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Universities appeal for federal funding to help Ukraine refugees

Image: Stefan Müller [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

German government urged to create a support programme for academics and students fleeing war

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) have appealed to the government to launch a support programme for universities admitting Ukrainian students and researchers.

In the call, the DAAD referred to EU data showing that refugee numbers of up to seven million people across Europe were “becoming increasingly likely”. DAAD president Joybrato Mukherjee said that German universities needed “immediate support to massively expand their existing commitment” to Ukrainian academics and students coming to Germany.

“The situation in Ukraine continues to escalate,” he said.

HRK president Peter-André Alt added that universities needed financial support to offer German classes and integration programmes for Ukrainian lecturers and researchers, and subject-related preparation courses for students.

“Universities and also we as the HRK are currently receiving urgent enquiries from Ukrainian students and academics on a daily basis,” Alt said. “We want to do everything we can to ensure that they can continue to study and work in Germany.”

In a joint statement, the two organisations estimated that approximately 100,000 Ukrainian students and researchers were expected to come to Germany, seeking to work or continue their studies at local universities.

At the beginning of March, the DAAD called for a support programme for German universities based on experiences of past conflicts. A programme to support the integration of Syrian refugees, for example, includes scholarships, language courses and leadership programmes.