Polish Universities Help Students from Belarus
Polish universities, where Belarusians are the second largest group of foreign students, manifest their solidarity with Belarusian youth in the context of the current situation in their country and offer them support.
The Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA) is going to support students, scientists and teachers with scholarships as part of the government initiative ‘Solidary with Belarus.’ Polish universities also undertake various activities aimed at supporting Belarus. Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin has launched a special edition of its programme ‘The Best Applicant Contest’ (Talenty na UMCS). It is directed at students and candidates from Belarus who have obtained the bachelor’s degree and are unable to take up second-cycle studies in Belarus or have been expelled from their university. The programme offers the possibility to continue higher education to those Belarusian students who have been deprived of such a possibility for reasons related to the current situation in their country. The university provides ten places in second-degree programmes free of charge. Last year, a total of 1800 foreigners from almost 50 countries studied at Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin. This number included more than 420 students from Belarus.
Similarly, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań offers Belarusian students who have been expelled from their institutions the possibility to study at AMU free of charge. As the university authorities inform, it is an expression of solidarity of the AMU academic community with the people of Belarus and of support for their struggle for a free, democratic, civic and law-abiding Belarus.
‘The year 2020 will go down in the history of the Belarusian nation, which has just now decided to claim the right of every citizen in a democratic state, the right to choose the government. We hope that the protests and actions of the Belarusian society will lead to a happy ending and desired changes in Belarus,’ former Rector Prof. Andrzej Lesicki and Rector-elect Prof. Bogumiła Kaniewska explain on the AMU website.
In the past academic year, 232 students from Belarus studied at Adam Mickiewicz University.
Belarusian students at Wrocław University of Science and Technology, in turn, can apply for financial assistance on account of the current difficult situation in their homeland. The university grants benefits on account of the death of the student’s closest family member, the student’s or their family member’s serious disease or the student’s difficult life situation caused by the political situation or the epidemic (e.g. related to the loss of income).
The University of Silesia in Katowice has announced additional recruitment process for Belarusian citizens extended until 30 October. The university has provided additional 40 places for this academic year with flexible terms of starting the academic year and personal attendance in classes. For the first month, students from Belarus will be provided with free accommodation at the university’s dormitories.
In addition, Belarusians who study at the University of Silesia will have the opportunity to attend free of charge Polish language courses held by the School of Polish Language and Culture. Furthermore, they will be provided with psychological support as well as vocational and legal counselling by the Student Service Centre, the Ombudsman and the Student Law Counselling Service. They can also count on support in their individual development from the Career Office and through participation in university initiatives and work for the university (in the form of voluntary service, contracts of mandate and other forms of cooperation). ‘You can count on us!’ the authorities of the University of Silesia ensure Belarusian students.
According to Statistics Poland, more than seven thousand Belarusians studied at Polish universities in the academic year 2018/2019. They form the second largest group of foreigners who choose education in Poland – after the Ukrainians. Belarusians amounted to 9.3% of all foreign students in Poland.