24 February marked the first anniversary of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Over the course of this year, Ukrainians have shown us their heroism and bravery. Since the first days of the conflict, the University of Silesia has taken care of Ukrainian students and their families, providing them shelter and support in these difficult moments. Throughout the year, the university community has undertaken many initiatives to support our guests, including charity concerts, psychological and legal support (also in Ukrainian) or student aid coordinated by the University Council of the Student Government and the University Council of the Doctoral Student Government.
The number of Ukrainian students at our university has increased to 491. 572 refugees from Ukraine, mainly relatives of our students, have so far found shelter in our dormitories in Katowice, Sosnowiec, Chorzów and Szczyrk. The university has employed 16 Ukrainian nationals under various contracts.
Since the beginning of the war, the School of Polish Language and Culture has been providing Polish language courses for Ukrainians at various levels. At the moment, it runs classes for 23 groups of students, doctoral students and employees, the majority of whom are our Ukrainian friends, 6 groups taking a preparatory course for future students (of which 4 are almost all Ukrainian), 6 groups of Ukrainian doctors from the Silesian Medical Chamber, and two weeks ago, 30 groups referred to our school by the GZM Metropolis finished the course.
The University of Silesia in Katowice, together with six foreign universities, has formed a prestigious European University as part of the Transform4Europe alliance — T4EU: The European University for Knowledge Entrepreneurs. As part of the ‘all for one’ initiative, Mariupol State University has been invited to join this European university, and five of their post-docs and three administrative support staff will come to the University of Silesia. In April, dozens of students from Mariupol will participate in T4EU Week and the Festival of Cultures.
A public fundraiser was launched on ‘Zrzutka.pl’ to meet the needs of our students and their families at the beginning of the war and we have raised more than PLN 160,000. Using this money, we financed allowances for students most in need, who for various reasons could not receive scholarships from the University’s social fund.
We continue to help our Ukrainian friends. There are still active psychological (firstname.lastname@example.org) and legal support teams (email@example.com), as well as an email address firstname.lastname@example.org where Ukrainian students can write to with any questions they may have.
Read more about the support for Ukrainian students at us.edu.pl/Ukraine.