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Continued support for the Ukrainian university sector from Austria reconfirmed

For over two years, the Austria's Agency for Education and Internationalisation (OeAD) has closely monitored the repercussions of the Russian war on Ukraine, particularly within the education sector. Ukrainian educational institutions are facing major challenges of maintaining teaching and research during wartime while also preparing for the future. Instances of bombings have forced many institutions to relocate, with tragic losses among students and faculty. 

On April 16, 2024, over 40 rectors and senior officials from Austrian and Ukrainian universities convened in Uzhhorod, Ukraine, responding to invitations from the OeAD and the Ukrainian National Erasmus+ Office. The gathering provided a platform to deliberate recent developments and explore avenues for enhanced collaboration. Representing Austria were Arad Benkö, Austrian Ambassador to Kyiv, and Elmar Pichl, Head of Section from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, while Deputy Minister for Universities Mykhailo Vynnytskyi led the Ukrainian delegation. 

The meeting signified a strong commitment from the Austrian higher education sector to continue supporting science and higher education in Ukraine. It aimed at developing perspectives for university cooperation during wartime and to planning opportunities for expanding collaboration between the Austrian and Ukrainian higher education sectors. It was impressive to see how Ukrainian educational institutions are coping with the enormous challenges posed by the ongoing war, and furthermore, how the ongoing reform efforts in the higher education sector are progressing as Ukraine aligns itself with the EU. 

Since the Russian invasion in February 2022, the OeAD Cooperation Office has also been located in Uzhhorod (previously in Odesa). 

Read more on OeAD’s website.