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Russian students studying in the Czech Republic may stop their studies due to EU sanctions

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Hundreds of Russian and Belarusian students studying at Czech technical universities may have to stop their major or change their major, the authorities announced.

This decision of the Ministry of Education was made in order to fulfill the sanctions imposed by the European Union as a result of Russia’s actions against Ukraine, writes Deutsche Welle.

Nevertheless, universities hesitate to take such a step and force students to stop studying or change their diploma.

Deputy Minister of Education Radka Wildava said that the EU sanctions prohibit the offer of technical assistance to Russians, including assistance in the field of higher education and support for applied research. The sanctions also prohibit Russians from studying aviation and cybernetics.

“We are trying to find a way to fulfill the sanctions and at the same time give Russian students the opportunity to continue their studies. We want at all costs to avoid students returning to Russia due to sanctions“, This was reported to DW by the Chancellor of the CTU, Lucia Argonikova.

One of the universities most likely to be affected by the sanctions is the Czech Technical University (CTU) in Prague, which has hundreds of students from Russia. Out of 17,000 students studying at the university, 800 come from Russia alone.

However, Germany’s international broadcaster reports that CTU allows students to study aviation and cybernetics if they send an official letter dissociating themselves from Russian aggression in Ukraine and then apply for a special permit and thus be able to continue their studies. at the university.

But such a decision is difficult to make, the students say, because they are afraid that the authorities in Russia will find out about their position, which may affect them and their families.

Deputy Minister of Education Vildava noted that universities may lose international authority if they do not comply with EU sanctions, Czech News Platform Aktualne.cz reports.

Data from the Czech National Agency for International Education and Research show that the number of international students in the country has increased over the past few years, from 46,351 students in 2019 to 50,121 students in 2020.

At that time, Russia was one of the seven countries sending more students to the Czech Republic, and the number increased by more than 20 percent. Other countries that recorded 20 percent growth are India and Iran, while Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus recorded more than 10 percent growth.

As a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine, The European Commission asked its services to stop cooperation with Russian state research and educational institutionsending, among other things, Russia’s participation in the EU Erasmus+ student exchange program.

Similarly, while condemning Russia’s actions and showing support for Ukraine, a network of more than 850 universities and national rectors’ conferences in 48 European countries – The European University Association (EUA) has called on its members to cease cooperation with any central government institutions in Russia.

>> EUA suspends 12 Russian universities supporting invasion of Ukraine

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