At this year’s awards ceremony, the EAIE celebrated and called attention to higher education institutions that not only have gone above and beyond in their internationalization policies and efforts but are also inspiring role models for other universities in today’s unpredictable world marked by the effects of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
The EAIE highlighted Masaryk University’s responses to both global crises as this year’s most inspiring approach to internationalization. The EAIE recognized MU for the activities of the newly founded MUNI HELPS Volunteer Centre, the University’s exemplary crisis communication and the support provided to international students during the pandemic, and activities helping Ukrainian students and academics after the war broke out in Ukraine, in which University departments and units across the University and its ten faculties took part.
At the annual conference of the EAIE in Barcelona, the award was received by Daniela Vonbauer and Markéta Koláčková from the MUNI HELPS Volunteer Centre; Violeta Osouchová, director of the Centre for International Cooperation (CZS); and Simona Koryčánková, MU vice-rector for student and alumni affairs.
“This award is very significant for us. We have demonstrated that internationalization can come in many forms. During the pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine, we were able to combine our international activities with the volunteer activities of MUNI HELPS to assist international students, academics, and their families in need. The solidarity shown by MU employees and students in the past two years has been exceptional,” said Vice-Rector Simona Koryčánková, emphasizing how happy she is that the EAIE has singled out the activities of Masaryk University’s faculties and units as exemplary.
CZS director, Violeta Osouchová, wishes that MU will inspire universities throughout the world. “When I talk with my colleagues at universities abroad, they all agree that helping people is necessary, but hardly anyone does it like Masaryk University. This award proves that we are doing quality work and that we have the right to be proud of ourselves,” she said. The MU Centre for International Cooperation manages MU’s international activities.
On Thursday, Masaryk University will have a one-of-a-kind opportunity to present the activities of MUNI HELPS to the conference attendees. “We truly appreciate this award. It belongs mainly to our volunteers, who are constantly surprising us with their motivation to help as new crises and societal challenges come along. Thanks to this, we have affirmed that volunteering belongs at the University and can help MU play its third role,” added Markéta Koláčková, MUNI HELPS coordinator, from Barcelona.