Nineteen young men and women stand in a semi-circle as various luminaries (including me) give short speeches about them and their plans. They then sign a contract under which, in return for financial assistance to study at one of the world’s top 200 universities, they undertake to return to Ukraine and work in their area of specialisation for five years.

I’m at an event of the “WorldWideStudies” programme of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation to give outstanding young Ukrainian students a chance to study overseas.  Although the students themselves must fund a significant proportion of their studies, competition for places is fierce and the group of students which has gathered to mark the signing of the contract is impressive: motivated, dynamic and full of ideas.  Best of all, a good number of them are heading to British universities, perhaps encouraged by the fact that a recent ranking gave the UK four out of the top ten universities worldwide

There’s nothing makes me more optimistic about Ukraine than seeing this excellent country’s motivated and ambitious young people setting out to improve their employability and understanding of life by furthering their education.  I wish them all the best and look forward to seeing them again when they return to Ukraine.


Leigh Turner

British Ambassador to Ukraine
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Ukrayinska Dumka


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