Ukrainian Catholic University has ended registration for its scholarship applications. This year, 453 incoming students from all regions of Ukraine applied for financial support for their studies at the university. Applicants were informed in late May about next steps of the process – written assignments and an interview.
How do future students plan to continue their studies in conditions of war? What are UCU’s priorities for awarding scholarships? Which programs received the most requests for scholarship support? This article will answer these questions.
This year, like every year, entrants had the opportunity to apply for three types of scholarships: academic, financial/need-based, and faculty/department specific scholarships in IT and Business Analytics, Computer Studies, and Sociology. The number of applications received demonstrates that, despite the country’s unstable situation, young men and women plan to continue studies at Ukraine’s institutions of higher education. 72.5% of applicants who need scholarship support currently live in the Western part of the country, 12.4% are currently living outside the country with a plan to return to Ukraine for the 2022-2023 academic year, with the rest of the applicants hailing from various regions throughout Ukraine.
This year, in connection with Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, UCU is particularly supporting entrants who were forced to leave their homes because of the war and are internally displaced persons. The UCU Admissions Center has already received 50 scholarship applications from this group. The university has received about the same number of applications from entrants whose fathers are now defending Ukraine or earlier served in areas of military conflict.
According to Anna Turchynovska, head of the UCU Student Recruitment Office, UCU provided financial support last year for one quarter of its entrants. This year, the university is working to increase the number of scholarships it provides. The majority (86%) of candidates applying for scholarships are actively involved in civic and volunteer life:
“Each of them has his or her own story, which is shared in the application, about how they are involved in helping Ukraine’s Armed Forces or civilian population in the first days of the full-scale invasion. Our entrants actively help refugees, weave camouflage nets, help collect humanitarian aid, have joined the ‘cyber army,’ or conduct public activities to attract the international community’s attention and provide true information about the war in Ukraine,” says Anna Turchynovska.
Every year, the leaders among entrants who apply for scholarships are focused on the IT and Business Analytics and Computer Studies programs. The Applied Sciences Faculty received 185 scholarship applications this year.
“The number of applications for scholarships demonstrates that this year’s Ukrainian entrants are interested in continuing their education and, more importantly, in studying at universities in Ukraine. This is good to hear and, at the same time, it confirms the thesis that education is relevant. Education will play an exceptionally important role in coming years for Ukraine,” says Anna.
Dmytro Sherengovsky, UCU Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs, also confirms an increased need for qualified workers in wartime: “Each successful step in today’s conditions rescues lives and increases our chances for victory. However, this requires quality preparation. Knowledge, skills, experience, attitude, ministry, and leadership – these are the categories in which we at UCU are forming the young person.
We are providing opportunities for professional and personal growth. We can provide a quality educational process thanks to motivated professors, dependable partners for internships in various industries, a modern library and laboratory, the newest digital solutions, thanks to safe conditions for study and lodging, psychological and spiritual support, sports, and many other university services. Clearly, an approach to education like this is not inexpensive. But UCU provides these conditions and also provides equal access to them.”
According to Dmytro Sherengovsky, thanks to the support of benefactors, the university can ensure that every entrant who demonstrates academic talent can study here, regardless of financial or social status. “Support like this,” the vice-rector emphasizes, “is UCU’s contribution to the country’s future generations.”
Oleksandr Pitya is a future entrant who has already applied for a scholarship. Because of the war he was forced to move from Kharkiv to Lviv. Upon completion of high school, he plans to study at UCU’s Faculty of Theology and Philosophy.
“I learned about the possibilities and conditions for studying at UCU before I came to Lviv and became an internally displaced person. Our family was looking for temporary shelter in Lviv, considering the university’s geographical location. I really want to study Philosophy and Theology in depth, but now we are unable to fully pay for tuition and room and board. So a scholarship is my chance to study at UCU, and I decided to take it. I am now actively preparing for the next stages of the competition and take tests in various subjects on an appropriate level.”