Seed World

10 Steps of Surviving in War Conditions Part 3

Read part one and part two:

Students Killed During the War

We feel the war together. Currently, a huge community of students and alumni of the university are contributing to the acceleration of our Victory: some are fighting the aggressor in the hottest spots of the country, others are helping to solve issues on the front line and volunteering. In their turn, all of them make an invaluable contribution to the preservation and existence of the Ukrainian nation.

Unfortunately, two students majoring in Hotel and Restaurant Business and Marketing were killed in the bombing.

Destruction of the building and entire entrance, under the rubble of which a student majoring in ‘Marketing’ died

Dmytro Mikulin, a graduate of TSATU, died in the battles near Bakhmut in March 2023. We will always remember those who fought for the independence of our country and gave their lives for it. Eternal memory to the heroes.

Studentship Relocation

The university is happy for our wonderful student youth, activists of student self-government. All our students are patriots of Ukraine and the university. From the first days of the war, they donated blood to support the armed forces of Ukraine. They have also faced many problems and trials, but they have overcome them. Most students stayed and continue to receive higher education at TSATU, they join volunteer activities, help in career guidance work during the admissions campaign.

They took part in rallies in European countries and in the U.S. to end the war in Ukraine. They supported the teachers’ initiative and collected money for the car of the Melitopol Brigade, which is in the center of the war.

According to the agreement between Dmytro Motornyi Tavria State Agrotechnological University and Zaporizhzhia National University, the employees, and students of TSATU have the opportunity to live in student dormitories of the ZNU.

In the future, we hope that students will be supported by our partner universities in organizing joint meetings and lectures taught by foreign professors.

Education Resources During the Occupation

After seizing the building of TSATU, the occupiers destroyed the archive and collection of unique books written in the Ukrainian language. Before the war, the library’s collection consisted of more than 400,000 sources and was the largest in the Zaporizhzhia region. The teachers at the pseudo-university illegally hacked the Educational Portal and downloaded the unique educational courses of TSATU teachers.

Education Resources: Relocation

The management of TSATU has provided secure access to the Educational Portal, all online courses were updated. From 2022 to now, the active implementation of innovative teaching methods using digital technologies has continued, in particular, e-courses on the platforms Coursera, EdX and Udemy are used. The Higher School of Pedagogical Excellence continues to operate. The library restored the TSATU repository. Teachers have begun to actively use educational online platforms in the educational process.

In the future, we will continue to create online courses and develop video versions of the courses. We will be grateful to our partners for free access to their repositories and online libraries.

Faculty and Staff During the Occupation

The teachers of TSATU spent the first weeks of the war in basements of the university. TSATU opened its bomb shelters to all residents of Melitopol. At that time, grocery stores, pharmacies and ATMs were looted. Residential buildings in the city were without heating for three days at the frost of -19.4 °C. After the shelling, all teachers, and the student community, together with other citizens, went to rallies against the occupation. It was dangerous and they feared for their lives. In March 2022, the Russian occupiers abducted the mayor of Melitopol Ivan Fedorov, the head of the district council Serhii Pryima and activists of peaceful rallies.

Relocating Faculty and Staff

The university contributed in every possible way to free the mayor. Teachers and students protested daily not only on the streets of Melitopol, but also in other cities of the European Union countries. Most representatives of TSATU became volunteers. In April 2022, I organized the Educational Hub “Tavria” based at the Zaporizhzhia National University (the city of Zaporizhzhia), where all members of the TSATU administration moved. Between April and September 2022, the teachers made incredible efforts at filtration posts to get out of the occupied region: there were searches of their belongings, interrogations, checks of phones and laptops. Some of them spent the nights in an open field for five days, waiting for their turn to leave at the filtration points. Currently, their homes have been illegally nationalized and now occupiers and collaborators live in them. Currently, complete lawlessness and looting continue in the city.

In the future, we plan to focus our efforts on improving the qualifications and teaching quality of those teachers who remain at the university. Their participation in international mobility projects and trainings is very important to us. After de-occupation, our university should not only maintain, but also improve its rating among educational institutions of Ukraine. We are always open for communication and cooperation.

Employers and Partners

Many businesses in Melitopol either closed or relocated to other regions of Ukraine. Their property in Melitopol was looted by the occupiers. We have lost a considerable part of the production base and employers.

Today, our efforts are focused on finding and creating new partnership agreements with employers and companies that are ready to accept students for internships. We have been organizing online meetings with stakeholders to organize guest lectures, discuss educational programs, and provide students with internships.

In the future, we expect from our partners the organization of student internships in leading Ukrainian agricultural universities, assistance in the development of curriculum and work programs; scholarships from international funds and grants, which will help the university not only to maintain its position in international rankings, but also to improve its position in those rankings.

International Relations

The occupiers seized all international contracts and agreements that we had. The pseudo-university stole equipment purchased from international funds with grants. Students could not participate in academic mobility programs and international internships at agricultural enterprises of the European Union, Canada, USA, Italy, Great Britain, and Germany.

TSATU continues cooperation with the international associations ICA and BSUN (Network of Universities of the Black Sea Region), became a member of the international Global Waste Cleaning Network, as well as a partner of the international project Ukraine Global Faculty. Work continues with the Strengthening Academic Integrity in Ukraine Project (SAIUP), USAID, and Erasmus projects in the framework of promoting academic integrity and development of the material and technical base. We would be happy for any proposals for future cooperation.

We hope for the support of partner universities to establish their scientific laboratory based on our university to conduct joint research. We have experts of high international level in the production of mushrooms, quails, development of food technologies, maintenance of irrigation systems and repair of agricultural machinery. We are also interested in organizing academic mobility for students and teachers.

Stay tuned for part four.

Editor’s Note: You can support Dmytro Motornyi Tavria State Agrotechnological University by donating:

Company name: TSATU

IBAN Code: UA303133990000025206055700238

Name of the bank: JSC CB Privatbank, 1D Hrushevskoho str., Kyiv, 01001, Ukraine