There has been war in their homeland for many months, but they want to study - high school graduates who have fled from Ukraine. To make this possible for them, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, in cooperation with the National Technical University in Kharkiv, has been offering a study program for bachelor's degrees with a double degree since last winter semester. Last year, the Ukrainian students studied online in Kharkiv and diligently learned German. At the beginning of this winter semester, they arrived in Magdeburg to continue their studies here in presence in one of the bachelor programs such as electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, electromobility or chemical engineering.
"The program got off to a very good start," says Prof. Martin Wolter, who launched the program together with Dr. Denys Meshov from NTU Kharkiv and is head of the Institute for Electrical Energy Systems at Magdeburg University. "In the end, around 40 students enrolled in the three engineering faculties at Magdeburg University. They are studying quite regularly together with their German fellow students in the bachelor's degree programs offered. In parallel, they are improving their German language skills."
The Ukrainian students will complete their bachelor's degree in Magdeburg and, as soon as they have reached the appropriate language level, can also take their master's degree at the University of Magdeburg. Since the examinations taken here are also recognized in Kharkiv, the students are free to continue their studies there for a Master's degree. At the end of their studies, the students can look forward to two Bachelor's degrees - one from the University of Magdeburg and one from the University of Kharkiv.
Presentation by Prof. Martin Wolter at the welcome event for Ukrainian refugees (Photo: Hannah Theile / Uni Magdeburg)
To ensure that the young people settle in quickly at the university and feel at home in the foreign city, they receive special support. "In addition to the newly launched study program for the bachelor's degree, the original DSG program with a double degree for master's students has been in place for some time. In the course of this, an office was also set up where representatives of the participating faculties are available as administrative contacts. In addition, there is a mentoring program, i.e. Ukrainian master students of higher semesters support the bachelor students in settling in and in everyday life. A buddy program with German students is also planned for the future," says Prof. Wolter.
The coordinator of the DSG2 program from NTU Kharkiv, Dr. Denys Meshkov, states, "the introduction of a double degree program for our universities is not only another promising area of our long-term cooperation, but a comprehensive solution to support Ukrainian refugees during the war. Our project enables active, determined and motivated students to start studying at a German university as soon as possible. The studies take place in fields of study that are in urgent demand on the labor market, which is an additional incentive for the students. And we can already see that the successful implementation of the DSG2 project in 2022 has led to a significant increase in interest from applicants for our joint program in 2023."
The study program is also to be continued in the future, as interest remains unbroken, he says. "The registration figures for the first academic year in Kharkiv are just under 200, which means that interest in the program has increased even further," says Prof. Wolter. The program will not be a permanent solution, however, because it will initially serve to bridge the war situation, according to Prof. Wolter. "As soon as regular university operations are possible again in Kharkiv, we want to transform the program into a more balanced double degree program, in which students hear the majority of the lectures at their home university."
Further information in Ukrainian about the study program can be found on the homepage of the University of Kharkiv.