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An information campaign for students from Ukraine was presented today (31 March 2022) at a joint press conference given by Saxony’s Minister of Science Sebastian Gemkow together with the President of the State Rectors’ Conference, Professor Klaus-Dieter Barbknecht and Leipzig University’s Vice-Rector for Education and International Affairs. “Pack Dein Studium” provides prospective students from Ukraine with important initial information and tips in Ukrainian and Russian about higher education in Saxony.

At the heart of this information campaign, which has been developed jointly by Saxony’s higher education institutions, represented by the State Rectors’ Conference (LRK), and the State Ministry of Science, Culture and Tourism (SMWK), is a digital flyer. The flyer is part of the Ministry of Science’s campaign “Pack Dein Studium – am besten in Sachsen”, and is available for download in Ukrainian and Russian. The information campaign is designed to actively support and assist refugee students in starting or resuming their studies.

Science Minister Sebastian Gemkow said during the launch of the information campaign: “The beginning of the war and the abrupt end to their education wiped out many student’s plans for the future in an instant. They have had to endure great suffering in recent weeks, perhaps have lost loved ones in the war, and are now faced with nothing. It is important for us to show them a way forward. And by providing this information, we’re doing just that.”

After Russian troops invaded in violation of international law, many students who left Ukraine were forced to abruptly abandon their education. They should be given the opportunity to continue their academic education in Saxony or even to begin a course of study. LRK chairman Professor Klaus-Dieter Barbknecht added: “Our universities are open places of encounter and solidarity. We can and we want to be there for Ukrainian students, whether they have just arrived here due to the war or perhaps already studied in Saxony before Russia invaded Ukraine in violation of international law.”

“The State Rectors’ Conference discussed the proposal to focus on the whole state, and thankfully the ministry welcomed this right away,” said Professor Thomas Hofsäss, Vice-Rector of Leipzig University. Above all, he considers it very important to prepare students for continuing their studies in Saxony. “The focus is on the ability to study, not on the place. The goal is to provide the most suitable solutions possible, and to do so as quickly as possible,” he stressed at the press conference. “In addition, we want to coordinate opportunities for language acquisition, with the same structures at difference higher education institutions. This will be coordinated by the Saxon Centre for Higher Education Teaching and Learning.” The first step, he said, will be to provide assistance with learning German or English, and related intensive subject-specific preparation based on individual study requirements.

To make prospective students aware of the digital flyer, posters will be displayed in public authorities and shelters in the coming days and weeks. A QR code on the poster provides direct access to the information. “I hope that this will help us to help as many students from Ukraine as possible,” Vice-Rector Hofsäss concluded.