Lund University’s new initiative creates the opportunity to help students in Ukraine. Through a unique crowdfunding project, the university hopes to extend employment and subsistence for researchers and students affected by the war.
Lunds university has, with an initiative from Vice Chancellor Erik Renström, started a unique scholarship fund with the purpose to support students, co-workers and researchers whose work and life has been affected by the war in Ukraine. The choice to use crowdfunding in this situation is because of the aspiration to raise a lot of money, quickly.
The Development Office, the department in charge of getting finance to this project, is inspired by the motto “out of little acorns grow huge oaks”, Pia Siljeklint, head of the department and responsible for the scholarship fund, says. The new possibility to donate through Swish gives more people the opportunity to contribute, no matter how big or small the amount is.
To donate money to Lund University is nothing new. Businesses, fundations and individuals have for a long time donated money to finance research, rebuildings and other initiatives at Lunds University.
“Without economic resources it’s hard to do anything” says Pia Siljeklint. “There are 40 000 students at Lund University. Imagine if everyone donated ten Swedish kronor? That would make a great difference for students in need.”
Since the project is new, it is hard to tell exactly what kind of support the students and researchers need. Right now it seems to be: extended employment for researchers already working at Lund University, make it possible for the university to hire more researchers and to help students to start or finish their studies.
Because of the EU’s Temporary Protection Directive students from Ukraine no longer have to pay study fees, but the fund’s money can cover their subsistence as well. Money for subsistence can be really important for people whose assets have been frozen due to the war. However, what is needed to qualify for the scholarship is not yet clear.
The support may also be given to researchers from Russia and Belarus, who can no longer work in their home countries due to the war.
“What we as a University can do is to recruit researchers who are relevant for us. To enable that, we need to finance these employments fast” Pia Siljeklint explains and continues “The power of crowdfunding is the opportunity to channel the support depending on each and every one’s wishes, capacity and ability”
Right now it is not clear for how long the project will be running, it all depends on how long there will be a need.