Ukrainian Higher Education Under Bombs: Voices from #ErasmusGeneration (30.06.2022, online)

On 30 June 2022, National Erasmus+ office in Ukraine together with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, Erasmus Student Network in Ukraine, Erasmus Mundus Association in Ukraine, the Ukrainian State Center for International Education in cooperation with the European Union to Ukraine held a webinar “Ukrainian higher education under the bombs: voices from the #ErasmusGeneration”. The purpose of the event was to raise awareness of the current situation in the field of higher education during the war, to tell real stories from students and university staff, to present cases of support for the EU Erasmus+ Program and EU networks in Ukraine during a full-scale invasion, and to present directions for mutual aid and cooperation with European partners.

More than 80 representatives from 17 countries of the world took part in the webinar : Austria, Albania, Belgium, Great Britain, Armenia, Georgia, Italy, Latvia, Moldova, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Turkey, Finland, France, the Czech Republic, Ukraine and others. Representatives of the European Commission, the European Agency for Education and Culture (EACEA), the EU Delegation, the Mission of Ukraine to the EU, ministries and other international organizations, universities and youth organizations were among the participants.

The event consisted of 3 parts :

  • Panel discussion on the state of higher education in Ukraine during the war;
  • Live Library with real stories and cases from the Erasmus+ community: students, graduates, staff of Ukrainian universities;
  • Panel discussion on institutional support and assistance of the Erasmus+ European network in Ukraine.

During the welcome speech, Vira RYBAK , Sectoral Manager of the European Union to Ukraine, and Oleksandr PYZHOV , General Director of the Directorate of European Integration, Budgeting and Policy Coordination, Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, highlighted the importance of Erasmus+ and EU partners support to Ukrainian HE and Erasmus Generation

During the first panel session , Svitlana SHYTIKOVA, Coordinator of the National Erasmus+ office in Ukraine, presented a brief overview of the state of higher education institutions of Ukraine during the war, results and losses, and highlighted key challenges and ways of European Erasmus+ community support to Ukrainian colleagues and partners. Olena SHAPOVALOVA , Head of the Ukrainian Center for International Education of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, presented the experience of foreign students in Ukraine during the full-scale invasion of Russia, the reality of evacuation and human losses, unfortunately.


Also, the participants had the opportunity to meet real cases and talk with “books” during the Live Library session. Participants heard stories from students, graduates, and HEIs staff from attacked and occupied territories. In particular, in the Zoom break-out room about students, participants got to know the stories of: a student from Kharkiv and his experience working international journalists; Erasmus+ exchange students from Turkey who were in Ukraine at the beginning of the war and story of their evacuation; female students about changing values ​​and parents in the occupation; Erasmus Mundus, a graduate student who came under fire, joined the ranks of the Terrodefense and began collecting evidence of crimes against humanity. In another Zoom room, participants had the opportunity to talk with representatives of institutions from Mariupol, Berdyansk, and Kharkiv regarding the evacuation of students, staff, and universities, and new realities of the educational process and support of foreign partners and Erasmus+ colleagues. Also, in this room had presentation of the Uzhgorod National University case, which expanded its boundaries and, with the support of European colleagues, became a center of humanitarian aid for internally displaced persons.

In the next plenary session , Kateryna SUPRUN , Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, Erasmus Mundus Alumni Association, Artem TSELIKOV, Erasmus Student Network Ukraine and Oleksandr IVANOV , Erasmus Mundus Alumni Association in Ukraine, presented the institutional support and assistance of the European Erasmus+ network in Ukraine, paying attention to the challenges, ways to overcome them and key priorities.

At the end of the event, the participants had the opportunity to share their impressions and express their position regarding support and assistance to the Ukrainian Erasmus+ community and higher education institutions in the reconstruction as a result of the invasive attack of Russia with the support of Belarus.

The team of the national Erasmus+ office in Ukraine sincerely expresses its gratitude to all participants and speakers for their participation, presentation of their own experience, achieving the set goal and presenting our common realities.
We believe in Ukraine, every citizen, the Armed Forces of Ukraine, partners and we work together for a result for victory! Everything is and will be Ukraine!
#ErasmusPlus #ErasmusUA #StandWithUkraine #ErasmusJointForcesUA #Erasmus35yearsUkraine

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