The first joint study programmes for Ukrainian IT students were established in 2017 as part of pilot activities conducted by two members of the Slovak Digital Coalition – the IT Association of Slovakia (ITAS) and the School of Economics and Management of Public Administration in Bratislava (VŠEMvs) – in cooperation with the Kharkiv Simon Kuznets National University of Economics. The first five students of this programme have successfully completed their master studies and are either currently employed, or continuing their studies in Slovakia.
In the 2019/2020 academic year, 12 students are taking part in the project, who, in addition to studying in their second year of master studies, will also undertake internships in Tatra banka, Prvá stavebná sporiteľňa, Slovenská sporiteľňa and QBSW respectively. Two companies – Soitron and Atos – took part in the project in 2018. Students participating in the scheme will receive both a Slovak and Ukrainian master’s degree upon graduation, as well as relevant professional experience and specialization, which will increase their value on the labour market.
The 2ouble Degree programme is based on a mobility scheme model, in which Ukrainian IT students receive a dual master’s degree in Slovakia and Ukraine. They study their first year in Ukraine and their second year in Slovakia. Their studies within the framework of the scheme are connected with the participation of Slovak employers, who act as their sponsors, offering the students a scholarship and covering most of their expenses related to their studies in Slovakia including accommodation, health insurance and a living allowance. Furthermore, the employers grant the students the opportunity to undertake a mentored internship and, upon their successful graduation, offer them a two-year employment contract.
The mobility of foreign students is one of the key tools to support talent, which contributes to the development of Slovakia. Thanks to the subsequent return of qualified young Ukrainian experts with international experience and the development of interuniversity and economic cooperation, student mobility will contribute to the development of Ukraine as well.
The 2ouble Degree programme is implemented by:
European Migration Agency (EMA), a non-governmental organisation, specializing in student and labour mobility and project coordination, responsible for the coordination of cooperation between participating Slovak and Ukrainian universities,
IT Association of Slovakia (ITAS), the biggest Slovak professional association of national and international companies active in the field of information and communication technology, responsible for expert supervision of the cooperation between participating universities, and cooperation with Slovak employers,
Ukraine-Slovak Center (USC), responsible for the coordination of activities to support joint study programmes between Ukrainian and Slovak partners and involved parties and for the provision of counselling and support of participating students.
The programme is financed within the framework of the project of the European Migration Agency supported by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, which co-finances the project from the funds of the Official Development Aid of the Slovak Republic, SlovakAid.