The UB launches a program to support the Ukrainian university community

Among the main actions are the hiring of Ukrainian lecturers and researchers and the chance to attend a transition course to study university degrees in Spain.

Today, the University of Barcelona announced the launch of a support program for the university community affected by the current war in Ukraine. As stated by the rector of the UB, Joan Guàrdia, in the press release, “the UB mobilises again to give support to Ukraine”.

In this case, the actions the UB has undergone are aimed, mainly, at the university teaching and research staff and the students, whose academic activity and life was affected by the war.

The vice-rector for Internationalization Policy, Raúl Ramos, explained the main blocs of the TRS temporary host program that will enable Ukrainian lecturers to get a contract as visiting lecturers at the UB. The goal is to offer the chance to continue their academic and research careers at the University of Barcelona. The program is available for teaching and research staff who moved due to the war and who are interested in teaching and research in any of the centres of the University of Barcelona.

Ramos noted that, at the moment, the institution is managing the admission of six researchers. Two of them are husband and wife Oleksander and Maruna Martynaneko, who will join the faculties of Medicine and Health Sciences and Economics and Business, respectively.

Moreover, the University of Barcelona will work on another action to cooperate from the distance, in the academic and research fields, with the Ukrainian teaching staff, and the administration and services staff who are still in Ukraine. Among other options, this initiative will allow these people to access a free-of-charge remote mentorship program for trainee research staff, take part in online training programs for the staff, customized and of interest within the regular UB offering. They will also have access to other events such as seminars or research sessions, among other measures. This initiative will launch in April and will last until late this year.

Transition course to university studies

A new edition of the transition course to university studies, organized by the UB Solidarity Foundation, will start on April 25. It will offer 15 places to Ukrainian university students who have applied for or already have the temporary international protection in Spain, or who have an appointment to do so.

The director of the UB Solidarity Foundation, Xavier López, said this is a special action within the Support program for refugees and people from conflict areas. There are several requirements to access this program: a minimum of 30 validated subjects in a Ukrainian university, being an applicant for subsidiary international protection, having entered Spain after February 1, 2022, and having no knowledge of neither Spanish nor Catalan.

López made it clear that finishing this course does not guarantee the direct access to a UB bachelor’s degree, but it is the first step in a process that will include the support from the UB Solidarity Foundation.

Cati Jerez, coordinator of the UB Support program for refugees and people from conflict areas, regarded as “satisfying” the three previous editions of the course to date. A total of 45 people took part in the program, and came from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and the Congo. The average age of the students is 27 and 36% of them are women. The cost of the program has exceeded 500,000 euros and has covered a hundred free enrolments.

“Nearly an 80% of the people who took this course continued their training project, a figure that climbed up to the 100% in the third edition”, noted Jerez. “The transition course and the grant that goes with it, which is extended along the university studies, involved an opportunity of mutual learning, a chance to continue with an educational and vital project by the students. Also, it has enabled, at an institutional level, to deepen in what we know as safe training pathways for refugees and complementary to resettlement”, concluded the coordinator of the program.

Also, the University of Barcelona announced the beginning of an awareness campaign focused on the itinerant exhibition: “Ucraïna: nou escenari, mateixos reptes, which will be held in the campuses of the UB during April, May and June 2022. The exhibition of photographs by the photojournalist Raül Clemente Molina, focuses on a harsh reality, that of forced migratory movements and shelter resulting from the war.

Among the attendees in the guided tour of exhibition have been Natàlia Anguera, director of the Catalan Committee in ACNUR; Fernanda Espuga, on behalf of the ACNUR Delegation in Spain; David Llistar, head of the Global Justice and International Cooperation Services in the Barcelona City Cuoncil, and Glòria Meler, secretary of the International Cooperation Municipal Council in Barcelona.

This news is related to the following SDG of 2030 Agenda: