Interest in the “Solidarity with Ukraine” programme was enormous. The academic and scientific community decided to support students and doctoral candidates who had to seek refuge in Poland because of the war across our eastern border, and to give them the opportunity for education. Over PLN 23.3 million was allocated for this purpose.
As part of a government initiative, the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA), in consultation with the academic and scientific community, developed the rules of the programme called “Solidarity with Ukraine”. All this was done to ensure the continuity of education for students and doctoral candidates who came to Poland after 24 February as war refugees and who were prevented from studying or doing research in their home country. The consultation resulted in a programme aimed at universities supervised by the Ministry of Education and Science or the Ministry of Health willing to enable students and doctoral candidates to continue their education, prepare their doctoral dissertations or undergo other forms of education (language or preparatory courses) free of charge. 98 institutions (HEIs and research institutes) applied for funding, and each of these institutions received it. The amount of funds granted is over PLN 23.3 million, including:
- entities supervised by the Ministry of Health: over PLN 4.28 million
- entities supervised by the Ministry of Education and Science: over PLN 19 million
The “Solidarity with Ukraine” programme is a programme for institutions, not for individuals. Nevertheless, based on the universities’ declarations, this amount should enable the education of 1,947 people.
The funds come from the budgets of the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Health, respectively.
Notably, interest in the programme was enormous, which is best evidenced by the fact that applications were submitted for a total amount of over PLN 70.2 million.
‘The Polish academic and scientific community has passed a difficult test. Out of a sense of solidarity with the Ukrainians, it has begun to act since the first days of the war, wanting to provide not only shelter but also an opportunity for the representatives of the academic and scientific community from Ukraine to continue their studies and research work. Using its previous experience, gained during a similar programme called “Solidarity with Belarus”, the Agency immediately began working on the concept of a programme addressed to Ukrainians. I am glad that as NAWA – in the face of what we are witnessing – we could once again offer a tool to build at least a bit better world,’ says dr Grażyna Żebrowska, Director General of NAWA.
The “Solidarity with Ukraine” programme is addressed to HEIs where the number of full-time students is at least 150, as well as PAS (the Polish Academy of Sciences) institutes, Łukasiewicz Network institutes or research institutes. In the application, these entities declared the number of Ukrainian students or doctoral candidates that they are willing to host, providing them with an opportunity to continue their studies free of charge, prepare a dissertation, take language courses or benefit from other forms of education. Learning opportunities were to be provided between 1 March and 30 September. In addition to the tuition waiver, the participants receive a scholarship. Psychological and legal assistance is also provided to everyone as needed.
By creating a programme for Ukrainian students and doctoral candidates staying in Poland, NAWA has drawn on its previous experience. All the activities are similar to those previously prepared by NAWA as part of the “Solidarity with Belarus” campaign in connection with the repressions following the non-democratic election in Belarus. The activities were well evaluated by both the beneficiaries and the HEIs.
Moreover, the participants do not need to be recruited for the entire duration of the programme. They can be accepted anytime between 1 March and 30 September 2022.
What is more, NAWA together with the University of Gdańsk is preparing a conference “Solidarity with Ukraine” to be held on 12 and 13 May in Gdańsk. The conference will present the involvement of the scientific and academic community in helping Ukrainians.
Source: the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange, press realease.