Over a hundred guests from Ukraine and Poland took part in the 13th Reunion of Alumni of Polish Scholarship Programmes. In addition to the graduates of Polish universities, the event was for the first time widely attended by representatives of Ukrainian universities and academia. Also present were government representatives. Deputy Minister Marcin Przydacz, together with Iryna Vereshchuk, a member of the Verkhovna Rada (the Supreme Council of Ukraine), a beneficiary of the Lane Kirkland Scholarship Programme, and a graduate of the National School of Public Administration, met with the participants of the Kyiv Reunion. The event was organised in mid-December 2019 by the Polish Embassy in Kyiv.
The central theme of this year’s conference was “Polish-Ukrainian Research Collaboration.” Held each year, the alumni reunion facilitates the integration of this community and strengthens its links with Poland. It also creates an opportunity for experience sharing, showcasing the alumni’s achievements, and promoting the educational offering of Polish universities. Many of the reunion participants are involved in various forms of Polish-Ukrainian cooperation. Some expressed interest in carrying out joint development projects for Ukraine.
The conference presented scholarship programmes run as part of Polish development cooperation, including the Stefan Banach Scholarship Programme, which is co-financed by the MFA. During a panel titled “Psychological Support,” Ukrainian experts who took part in Polish development projects spoke about their experience of working with victims of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Polish Aid for Ukraine was presented in detail in the context of the publication of the “Polish Development Cooperation 2018 Report” and the announcement of the MFA’s new call for proposals, “Polish Development Assistance 2020.”
Ukrainian citizens account for the largest group of foreigners studying in Poland. The value of Polish Aid delivered in the form of scholarships and tuition exemptions makes up over 80% of Poland’s bilateral development cooperation for Ukraine in 2018.