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Good Practices

The Joint Master Study Programme Ukraine - Slovakia started in 2017 as a project of the Digital Coalition of Serbia, the European Migration Agency (EMA) and the IT Association (ITAS), in cooperation with four Universities in Slovakia and nine in Ukraine and the private sector, as a response to the current needs of companies to address the shortage of ICT specialists. The programme is co-financed by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, within the SlovakAid assistance plan. In 2022, the Programme is in its 5th Edition.

The mobility scheme is also supported by the sponsorship of ICT companies, in Slovakia, which provide students with scholarships, professional training experiences, as well as offering successful graduates a two-year job contract, after graduation.

Aims and objectives

The main goal of the programme is to strengthen established relationships in the academic sector between Slovakia and Ukraine, to enable further development of the student and labor mobility scheme for Ukrainian students and graduates in public universities in Slovakia. The programme contributes to improve the shortage of ICT at three level: it is beneficial for the Slovakia (receiving country), to address the temporary shortage of skilled labor force and to strengthen trade relations; for the students, who can acquire qualifications and skills; and for Ukraine (sending country), to support further transfer of experience and skills and development of business relationships.

Why is this a good practice? 

The main innovative aspect of this initiative is that a comprehensive system based on short-term study period abroad, job mobility and subsequent return to Ukraine is implemented, to support the transfer of professional experience. The proposed scheme is based on circular migration principles, which international institutions consider to be an effective mean of promoting development. Based on the identified structural shortcomings of the Ukrainian ICT sector and the analysis of the target group's needs, the programme focuses on providing practical and professional experience in established ICT companies. Special emphasis is placed on acquiring soft skills, such as communication, presentation, and teamwork, within the framework of education and practice in Slovakia. The scheme allows students to complete a double degree master study programme, a period of internship with mentoring, and a period of two-year work experience in well-established ICT companies in Slovakia. The initiative covers all aspects of the mobility: selection of participants and recruitment, testing of knowledge and language level, matching with companies, orientation, support for finding accommodation and organizing administrative requirements, training, and mentoring in companies.

Results and impact

The project started in 2017 and the first students arrived in Slovakia in June 2018 from Kharkov. During a three-month internship in the summer of 2018, they completed a Java course and an intensive Slovak course in IT companies. From September 2018, they continued their master's studies at Bratislava University of Economics and Management and, at the same time, a practice in companies. From this pilot project, five students studied in Slovakia and decided to stay and work there. From 2017 till now, more than fifty IT students and more than fourteen companies have been involved in the programme.

The results so far have been as following:

  • 2017 – 2019 - 5 students/graduates
  • 2018 – 2020 - 12 students/graduates
  • 2019 – 2021 - 27 students registered and eighteen completed the programme
  • 2020 – 2022 - 30+ students registered, 27 enrolled and 10 completed the programme
  • 2021 – 2023 - 40+ students registered and +30 enrolled (so far)

Good practice details

Target audience
Digital skills for ICT professionals and other digital experts.
Digital skills in education.
Digital technology / specialisation
Digital skill level
Geographic scope - Country
Industry - field of education and training
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) not further defined
Geographical sphere
International initiative
Type of funding