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Ukrainian student council leader honoured at York graduation ceremony

Vitalina Shevchenko is recognised by University of York for her services to Ukraine during the war

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Image Credit: University of York

Vitalina Shevchenko, student rector at Karazin Kharkiv National University, was awarded ‘Master of the University’ at a University of York graduation ceremony, held in July.

The honour was in recognition of her incredible work in supporting 20,000 displaced students during the war in Ukraine.

Nouse had the opportunity to interview Vitalina in June, where she explained the work that Kharkiv University’s student council has carried out during the war, under her supervision.

All students had to evacuate the University because it was extremely dangerous with the ongoing war, however, Vitalinia and the student council still took an active role in helping their fellow students.

The student council set up a series of virtual networks so that students could stay connected during the war, and not miss out on their education. Vitalina continues to use these networks to check on students and help them share their experiences.

The council also provided free accommodation to students who were fleeing from Kharkiv and actively spread the importance of Ukrainian culture.

In her inspiring acceptance speech, Vitalina said: "This recognition is not only for me, but for all Ukrainian youth that are facing dramatic problems, but nonetheless wishing to continue their educational process and never stop learning".

She added, "We do remain optimistic, and we do remain certain that very soon we are going to return to Ukraine".

The fourth year BA student in International Economy is one of eight people from the worlds of media, business, politics, and academia recognised with honorary degrees by the University in the July ceremonies this year.

Vitalina is also a Young European Ambassador, a role which allows her to raise awareness about the EU’s cooperation with its Eastern partner countries, and she is involved in civic activism.

It is clear that Vitalina will continue to work hard for what she believes in, and inspire us along the way, and so we can’t wait to see what she gets up to next.

To keep updated on the journey of the student council of Kharkiv National University, you can follow their Instagram @Karazina_studrada. Here you can find the most necessary information regarding students, the educational process, as well as invitations to various events.

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