Polish Erasmus for Ukraine

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

One hundred scholarships for Ukrainians who live in the areas of military activities are still available this year, and a further four hundred will be available for Ukrainian students in 2015 – this is what is proposed as aid by the Polish government for students from Ukraine.

During the meeting with the Ukrainian Minister of Education and Science – Serhiy Kvit – the Polish Minister of Science and Higher Education – Lena Kolarska-Bobińska – presented the scholarship package “Polish Erasmus for Ukraine”.

“The foundation of democracy is based on permanent, stable and well-functioning institutions. Development of democracy involves the change in attitudes and behaviors of people. Education and culture have a large role to play in this”, says professor Lena Kolarska-Bobińska, the Minister of Science and Higher Education. “This is why during today’s discussions with the Ukrainian delegation I shared my experiences from Poland. Some time ago Poland found itself in this situation, when other Western European countries and the United States supported us with scholarship and educational programs. Now we are directing such aid to Ukraine. I hope that young people who will come to Poland as part of a scholarship will return to Ukraine with ideas to develop a democratic country which will be an important part of Europe”, added the Polish Minister.

The new scholarship program is built on the basis of the ideas similar to Erasmus and Erasmus+ programs, which allow students to complete part of the studies in one of the European Union countries.  A year at a renown Polish university for 500 people is intended to support the development of democratic institutions and social capital in Ukraine. The program includes above all the following fields of studies: management, European studies, economics, administration.

The scholarships are also directed towards PhD students from Ukraine. Fifty people authorized to undertake post-graduate studies are first of all students of universities cooperating with Polish partners.

The cost of the program is over 10.7 mln PLN. Financing by the Polish government will cover Bachelor, Master’s and PhD courses at Polish Universities, as well as the living expenses during the stay in Poland.

The program is directed primarily to young people in areas currently experiencing military activities within the Lugansk and Donetsk regions and from the Crimea. Starting from winter semester the first hundred Ukrainian students (who have completed the second year of their Bachelor degree – Bakalaureat) will commence their free-of-charge studies in Poland. They will also receive 900 PLN scholarship for living expenses. From January 2015 the next stage of the program will commence with 400 students (who have completed their second or fourth year of their Bachelor degree) being able to continue their Bachelor and Master’s studies in Poland. These scholarships are directed to all residents of Ukraine, however preference will be given to applicants from the areas affected by military activities who have lost their ability to support themselves.

Poland wishes to also help Ukraine with creating conditions to take advantage of European educational programs, such as Erasmus+.

“We are grateful for this support and scholarship program which has been offered to us. The scholarships will be used by a large group of students from Donbas which is currently at war”, says the Ukrainian Minister of Education and Science – professor Serhiy Kvit. “The experience related to the students’ stay as part of these scholarships will be used to develop democracy in our society, new standards in schooling and tertiary education”. Minister Kvit commented that the discussion about Polish experiences in the reformation of tertiary education and research will help Ukraine to prepare – among others – an act on science and scientific research, as well as to implement a recently approved revolutionary act on tertiary education which has given autonomy to Ukrainian universities.

Accountability for recruitment into the program is borne by the Ukrainian party. Detailed information will be provided at a later date.

The Ukrainian delegation during its visit to Poland which lasted several days also met with representatives of the Ministry of National Education, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw University and the Jagiellonian University.

Currently students from Ukraine form the largest group of foreign student in Poland: 42 per cent. In the academic year of 2013/2014 fifteen thousand Ukrainian students studied in our country, four thousand of whom already receive various forms of financing (exemption from tuition fees, scholarships).

Useful information for Ukrainian students in Poland is available on a special website prepared by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education: www.go-poland.pl. It is also available in Ukrainian: www.go-poland.pl/uk.

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