UCM Expresses Solidarity by Aiding Ukrainians
University in Slovakia Expresses Solidarity by Aiding Ukrainians
The University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius, a member institution of the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) in Slovakia, responded quickly to the armed conflict in Ukraine by mobilizing students, university staff, and faculty. The university is located in the city of Trnava, less than 500km from the border with Ukraine.
A 25 February university press statement expressed “its support for the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine” while labeling the invasion by the Russian Federation as “an unacceptable aggression.” The statement continued: “The leadership of the university rejects the unprecedented attack on the people of Ukraine and expresses its deep sympathy and solidarity with its suffering population.”
The university's rector, Professor Ing. Roman Boča, indicated it was natural for this institution of higher education to contribute to the regional, national, and local efforts to assist those who have been impacted by the war, “As an institution, we have a profound respect for universal values such as humanism, freedom, and democracy in the international context,” he commented.
Professor Boča added that the Ukrainian crisis, “has generated a renewed call on us all to adhere to the basic principles that are quite common to any democratic society.”
In response, the university community has demonstrated solidarity and a strong determination to help those in need by suggesting and adopting several measures. Over one hundred students of Ukrainian origin are currently enrolled in the different academic programs offered by the university at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Financial support has been provided via special scholarships, comprised of cash amounts of more than 300 USD disbursed to each one of the Ukrainian students.
In addition, the university established a ‘solidarity fund’ to support the studies and social security of these students. Anyone inside or outside the university can contribute to the fund. As of 16 March 2022, or in just ten days, over 1,300 USD were collected. The funds will be redistributed to Ukrainian students, under the conditions laid down in a directive adopted by the university and through the approval of a special commission.
Further assistance includes the distribution of free meal vouchers, the waiving of fees in the students' dormitory, or the provision of accommodation for several months for Ukrainian students who are in precarious financial situations.
(Source: United Nations, Academic Impact)