On September 14, during the celebration of UCU Days, the inauguration of first-year bachelor’s-degree students and the official awarding of scholarships took place. Friends, parents, and donors came to greet the students.

This year, 193 donors from Ukraine, the United States, Canada, and Europe supported the Ukrainian Catholic University with generous gifts designated for student scholarships. Thanks to their outstanding generosity, students have been provided with 360 named scholarships, which fully or partially cover the costs of a student’s education and also housing at  the Student Collegium for freshmen and students from other regions enrolled in a formational program.

Annually, the university with its partnering foundations in US, Canada and Europe is raising approximately $ 1 million for scholarships and financial aid for students in need (data for the last 3 years). For example, in 2010, with the help of UCU donors, 53 named scholarships were awarded. The University is truly delighted that the circle of scholarship benefactors continue to expand every year and contributions for scholarships increase by  25% annually. Over the last 3 years, the  number of named scholarships increased to 380.

UCU donors at the inauguration of first-year bachelor’s-degree students

The financial support model for talented students in need provides several types of scholarships: academic-social, social, and faculty scholarships.

In 2021, academic-social scholarships for first-year students of bachelor’s programs covered 100% of tuition fees for the first and second academic years. The social scholarship covers 30% to 100% of the tuition fee per academic year. Students also had an opportunity to apply for scholarships offered by their faculty that cover 30% to 100% of the tuition fee per academic year.

Awarding a scholarship from a charitable foundation “Believe in yourself”

Ivanna Mohyliak, who is responsible for the implementation of the financial support policy for UCU students, says, that due to donor contributions, the university can support students who, because of their social status or some economic difficulties, cannot pay tuition.

“Thanks to our donors, we can support prominent youth. This year, we received 195 applications from third- and fourth-year students for social scholarships; 145 students fulfilled all the requirements and received a scholarship. Almost 30% of first-year students received academic-social scholarships, social scholarships, and scholarships offered by their faculty. To get a scholarship, a student has to apply for it in due time, provide required documents, and take part in an interview. It is important to maintain further communication between the awarded student and his/her donor because, through correspondence and reports, students can tell more about their achievements. Proper reporting, academic excellence, and social engagement are often the key to being awarded a further scholarship.”

 UCU donors Dr. Vassyl Lonchyna and Dr. Roksolana Tymiak-Lonchyna with their scholarship holder

Olha Zarichynska, head of the UCU Development Department, notes that donors have supported the Ukrainian Catholic University for nearly 30 years. “Donors gave UCU the opportunity to grow from a small university to a university that is recognized at the state level and worldwide. This support is a partnership which allows us to improve the quality of education based on Christian ethics and prepare a new generation of Ukrainians. Such an investment is the key to the nation’s success in the future. We appreciate our donors, remember them, and express gratitude in prayers. After all, without their help, we would not be able to work,” – says Olha Zarichynska.

The Academic Year Inauguration ceremony:

During a visit to UCU, Mrs. Ksenia Olesnycky-Kuzmycz, a university donor from the U. S. (Florida), said that she was touched by the humanity and respect for the dignity of every human person, regardless of background, social standing, etc. “I was most impressed by the attitude towards persons with disabilities, who were hidden in remote institutions in Soviet times. I saw that students help them and make friends with them. I wanted to support UCU by establishing annual scholarships in honor of my great-grandfather, Rev. Mychajil Walnycky, who was an assistant to Bishop Hryhoriy Khomyshyn and rector of the seminary in Stanislaviv [now Ivano-Frankivsk), and in honor of my grandfather, Rev. Ivan Walnycky, who served his sentence in Vorkuta (Russia) for refusing to renounce his faith and was a UGCC underground priest” – noted Mrs. Olesnycky-Kuzmycz.

“The circle of UCU donors is growing not only abroad, but also in Ukraine”. ­– Olha Zarichynska continues. – “It is very pleasing, because philanthropy was destroyed during the Soviet period, and the understanding of support for higher education was completely eradicated. UCU has managed to restore a culture of charity in the educational system. Ukrainian donors increasingly understand why education needs support and investment. Our cooperation is of mutual benefit because we educate students who become good professionals in business, management, economics, and communications. Our graduates are proof of that, because, after leaving their Alma Mater, they also become its donors.” 

For example, Ivanna Maksymyshyn graduated from the Social Pedagogy program in 2011 and recently signed up for monthly charitable donations supporting her Alma Mater. According to Ivanna, during her years of study, thanks to healthy competition, she was awarded scholarships every year: “For me, receiving a scholarship has always been a thrilling and special moment. And now, on the 10th anniversary of graduation, I join the monthly supporters of the Ukrainian Catholic University, and I want to say sincerely: ‘Thank you for the scholarship! Thank you for still feeling part of a great friendly community.’ I am happy to join various events and contribute, so that every year the title ‘UCU graduate’ sounds more and more prestigious.” 

UCU donors – the Sitarchuk family with their scholarship holder

A summary about UCU scholarships

For the 2021-2022 academic year, 193 donors provided more than 360 named scholarships for UCU students.

Each year, the university raises and awards about 1 million USD in scholarships (data for the last three years).

This year, the geography of first-year students covered 23 regions of Ukraine. Most students are from the Lviv (165), Kyiv (43), and Ivano-Frankivsk (21) regions. Twenty-nine (29) students are from the capital.

55.5% of the university’s entering class came from the 5% of the best high school graduates according to the results of three EIT certificates.