The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) calls for a funding programme for German universities to integrate students, researchers and teachers from Ukraine. Yesterday (1.3.), the DAAD exchanged views with its member universities on the current developments in Ukraine and the challenges ahead.
"On behalf of the DAAD, I would like to sincerely thank our member universities, their staff and students for their solidarity with Ukraine and their own initiatives in recent days. They are working hard to support Ukrainians at their universities. Furthermore, in accordance with our recommendations, they are suspending their cooperation with Russian institutions, thus supporting the measures taken by the German government and the European Union to sanction and isolate Russia," said DAAD President Prof. Dr Joybrato Mukherjee.
After the talks with the member universities, he said, it had become clear that the universities in the country needed to be put in a position promptly to take intensive care of refugee students and academics from Ukraine. "If we imagine a prolonged war in Ukraine or a full-scale Russian occupation regime in the country, we have to expect a very large number of Ukrainians to come to us and be looked after. We therefore need as soon as possible a large support programme financed by the German government for the universities so that they can offer Ukrainian students and academics a perspective," Mukherjee continued. The additional needs of the German student unions must also be taken into account.
From the DAAD's point of view, a support programme should consist of several pillars that have already proven their worth in other conflicts:
- Scholarships for Ukrainian students, doctoral candidates and academics who will be joining us in the coming weeks and months, as well as the unbureaucratic extension of support for those who are already with us;
- Supporting the German universities in supervising and accompanying the Ukrainians during the funding period and beyond;
- Supporting German higher education institutions in the professional and linguistic further qualification of academically pre-qualified specialists with a view to the German labour market;
- Supporting German higher education institutions in the development and provision of digital offerings for their Ukrainian partner institutions for as long as they are able to maintain their operations;
- Leadership programmes for future leaders who will take on leadership roles once the situation in Ukraine stabilises at a later date.
The DAAD is already in talks with the German government about the programme elements.