At European Youth Forum for Ukrainians, MRU Rector Says Education is a Priority - MRU

28 June, 2022
At European Youth Forum for Ukrainians, MRU Rector Says Education is a Priority

June 27th, 2022, Mykolas Romeris University (MRU) Rector Prof. Dr. Inga Žalėnienė participated in the European Youth Forum, "War in Ukraine: Problems, Lessons, Opportunities," organized remotely by MRU's Baltic and Ukrainian Center for Studies, Research and Innovation. Ukrainian students, representatives of the academic community, students and non-governmental organizations were invited to this international forum. They shared their insights and experiences on how they were affected by the Ukrainian war. Lithuanian major universities, including MRU, were among the first in the country to share their resources with those Ukrainian students and teachers who found opportunities to reach Lithuania and with those who were in Lithuania at the start of the war.

MRU Rector Prof. Žalėnienė emphasized that Russia's military aggression against Ukraine has taken a horrific toll on civilians in Ukraine with many families struggling to meet even their most basic needs, including education.

As of June 22nd, over 1 800 schools and universities have been damaged or destroyed since Russia’s invasion on February 24th, according to Ukraine’s Education Ministry. More than 6 million Ukrainians had to seek safety in neighboring countries. This includes nearly 665 000 students and over 25 000 educators. While these numbers are huge, they cannot measure the sufferings of every single person and the heroism of the whole nation, struggling for their freedom now," said Rector Prof. Žalėnienė.

MRU offers free studies to all students from Ukraine and gives them the opportunity to pursue higher education in a safe environment. Students can take advantage of additional scholarships and free accommodation. MRU also provides voluntary assistance to staff and students. In addition, the university has initiated international support from the academic community for Ukraine.

MRU Rector Prof. Žalėnienė congratulated the Ukrainians who took part in the Forum with the historic decision of the European Union (EU) to grant Ukraine the status of a candidate for EU membership. She stressed that this will undoubtedly open up wider prospects for the younger generation.

The Rector of MRU pointed out that the youth of Ukraine will be the best promoters of change, so it is therefore necessary to provide knowledge and skills to implement ideas that will change, rebuild and strengthen Ukraine.

"Education must remain a priority for the international community in response to the immediate humanitarian needs in Ukraine. Despite all the global turmoil, current and future generations must have the opportunity to acquire the necessary skills and competencies to effectively contribute to the empowerment of their communities and to prepare them to meet global challenges. The lessons of the war against Ukraine must be learned. We must find ways to stop aggression and restore a peaceful life," said Rector Prof. Žalėnienė.

The European Youth Forum "War in Ukraine: Problems, Lessons, Opportunities" was organized by MRU's Baltic and Ukrainian Center for Studies, Research and Innovation. It was established in 2018 to expand and strengthen cooperation with Ukrainian universities. The activities of this center contribute to Ukraine's European integration processes, exchanges of teachers and researchers, and research. In addition, they act as a platform for cooperation in project activities, sharing of knowledge and experience with Ukrainian partners. With the outbreak of Russian military aggression against Ukraine, the Center coordinates the needs of its academic community in Lithuania and acts as a contact center. For almost a decade, MRU has been running joint programs and developing partnerships with 26 Ukrainian universities.