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The war in Ukraine has led to destabilization in many aspects of social life. Education is no exception. The sounds of sirens, the transformation of shelters into classrooms – this is the new reality of the learning process. Despite all the difficulties, children and young people remain in Kharkiv, striving to study here and change the city. This article discusses education and war, initiatives, and changes.

Education in Kharkiv in Numbers

Today, Kharkiv ranks second in the country by the number of students, surpassed only by the multi-million city of Kyiv. About 120,000 students study in the city’s universities, accounting for 11% of the total in the country. Kharkiv hosts 70 higher education institutions, including 17 universities and 9 academies.

Notably, before the full-scale invasion, 300,000 students from Ukraine and other countries studied in Kharkiv.

Regarding secondary education, a total of 108,000 schoolchildren study in Kharkiv schools, with 56,000 currently in the city. A small percentage, only 4% of them, attend school in a subway space underground. Live education is in short supply.

The educational potential of Kharkiv is not only about educational institutions. It is a system that stimulates the development of the city’s intellectual capital, forming future leaders. However, this system now faces challenges: it needs both preservation and constant changes. We understand that future leaders are today’s students and schoolchildren who study, research, and develop within this system. And the first thing we must do is create safe educational environments so that every student and schoolchild can realize their potential without limitations and obstacles,” says Olga Shapoval, Executive Director of Kharkiv IT Cluster.

Rebooting Technological Education

Kharkiv IT Cluster, the city council, the Kharkiv Office of Reform, and IT businesses have united their efforts to launch a project to create safe learning environments. This is an investment in the future of the city and its position as a leader in education.

The first step in this direction was rebooting Kharkiv’s technological education together with EPAM Ukraine. The pilot location for the project is Kharkiv National University of Radio Electronics (NURE).

Kharkiv is often associated with student life. Due to the full-scale invasion, there are fewer young people from different parts of Ukraine and the world on the streets, but I believe this is temporary. Setting up a shelter at NURE is our investment in bringing students back to Kharkiv and ensuring the safety of those who remain in the city. EPAM has been collaborating with NURE for over 10 years in various areas, and among our colleagues, there are hundreds of graduates from this university. Therefore, this project is especially valuable to us,” says Oleksandr Lutsyk, head of the EPAM Ukraine office in Kharkiv.

Now Kharkiv National University of Radio Electronics has a modern and safe space for learning and conducting exams for more than 2,300 children.

In the first month of operation, numerous offline events were held here. Students and teachers, schoolchildren and educators come here to learn, perform practical tasks, communicate in person, and immerse themselves in the world of IT. We thank our partners for the opportunity to return to the university and resume live learning,” says Igor Ruban, Acting Rector of NURE.

The Future of Education in Kharkiv

Next up is the creation of another safe educational environment at Karazin Kharkiv National University. Modernizing the facilities will ensure maximum safety and comfort for students and teachers during their studies.

War leads to the destruction of infrastructure, the displacement of people, and the loss of access to schools and universities. We strive to restore a normal learning process. Our strength lies in unity: the government, community, and businesses – together we ensure stable access to knowledge,” says Olga Shapoval, Executive Director of Kharkiv IT Cluster.

Everyone can join this project by Kharkiv IT Cluster to create safe educational spaces.

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