One year: the Faculty of Management lends a helping hand to war-torn Ukraine

The unprecedented violation of the sovereignty of the independent Ukrainian state one year ago changed the course of the entire world. The migratory wave of refugees from war-torn areas has also had a tangible impact on the Czech Republic. From the very beginning of the conflict, the Faculty of Management has been actively involved in coordinating assistance to refugees who have headed to the Jindřichův Hradec region.

In the very first days of the armed conflict, tendencies began to emerge on how to get involved in international aid and how to use the know-how of the faculty. Already in the first half of March 2022, a Community Centre was established at the faculty, whose primary goal was to coordinate local assistance to refugees heading from the affected areas to Jindřichův Hradec. In cooperation with the Town of Jindřichův Hradec and other local organisations, it was thus possible to offer aid in the form of public collections as well as procedural aid in a very flexible manner. Material collections and obtaining basic information from official places and authorities towards refugees, connecting refugees with local hosts, language and translation assistance for authorities and other organizations.

A lot of these activities were actively supported by students of the Faculty of Management who come from places affected by the armed conflict. With their help, it was possible to quickly prepare language courses on the Czech language basics, which helped the refugees with a smooth adaptation to the life in the Czech Republic. Czech language lessons still continue to take place at the faculty, regularly several times a week, at various levels of difficulty, from lessons for children to language lessons for advanced students. Several dozen interested parties regularly participate in these courses.

The conflict in Ukraine has also affected students of Ukrainian universities who, with refugee status, were looking for a way to get to safety and not interrupt their university studies. Approximately 40 students expressed their interest in studying at the Faculty of Management after the conflict began during the spring of 2022. Thirteen students were physically involved as freemovers in the spring of 2023 and begun to study English courses and intensive Czech-language classes. At the same time, the offices designated for visiting professors were modified, which promptly became accommodation for the newly admitted students from Ukraine. The rooms were equipped partly from the resources of the faculty and partly through a public material collection that was held at the faculty. In the academic year 2022/2023, 5 of the original 13 students became full-time students of the Czech management study programme after successfully meeting the admission requirements.

The faculty has not forgotten and does not forget its current students. Already in the first days of the conflict, they were assured during informal meetings with the faculty management that there was no need to worry about anything. The staff and students of the Faculty of Management treat everyone equally, do not condemn anyone on the basis of nationality, race or gender and do not recognise collective guilt. A number of students who have lost financial support from home as a result of the conflict have been offered assistance in the form of exceptional scholarships to bridge their difficult economic situation.

During 2022, a new student organization has emerged. Organization In.League aims to connect students across nationalities, linking Czech, Slovak and other international students into a common student life. The students of this association began to involve all foreign students in the activities of other faculty associations, started to offer informal psychological support and also organized charity events. On 22 February 2023, they organized a commemorative act in front of the building on the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine, where they thanked all those who were trying to help.

One year: the Faculty of Management lends a helping hand to war-torn Ukraine