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Ukraine “brain-drain risk”, unis warn EU

Representatives from European universities have proposed concrete measures to adapt the Erasmus+ program to support Ukrainian students and academics, while calling on the EU to simultaneously “consider the brain-drain risk”. 

The proposals follow the EU's commitment to grant “the greatest flexibility possible” to Ukrainians Photo: unsplash

Representatives have asked the commission to allow higher education institutions to allocate all unused KA107 funds to support Ukrainians

Universities called for “extraordinary changes” to be made to the Erasmus+ program in order to open up “significant funding” for students, faculty and staff affected by the war, in a joint statement released last week by the Erasmus Student Network, European Students´ Union, European University Foundation and the Coimbra Group of Universities. 

The proposal follows the European Commission’s commitment to grant “the greatest flexibility possible” to support Ukrainian students and higher education staff, including the “flexible use” of Erasmus+ funding, an announcement welcomed by the group. 

In the statement, representatives propose the use of international credit mobilities, also known as KA107, to do this, asking the commission to allow higher education institutions to allocate all unused KA107 funds to support Ukrainian students “regardless of whether they were initially allocated” for this purpose. 

“Students and scientists might be less inclined to go back to Ukraine if the local higher education system is heavily affected by the war”

But the group warns that it is “equally important” to help Ukrainians “smoothly transit back… if and when circumstances allow”, noting that “young people and a robust academic community are critical for rebuilding countries after the war”. 

A spokesperson from the Coimbra Group told The PIE News that “students and scientists might be less inclined to go back to Ukraine if the local higher education system is heavily affected by the war”. 

“Depending on how Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine develops, returning to the country might be linked with a need to work under challenging conditions,” the spokesperson said. “It will consume time and financial resources to rebuild the higher education system affected by the war.”

In the statement, university representatives also propose the creation of a “new, temporary and specific funding line to support Ukrainian students”, including support for international students who were studying in Ukraine. 

It also calls for online language courses to be made available to Ukrainian students and for the commission to start the process of bringing Ukraine into the Erasmus+ program. 

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One Response to Ukraine “brain-drain risk”, unis warn EU

  1. I and my two sisters, are german citizenship, born and
    visited school in arab country. we have been studying dental mrdicine ( taught English language) for three years at Kharkiv national medical university, Ukraine already and we three are two years away from graduation, we were the best students in our study,
    We are now frustrated and don’t know how to continue our studies in Dentistry at a University taught in English.We do not have the means to study because our father is without work and he is 69 years old. Please help us to continue and complete our studies.

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