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One Year of Support for Ukrainian Researchers and Students

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, almost one million euros in third-party funding has been approved for cooperations of TU Chemnitz in research and teaching as well as for the support of refugee students in Ukraine - projects run until the end of 2024

Immediately after the start of the war in Ukraine on 24 February 2022, Chemnitz University of Technology had addressed its Ukrainian partner universities with a statement of solidarity and offers of support. Since then, almost one million euros in third-party funds have been approved to support Ukrainian partners and students. These include two projects funded in the "Ukraine Digital" program of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) with funds from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, which were initially funded until the end of 2022 and have now been successfully prolonged until the end of 2023. In these projects, scholarships could be awarded in particular to 180 internally displaced Ukrainian students who have to continue their studies temporarily from another location due to the war - further scholarships are planned for 2023. Furthermore, a project in the long-term scholarship program "Zukunft Ukraine" of the DAAD was successfully acquired from funds of the German Federal Foreign Office for Ukrainian students at TU Chemnitz. Individual fellowships for refugee researchers through the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation's Philipp Schwartz Initiative, the Volkswagen Foundation, and the European Marie Sklodowska-Curie Program were also successfully obtained.

"Applying for and implementing these projects confronted us with many new challenges due to the special situation, but we were able to overcome them thanks to the great support of all areas of the university involved. I now look back with joy on what we have achieved in the past year - but at the same time we know that we must and will continue," says Dr. Benny Liebold, Head of International Office (IUZ) at TU Chemnitz, which was involved in all application procedures and coordinates three of the approved projects.

Two cooperation projects with partner institutions to maintain teaching and research capacities

Two projects in the DAAD's "Ukraine Digital" program, which will run until the end of 2023, will help implement measures to maintain the teaching and research infrastructure of one of Ukraine's leading universities in the long term. They are designed to help restore full capacity more quickly and accelerate integration into the European education and research environment. At the same time, the focus is on ensuring the academic success of Ukrainian students who cannot continue their studies in the current situation on a regular basis, for example because they had to leave their place of study due to active acts of war.

In the project "Learning Bridge Chemnitz-Lviv", which is lead-managed by the International Office, TU Chemnitz cooperates with Ivan Franco National University of Lviv, which has also been an associate member of the European Higher Education Alliance Across since 2022. The goal is a wide support of teachers, researchers and students with the aim to support the teaching capacities of the Ukrainian partner institution in the difficult situation. Therefore, funding is provided for guest lectures at the Ukrainian partner institution, residencies for researchers and master's students, online scholarships for internally displaced Ukrainian students, and loan equipment for Ukrainian students. Prof. Serhiy Riznyk, Vice President for Scientific Work and International Cooperation of Ivan Franko National University of Lviv welcomes the cooperation project: "Lviv University appreciates the solidarity support of Chemnitz University of Technology and the willingness to expand the cooperation. The project 'Learning Bridge Chemnitz-Lviv' opens far-reaching opportunities for inter-institutional dialogue at all structural levels and involving all stakeholders in the educational process. Particularly noteworthy is the scholarship program for students who had lost or were forced to leave their homes due to active acts of war and who have to cope with the difficult challenges of the new reality. This initiative makes it clear once again that the task of universities is not only to train educated citizens for the state, but also to create decent social conditions for those who are the future of this country. We are very grateful to our German partners for their understanding of the needs of our students, the needs of the university community and for their kind support in difficult times of a great war for freedom, will and a good future of Ukraine."

The project "Support of Physics Teaching and Research in the Ukraine" is carried out in cooperation between the Semiconductor Physics Group of TU Chemnitz (Prof. Dietrich R.T. Zahn) and the Faculty of Physics of Taras Shevchenko National University in Kyiv (project coordinator Prof. Serhiy Kondratenko). It aims to support the educational and research processes at Taras Shevchenko National University in Kyiv, which have experienced negative impacts and become much more complicated due to the Russian invasion in February 2022. A new educational program "Physics of New Semiconductor Materials" (held in Ukrainian and English) is offered to students. The program includes lectures by professors from both partner institutions as well as guest lecturers from the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, supplemented by a virtual practical course using the infrastructure of TU Chemnitz. Bachelor's and Master's students can apply for online scholarships, and Master's students can apply for scholarships to conduct experimental research necessary to complete their thesis at TU Chemnitz. Research infrastructure at National Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv will be supported by upgrading existing equipment to make it compatible with online teaching. Research grants for short stays at TU Chemnitz for teachers and researchers of National Taras Shevchenko University Kiev are also awarded.

Scholarship program for refugees from Ukraine at TU Chemnitz

The project "TU4Ukraine" in the DAAD program "Zukunft Ukraine" with a duration until the end of 2024 aims to support Ukrainian students affected by the war at TU Chemnitz. For this purpose, long-term scholarships are provided for financial support and the integration of the scholarship holders into everyday university life is ensured through professional, organizational and social preparation for their studies and support during their studies. In the long term, the scholarship holders are to act as ambassadors for future German-Ukrainian cooperation in order to support the reconstruction of Ukraine as multipliers and bridge builders upon their return. Six students and one PhD student are expected to be financially supported within this program. Applications for the scholarships are still possible until 31 March 2023 via the website of the International Office (https://www.tu-chemnitz.de/international/incoming/stipendien/index.php.en).

Projects continue long-standing partnership and support measures of TU Chemnitz

TU Chemnitz is a long-standing partner of Ivan Franco National University of Lviv as well as Taras Shevchenko National University in Kyiv. After the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation on 24 February 2022, the cooperation with both universities has gained additional momentum. The approved projects continue a series of support measures for Ukrainian universities as well as researchers, teachers and students.

TU Chemnitz reacted immediately to the events in Ukraine and colored the university logo in yellow and blue on 25 February 2022 as a sign of solidarity with Ukraine and Ukrainian universities. Furthermore, in an open letter dated 3 March 2022, President Prof. Dr. Gerd Strohmeier condemned the Russian aggression and expressed his full support to the Ukrainian partner universities and representatives of the academic environment who had to leave their homes due to the war, announcing immediate aid measures. In addition, existing collaborations with Russian and Belarusian partner institutions were suspended and collaborations with partner institutions that endorsed the Russian war in a statement by the Russian Rectors' Conference were terminated, respectively.

For further information about the projects, interested parties can contact Dr. Benny Liebold, e-mail benny.liebold@iuz.tu-chemnitz.de, at the International Office of TU Chemnitz.

(Author: Dr. Benny Liebold)

Mario Steinebach

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