This year, National University Kyiv-Mohyla Academy held graduation ceremonies in various secure and safe venues on campus. Russia’s brutal unprovoked war was aimed first and foremost at Kyiv. As the university’s central location in the city’s Podil area was not and still is not safe, all plans for the academic year and public observances changed, classes resumed online and in small groups in various departments. Graduation ceremonies were held in various locations on campus to avoid large crowds.
Taking into consideration the conditions of war, students received an e-mail with instructions for their safety. For example, in order to control the number of people in attendance at graduation ceremonies, students were not allowed to invite their parents or friends, because in Kyiv there is a continual over the need to run to bomb shelters. Even so, students were thankful for the smaller ceremonies online and offline within university departments, and they were happy to meet their friends, longing for a return to normal campus life. Some students returned to Ukraine from other countries to join the ceremony.
The brutality of war paused everything in people’s lives and it affected education, especially in schools and universities in east and central Ukraine, areas that suffered the most from major bombings. NaUKMA’s students and faculty members whose homes were destroyed were forced to flee. Many serve in military formations, and others work on gathering aid for internal refugees and to the front.