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Student
stories

Roman Radiiovskyi

Strategic aspiration: To acquire quality knowledge and help people

“I am very grateful to the patrons who support the KSE scholarship program. Their help is very tangible. The grant program is a strong motivation. Education is always timely. By investing in education now, we become more competitive. This definitely helps Ukraine.”

In the summer of 2023, Roman and the students initiated a fundraiser to purchase medical helicopters for evacuation and raised $2,000,000. In June 2024, the scholar became a real hero – he saved the life of a woman who fell under a train in the Kyiv metro.

Field of study: Business Economics

Zakhar Starik

Strategic aspiration: To establish his own company in Ukraine, which the whole world will talk about someday

“Before I heard about KSE University, I had never thought I would study here someday. Since I know about KSE, I can’t imagine studying anywhere else”.

In just 9 months, he managed to help develop a course on the use of artificial intelligence for small and medium-sized businesses as part of a joint project between KSE and the EBRD, set up the university’s student page, get a job in a top Ukrainian company, and even founded his startup!

Field of Study: Artificial Intelligence

Karina <br>Diachenko

Strategic Aspiration: To obtain higher education in order to lead social enterprise 

“Studying at the Kyiv School of Economics is more of a privilege than just a routine. Here, students feel special because they have extraordinary opportunities – everything from quality education to internships and exciting projects is available to us thanks to the Ukrainian defenders and philanthropists who support education despite the war.

Karina lived in the United Kingdom for 15 months but made a principled decision to return to Ukraine and pursue higher education at KSE University.

Field of Study: Business Economics

YANA
<br>SLAVINSKA

Strategic Aspiration: To apply acquired knowledge in the rebuilding of Ukraine

“We drove across a mined bridge: I closed my eyes and prayed that the car wouldn’t explode. We were lucky – but we saw burnt cars of those who weren’t. Even after leaving the Russian-occupied Kherson, in the first days, I was still afraid to go outside. I thought that people were a threat.”

In 2022, the girl evacuated from Kherson after two months of living under occupation. Today, she dedicates all her time to studying and plans to start working in her field from the second year of her course.

Field of Study: Law

Ivan <br>Suprun

Strategic Aspiration: To become a high-class economist with both essential professional knowledge and unique skills

“KSE stands out for its flexibility in teaching and delivering materials. Teachers observe how students perceive the material and adjust the program accordingly. It resulted in excellent academic performance, and I became more interested and active myself.”

Ivan received a scholarship due to outstanding academic achievements after the first year of study.

Field of Study: Business Economics

Myroslava <br>Borysiuk

Strategic Aspiration: To return to native Mariupol after its de-occupation to uphold justice in the legal field

“My 29-year-old uncle was killed, and the culprits were never punished. After that, I realized that I want to protect myself and my loved ones.”

She spent several weeks hiding with her mother in the basement of a building in the besieged Mariupol, without water and food. The family managed to evacuate to Ireland, and now Myroslava has returned to Ukraine to study.

Field of Study: Law

Daria <br>Popadyk

Strategic Aspiration: Provide psychological support to veterans returning from the front

“I was afraid to come back to Ukraine. My hometown of Mykolaiv looks terrifying after the heavy shelling. But I want to live in my country, and one of the directions I plan to work on is professionally helping war veterans cope with PTSD and emotions.”

After a full-scale invasion, Daria evacuated to Moldova, where she volunteered to help Ukrainian children. Despite the fear of shelling, she returned to Ukraine to pursue higher education.

Field of Study: Psychology

Lada <br>Kovalenkova

Strategic Aspiration: Develop in the field of psychology and establish her own clothing brand

“When my father was on vacation, we spent all this time together. We never spent as much time together as then. He told how during the liberation of Kherson region, people joyfully welcomed our soldiers.”

Soon after, Lada’s father perished near Bakhmut, defending family and country. Lada decided to pursue a second higher education to cope with her own emotions and help others.

Field of Study: Social Psychology

Roman Radiiovskyi

Meet Roman Radiiovskyi, a second-year student at the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE). He chose the Kyiv School of Economics for its innovation and dynamics. Roman didn’t just want a degree; he wanted to make a real impact.

Roman’s story is one of passion and action. He teamed up with like-minded peers to establish student self-government, making sure students had a voice. Soon after, he joined the volunteer team at the KSE Foundation, driven by a desire to give back.

In his first year, he threw himself into organizing the Welcome Day and the graduation ceremony, helping new students feel at home and making sure the seniors left with a bang. He even came up with the “Students for a Day” event, giving prospective students a sneak peek into KSE life. And if that weren’t enough, he was one of the initiators of a waste sorting project on campus, proving that small steps can lead to big changes.

Roman’s defining moment came with the “Donate to Evacuate” project. Along with fellow students, he raised a staggering $2,000,000 to purchase medical helicopters for evacuating war-injured individuals. These helicopters were handed over to the Defence Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine. It was a monumental achievement, showing the power of collective effort and determination.

Then came the day that sealed Roman’s status as a real-life hero. Recently, in the bustling Kyiv metro, a woman fell onto the tracks. With quick thinking and a first aid kit he always carries, Roman leaped into action. He administered first aid, using his skills as a former first aid instructor, and saved her life. “When the metro workers turned off the power to the tracks, I went under the train. The woman had traumatic amputation of the upper limb. Using a hemostatic bandage and an Israeli bandage, I provided first aid and then pulled her onto the platform,” Roman recounts.

Roman’s journey at KSE is a testament to his strategic aspiration: acquiring quality knowledge and helping people. “Education is always timely. We need to prepare professionals now who will be able to contribute to the restoration of Ukraine. By investing in education and professional training now, we become more competitive. This definitely helps Ukraine,” says Roman.

KSE Foundation beams with pride, having Roman not just as a student but as a part of their team. His story is a powerful reminder of what one determined individual can achieve with the right mix of education, opportunity, and a heart full of ambition.

Zakhar Starik

Despite the war, Zakhar Staryk never doubted that he would continue his education in Ukraine after finishing high school. Now, he is a first-year student at KSE University. Zakhar chose a major in Artificial Intelligence because he believes it’s the sphere of the future. Moreover, the skills he’s acquiring are already helping him work on his startups.

His high school graduation scores earned him a scholarship to study at the university, thanks to the benefactors of the KSE Foundation.

“Artificial Intelligence is a cutting-edge field that will be incredibly relevant in the future. It’s important for me to gain skills that I can use down the line. I want to learn how to use AI skillfully and correctly, and moreover how to make a business on it” he explains.

At the Kyiv School of Economics, Zakhar appreciates the progressive lecturers and the flexibility of the educational program:

“Our lecturers are amazing. If someone is teaching programming, they’re probably a senior at a top company. Almost none of the lecturers only teach. Our syllabus is very current and flexible. It can be changed during the year based on student feedback.”

With a classmate, Zakhar created the whole course of educational videos on how artificial intelligence can help small and medium-sized businesses as part of a joint project between the Kyiv School of Economics and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The main feature of the video was that the guys made it entirely using artificial intelligence. 

The experience and knowledge Zakhar has gained are also being applied to his startup, VyshyvAI, which he created with another classmate.

“Our startup is called VyshyvAI. It’s a service that uses AI to create designs for vyshyvankas (traditional embroidered shirts). With the help of which a person can encode anything from the history of his or her own family to meme, and AI will turn it into an incredible pattern,” he explains.

In the future, Zakhar plans to live and grow in Ukraine. He also dreams of launching a successful business.

“I love taking leadership roles. I really want to develop my own business. Time will tell if it will be VyshyvAI or another project. But I’m sure I will have my own business, and I plan to develop it right here in Ukraine,” he adds.

Karina
Diachenko

In 2022, Karina Diachenko moved to the United Kingdom, where she lived for 15 months. Despite having the opportunity to enroll in a university abroad, she decided to return to Ukraine. Now, Karina is a first-year student at KSE University. In the future, she dreams of starting her own business to support women and fight for their rights, ensuring they feel safe both on the streets and at home. Therefore, she chose to major in Business Economics.

“Studying at the Kyiv School of Economics is more of a privilege than just a routine. Here, students feel special because they have extraordinary opportunities – everything from quality education to internships and exciting projects is available to us thanks to the philanthropists who support education despite the war,” shares Karina.

Karina is pursuing her education through a scholarship program “Come Back Home” supported by KSE Foundation benefactors and has high academic achievements – she must maintain an educational score of no less than 91 each year to retain her grant-based education.

A significant advantage of studying at KSE University, according to Karina, is the opportunities for self-realization:

I managed to start a volunteer club, which I lead. We went on a team-building trip to Hostomel and Horenka, where we cleared debris and removed about 10 tons of construction waste. We also volunteered at a charity marathon and visited the largest animal shelter in Ukraine, giving much-needed attention to the animals during the war, when other issues take priority.We are currently developing a mentorship program for children who lost their parents during the hostilities in Ukraine.”

YANA

SLAVINSKA

Yana Slavinska from Kherson always dreamed of studying law to have the opportunity to defend people. It all started with research for the Junior Academy of Sciences of Ukraine on the topic of bullying and the lives of children in Kherson during the Holodomor.

Today, her dream is coming true: Yana has received a scholarship to study at the Kyiv School of Economics, thanks to the KSE Foundation’s benefactors. The student is confident that scholarship programs are particularly important for internally displaced youth – applicants who evacuated due to the war:

“I want to thank the benefactors of the Kyiv School of Economics for giving the opportunity to those who left the occupied territories to study in such conditions at a top university. It is crucial to provide financial assistance to children from the occupied territories because each of them is currently experiencing tremendous stress. Some have parents fighting on the front lines, some have left the occupied territories, and the homes of others have been completely destroyed.”

Yana herself was forced to leave her home too after two months of living under occupation in Kherson. That time the availability of food in the occupied city dwindled, and shelling intensified. So Yana’s father tried to evacuate the family from the occupation, but several times, when they attempted to leave the city, Russian military forces did not allow the evacuation convoy to pass. When the situation worsened even more, the family took the risk to travel a different route:

“When we finally reached the Ukrainian checkpoint, people were getting out of cars and kissing the ground. It’s nice to understand that you are free.”

Ivan
Suprun

Strategic Aspiration: To become a high-class economist with both essential professional knowledge and unique skills

“KSE stands out for its flexibility in teaching and delivering materials. Teachers observe how students perceive the material and adjust the program accordingly. It resulted in excellent academic performance, and I became more interested and active myself.”

Ivan received a scholarship due to outstanding academic achievements after the first year of study.

Field of Study: Business Economics

Myroslava
Borysiuk

Myroslava Borysiuk is a first-year student from Mariupol who returned to Ukraine after a year and a half of living in Ireland. All to study at the Kyiv School of Economics. And then – to return to the Donetsk region to help overcome the consequences of the war on the legal front. For this purpose, the student chose the specialty “Law.”

“I wanted to enter the Kyiv School of Economics because of the teachers. All the teachers are very strong, motivated people; they really strive to teach us. My favorite teacher is Oksana Syroyid,” says Myroslava.

To start pursuing her dream education, Myroslava was helped by the KSE Foundation donors – thanks to their support, the grant scholarship program covered all her academic years.

Myroslava Borysiuk experienced the beginning of the war in her native Mariupol: first at the age of nine in 2014 when Russian troops invaded Ukraine. Then – on February 24, 2022, already in the 10th grade. Both times, everything started with explosions, recalls Myroslava:

“I was 9 years old. I remember the first day: my parents took me out of school, I heard terrible explosions. It was very loud, but my parents decided not to leave the city. The windows of our house faced the left-bank city administration, where the Ukrainian flag always flew. One day, in the morning, I opened the curtains – and there was already a Russian flag.”

In 2014, the city was occupied for a month. At that time, little Myroslava, upon hearing the news of the children’s deaths in Mariupol, wrote a letter to her future self: she wrote that she wants to live in Ukraine. Then the city was freed. But in 2022, Mariupol was occupied and destroyed by Russia.

Daria
Popadyk

When the hostilities began, first-year KSE student Daria Popadyk lived in Mykolaiv. The city was systematically shelled from the occupied territories until the liberation of Kherson in the fall of 2022. Her family’s apartment suffered damage from a rocket hit in a neighboring building. After a month of constant sheltering in a bomb shelter, Daria’s family decided to evacuate to Moldova, while her father joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

“In the first days after February 24, there were a lot of shelling in our area. But then we realized that it was only the beginning. Because later, the Russians started shelling much more often. So, with my mom, grandma, and grandpa, we decided to go to relatives in Moldova. And my father stayed in Mykolaiv and volunteered to serve,” Daria recounts.

Spending a year and a half outside Ukraine, Daria dedicated herself to volunteering. Almost immediately after arriving in Moldova, she joined the local youth center to help Ukrainian children adapt, who, like her, found temporary refuge there.

Here, she also started attending psychological training sessions for Ukrainians – later, this would inspire her to enroll in the Kyiv School of Economics specializing in “Psychology.”

“When I was choosing a university, I turned to my acquaintances studying at the Kyiv School of Economics – and they said that it is a modern university with modern teaching methods. They also told me about a grant program at KSE, funded by donors from Ukraine and abroad. So, I couldn’t miss such an opportunity,” says the first-year student.

Lada
Kovalenkova

Lada Kovalenkova is a designer by first education. In school, she spent many years practicing ballet, graduated from an art school, and worked with local clothing brands in her hometown of Kryvyi Rih.

However, with the onset of the large-scale war, Lada decided to focus on a new specialization. She received a grant to study for a master’s degree in “Social Psychology” at the Kyiv School of Economics. All the years of pursuing her second higher education are supported by the benefactors of the KSE Foundation.

Studying “Social Psychology” at KSE differs from the common approach in Ukraine – students learn through research and also gain practical knowledge for effective psychological practice and starting their own businesses.

“My dad used to say that when a shell is flying into a trench, there’s nothing you can do. Later, he died just like that – a Russian shell hit his trench. It’s been six months, and my mom and I are still on the phone for hours discussing ideas on how to prevent my father from going to the front,” says Lada.

Studying psychology helps Lada cope with her own emotions. Learning in a group was a challenge for her:

“I strive to be able to establish communication with different groups of people, improve my knowledge. That’s why I became interested in ‘Social Psychology.’ In a few months of studying, my communication skills have already improved, and I’ve become much better at speaking Ukrainian. The ability to convey my thoughts qualitatively is also improving.”

Not just students, but changemakers

KSE students in the past 12 months:
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$40,000
collected for Christmas gifts for children in orphanages across Ukraine. Organized New Year celebrations for children in Bucha
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$2,000,000
raised for helicopters for medical evacuation for the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine and rescue missions
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10
business plans developed during pioneering neural network competitions organized by KSE students
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150 sq m
of basement space cleared in a rural Kyiv school to create a comfortable shelter for its schoolchildren
ABOUT OUR UNIVERSITY

KSE University is among the top educational institutions in Central and Eastern Europe.

International Education Standards. We have graduated over 1000 master’s students, and every sixth of them has pursued a PhD degree at Western universities.

World-renowned Faculty and Exchange Programs. Most of our instructors possess unique international experience. Among them is Roger Myerson, a Nobel laureate in economics. Every semester, KSE students participate in exchange programs, visiting top universities worldwide such as the University of Massachusetts in Amherst (USA), the University of Toronto (Canada) or Bocconi University (Italy).

Secure Campus in Kyiv. We ensure safety and comfort as our campus shelter is fully equipped.

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