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Learning is the eye of the mind: students celebrate their holiday


More than a million people – that is, according to the State Statistics Service, the number of the students in Ukraine. On November 17, they celebrate their holiday – the Student's Day. The history of this holiday began in 1946, when in Prague, at the World Students Congress, it was decided to establish an International Students' Day, dedicated to the memory of the Czech student patriots. In Ukraine, it has been officially celebrated since 1999.

Today the Student's Day is celebrated by the tens of thousands of internally displaced persons from Donbas. The exact number of students who decided to study in the territory, controlled by the Ukrainian government, because of the war, cannot be quantified even by the Ministry of Education. After the hostilities began, not only students, but also universities, left the dangerous region.

Donetsk National University (DonNU) was one of the first to leave Donetsk, and Lugansk Trade University continued its work in Sloviansk. In total, 18 state “internally displaced higher education institutions” moved to the territory, controlled by the government. Most of the institutions have left not too far – they are still situated in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions. The exception is DonNU, which moved to Vinnytsia. They have one thing in common: after the beginning of the military conflict both students and teachers in the east of Ukraine literally started everything from scratch.

After moving to Vinnytsia in 2015, the students of Donetsk National University, thanks to Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center’s help, once again had the opportunity to use multimedia equipment for the educational process.

“The Center promptly reacted to the request of the university and purchased the necessary equipment. We hope that over time the kids will be able to return to Donbas and apply their knowledge for the development of their native region,” says Iryna Temerko, the Head of the “Targeted Assistance” programme.

In 2017, Donetsk National Medical University opened its branch in Mariupol. This made it possible for more students to study at one of the best universities in Ukraine. In 2016, the branches in Kropivnytskyi and Kramatorsk began to work, but the beginning of the academic year was at threat. There were the premises for classes, but there was no necessary equipment.

“The students had nothing to sit on at the beginning of the academic year”, recalls Petro Sidorenko, the Dean of the Department of Medicine No. 2 of M. Gorky Donetsk National Medical University.

Akhmetov Humanitarian Center provided the university with furniture within the shortest possible time and equipped 21 classrooms with all the necessary equipment. In addition, the students received targeted medical support, assistance for treatment, as well as product packages.

Over the past three years, the war has destroyed not only the cities of eastern Ukraine, but also the life plans of many students and entrants of Donbas. But, no matter what, they managed to overcome the war circumstances and plunge into the students’ life.