Ukraine’s War Damaged Universities Seek Help to Survive

As Professor of Social Work and Head of the Bachelor Program at the National University of Kyiv, she is trying to continue her academic work while also surviving - and seeking solidarity and support from academic colleagues from all around the world.

"Remote learning will be a lifetime experience. We want this generation to carry the legacy of truth and are trying to help them to build it properly," Boyka told BIRN in a virtual interview from western Ukraine.

At a time when she is losing her students who have been mobilized in the war, she is trying to help the others not only in academic aspects but in social and work aspects.

Like many of her other Ukrainian colleagues, she is facing big difficulties in handling the graduation of her students in their bachelor's and master's degrees.

"At some point, we have to arrange for those students to complete their studies and write their theses - because although they've started writing them, they can't do it properly. They say they cannot focus on anything," Boyka said.

Across Ukraine, schools and universities have been bombed or converted into shelters. Many classrooms are now unusable, having been being destroyed by airstrikes.

Some are now used for military purposes. In besieged Mariupol, the university grounds have become a makeshift graveyard.

Boyka and her colleagues hold weekly meetings with academics from all over Europe to find ways of helping her students caught up in war zones.

Academics, including some from Balkans countries engaged in the East European Association of Schools of Social Work, are trying to help their colleagues and students from Ukraine.

'Academic solidarity is important'

Oksana Boyka. Photo:...

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