Universities in Czechia support Ukraine
Universities in the Czech Republic condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and promise to support Ukrainian students currently living in Czechia and also their relatives from areas affected by war. The Ukrainian flag was put on almost every university building and schools are coming up with concrete plans how to help people in need.
Charles University launches a special call line offering psychological counselling in several languages (Ukrainian included, of course) and allocates at least 150 beds at their dormitories to accommodate Ukrainian students, staff and their families. In cooperation with humanitarian organisations, the Charles University Endowment Fund is going to provide also financial aid.
In the official statement, the Rector of Charles University Milena Králíčková said: “As rector, together with the management of Charles University, I strongly condemn any form of aggression, not least the hostilities being conducted by Putin’s Russia right now. This is an extremely dangerous move that threatens the lives of people across Europe – including those of fellow colleagues and students. It is a step in the wrong direction, taking the world backwards! Such aggression shows how important it is to study, to think critically, to value education, to understand history and the complex world today. I call on academics, not only at our university, to strongly support a free and democratic society and to say a clear ‘No!’ to war.”
Czech Technical University in Prague has around 450 students from Ukraine. So far, there’re no requests from students to discontinue their studies and the university promised to support them by any means necessary. The rector Vojtěch Petráček expressed his support in the official statement, saying (shortened):
I would like to express to all of you the full support of our university! Not only I personally, together with the management of the university, but also the management of the faculties and institutes and all our employees and students are ready to help you and stand behind you. We will face the barbaric acts of Russia together with you and we will try to help you in solidarity as much as the university can! In the coming hours, funds will be released to enable us to implement what will be needed.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with your needs and with suggestions about how best to help. We certainly have in mind students and employees in material need. We can also help with official questions of residence, inviting your colleagues from Ukraine, arranging their stay. We are ready to take care of you, as far as we can.”
The University of New York in Prague also conveyed solidarity and support. Their community consists of more than 90 nationalities and they’re proud about it. The school will continue to maintain their multicultural tradition and strive for diversity and mutual respect. Studies of Ukrainian students won’t be affected.
The rector Andreas Antonopoulos said: “UNYP firmly and unequivocally condemns this devastating attack on a sovereign country, and stands with the people of Ukraine. We hope for an immediate and definitive end to the ongoing aggression. We will continue to do our outmost to maintain a calm environment at our campus, and support all our students as best as possible at this difficult time. We will also support our community in their efforts to provide relief to victims of this tragedy.”
Masaryk University in Brno decided to terminate agreements with four Russian universities immediately. This is by no means to punish Russian students and academics but to cut ties with Russian universities that are state institutions and therefore represent the government. The rector Martin Bareš appeals: “Even though we are emotional and angry right now, let us not turn this anger against Russian students and academics here at Masaryk University. They are just as much victims of the Russian regime as those who are now fighting in Ukraine.”
The university is preparing assistance for their Ukrainian students and staff like psychological counselling and special scholarships. MU has also opened the MUNI HELPS Volunteer centre connecting students in need with the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as the Ukrainian embassy.
If you’re a Ukrainian student, don’t hesitate to contact your university and ask for assistance. If you’re someone who actively wants to help, there’re many ways you can do so from joining volunteers, translating from English/Czech to Ukrainian or donations.
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