Mendel University Welcomes More Experts and Students From Ukraine

Mendel University continues welcoming Ukrainians, both students and teachers, such as Natalia Versal, a professor from an university in Kiev, who is an expert in banking, monetary policy and financial analysis. Natalia was joined by her daughter at the beginning of this week. As the number of Ukrainian students keeps increasing, they are being supported by the first Ukrainian student who joined Mendel University, Anna Veretelnykova. Photo credit: Mendel University

Brno, March 24 (BD) – Mendel University in Brno has recruited more experts from Ukraine as staff members. Among them is a new professor from Taras Shevchenko University in Kiev, Natalia Versal, an expert in banking, monetary policy and financial analysis. She will join Professor Danuse Nerudova’s research team at Mendel University and will be involved in projects on European tax harmonisation. She will also participate in teaching selected courses in English and Ukrainian.

Natalia Versal arrived on Friday after a harrowing journey. She was fleeing from the village of Motyzhyn, about 50 kilometres west of Kiev, which is currently under Russian fire. While she herself had not been in contact with Mendel University until then, she responded to the university’s invitation to partner institutions in Ukraine in the first days of the Russian invasion. “I immediately responded and it is a great pleasure to become part of the Mendel University team,” said Versal.

“All the people at the University are very helpful and kind. I am very grateful for the Czech assistance to Ukraine,” she said. Her husband and parents remain in Mukachevo. “Our village is occupied. People have no electricity, nothing to eat. We know the stories of big cities like Kharkiv or Mariupol, but we also have a number of small villages that are experiencing a major humanitarian catastrophe,” said Versal, who was joined by her daughter Mariií on Monday.

Anna Veretelnykova is one of the first Ukrainian students at Mendel University. She comes from Kiev and studied International Studies at Mohyla Academy. She has been in Brno for two weeks and has started a free exchange program at the Mendel University Faculty of Economics. Photo credit: Mendel University 

Three years ago, she was in the Czech Republic as a tourist, and was already thinking about studying in Brno. “It’s not as big as Prague, I was a bit intimidated by the amount of people and tourists there,” said Anna. She is now actively involved in helping other refugees coming to the University. “I am open to helping Ukrainians, to tell them that people here are open, friendly. This help is important for us now, I can’t even find words to describe it,” said the 18-year-old student.

Martina Rašticová, the vice-dean of the Faculty of Education, who is responsible for some of the aid to Ukrainians, agrees. “Many students from Ukraine write to me everyday. I also forward their emails to Anna, who can share her experiences with them and answer many of their questions. After all, she was here first,” the vice-dean added.

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