and housing for those who need it.
One of the leading higher education institutions in Switzerland – the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne – in addition to spiritual assistance to refugee students, provides financial support and advisory services.
Swedish universities, such as Johan Viklund University in Stockholm, have been working to allocate the funds needed to increase the number of places for students. In addition, several universities, such as Stockholm University, offer research positions to Ukrainian researchers.
The Karolinska Institute is preparing to accept researchers and students from the conflict zone.
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