The members of the Senate of the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) have expressed extreme concern about the current situation in Ukraine and the effects of the war on universities there and on students and researchers in the country. They held a discussion on Tuesday in a digital session, in particular on how to deal with refugees.
The universities are trying hard to support Ukrainian students and academics who have fled to Germany with rapid measures. Among other things, students are being offered guest student status at short notice and with a waiver of fees so that they can continue their studies as quickly as possible.
"Language courses, subject-related preparation courses and scholarships are particularly important for the smoothest possible transition. The universities need additional state funding for this," said HRK President Prof Dr Peter-André Alt. "We are very happy that an intensive discussion between universities, funding organisations and politics was immediately established at the state and federal level. As a central contact point, the 'Science Bridge Ukraine' will provide important services. We are grateful to the DAAD for coordinating this platform."
Within this framework, a number of concrete financial and legal questions will now have to be clarified quickly. In addition to securing the financial livelihood of Ukrainian students and expanding the capacities of language courses, this includes the creation of childcare facilities for the numerous children who are coming to Germany accompanied by students and academics, psychological support and counselling for refugees in their mother tongue, and also appropriate regulations for students from third countries who have studied in Ukraine up to now.
President Alt: "Incidentally, the current situation and the discussion in the HRK Senate once again prove how important it is to cultivate and strengthen the so-called rare disciplines, which include regional studies such as Central and Eastern European studies."