From the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine at the end of February 2022, ESCP committed to helping students and young professionals displaced from Ukraine by launching ESCP4U (ESCP for Ukraine).
By Leon Laulusa
ESCP Business School
The initiative was launched by the executive management in the emergency of the crisis. We immediately asked ourselves what help and support ESCP should provide. The first actions were the collection of clothes, organised in particular by the ESCP community, and messages of support for the Ukrainian community. Then, as an institution of higher education, we felt that the support provided by the School should also be of an academic nature, which is why we decided to offer free educational programmes. ESCP4U’s aim is to support refugees in their academic paths. A European piloting committee was set up to coordinate a cross-campus effort. The ESCP4U programme contributions are made by students, professors and the administration at all our campuses in Berlin, Madrid, London, Paris, Turin and Warsaw.
The ESCP Foundation has been a major supporter of the initiative along with the ESCP Alumni Association, which has made calls for donations for Ukraine.
ESCP4U’s support for refugees from Ukraine has three components.
First, ESCP has set up local campus language courses (French, English, German, Italian, Spanish and Polish) and local culture and integration courses. On the Paris campus, these courses were run by the student association ERA (ESCP Refugee Assistance). The first cohort numbered 44 participants in April 2022 in Paris and the second class has now reached 55 participants. To make access to these courses easier, they have also been made available online. As part of the Sorbonne Alliance, of which ESCP is a founding member, some students attended intensive language courses at the University of Paris 1 Sorbonne.
Second, an Open Courses component offered some of the courses of our master’s degree programmes face-to-face and online to refugees from Ukraine with a bachelor’s degree. In addition, we provided assistance in job search and interview preparation.
A total of 78 Ukrainian refugees participated in these management courses across all campuses. A strong commitment along with the collective and creative spirit of the teachers and our administrative staff enabled the fast and effective implementation of these management courses. The school was also involved in an agreement between a consortium of French institutions (EHESS, ENS-PSL, Paris 1, ESCP, PSE, ESFAM-AUF and Sorbonne Nouvelle) and the Kyiv School of Economics to ensure the continuity of education for Ukrainian students in various disciplines including economics and management.
Third, we have set up an emergency scholarship committee for the benefit of our Ukrainian students. For admitted future Ukrainian students, we have offered 15 tuition fee exemption scholarships within our initial training programmes (Bachelor, Master in Management, and specialised MSc programmes). Partial exemption scholarships have also been offered for the continuing education programmes.
In line with its humanist values, the ESCP community was able to react quickly and act as a European citizen. Our entire community remains fully committed to supporting refugees from Ukraine.