Ukraine’s parliament (Verkhovna Rada) at an extraordinary meeting on Friday, 3 July, passed a law on the independent assessment waiver for higher education institution applicants from the occupied territories of Donbas and Crimea.

The law was backed by 310 MPs’ votes.

The document guarantees the right for minors who reside in the temporarily occupied territory and settlements at the frontline to be enrolled in higher education institutions on the basis of entrance tests within the quotas established.

Previously, such an exclusion was available only to applicants from Crimea, and they were only able to apply to a few educational institutions.

“There will be quotas at each university, and applicants from the uncontrolled territory compete within these quotas,” explains Serhiy Babak, a chairman of the Parliament’s Committee on Education and Science.

He insists that the struggle for the minds and hearts of young people living in the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea and Donbas is no less important than the struggle at the frontline.

At the same time, some MPs claimed inequality of rights and put stress on the need for the same benefits to be introduced for the children of soldiers who died in Donbas.

On 22 June, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy declared his initiative to amend the law ‘On Higher Education’ to simplify as much as possible the application process for graduates of schools who would like to move from the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk, Luhansk oblasts and Crimea.

Bohdan Marusyak

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