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12 Nov. 2023

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How many men of conscription age entered universities in 2023?

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How many men of conscription age entered universities in 2023?

It has become known that Ukrainian universities continue to be used on a massive scale to avoid mobilization. Find out how many adult men became first-year paid students in 2023 and how the average age of students increased

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According to the results of the 2023 admission campaign, Ukrainian higher education institutions continue to be widely used as a guarantee of a deferral from mobilization. Thus, according to NGL.media, in 2022, about 85,000 men of military age entered universities, and in 2023 their number increased to 110,000. 


In general, the number of new male students aged 30+ has increased 23 times during the two years of full-scale war compared to the pre-war years.


What is the average age of male first-year students now and what share of them are men of military age is described in the article below.


Read more about the changes in higher education that will come into force in the near future here.


How has the number of full-time male students changed during the war?


NGL.media analyzed open data and found that the share of men of military age among first-year students on a paid basis in 2023 increased to 70%, and their average age increased to 27 years. At the same time, the most striking increase in the number of male students is noticeable in the 30+ and 40+ age categories.


YearUp to 20 years20-29 years30-39 years40+ years
202059 49528 8781 700692
202166 44521 9812 186884
202255 68565 24030 27715 055
202352 70576 04043 72227 728

The number of male students before the war and now, according to the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine




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Are men evading mobilization through universities?


According to the study, despite the fact that the average tuition fee at Ukrainian universities has increased to 23.7 thousand UAH, and the conditions for admission have remained simplified (for some specialties, an interview or a motivation letter is enough), men continue to use university studies as a way to postpone mobilization, just like last year.


What the imbalance in the number of women and men in universities looks like:


- 2020: 48% of women vs. 52% of men;

- 2021: 49% of women vs. 51% of men;

- 2022: 33% of women vs. 67% of men;

- 2023: 30 women vs. 70% of men.


In general, more than 200 thousand men enrolled in paid education in 2023, and two years ago there were 92 thousand fewer of them.


At the same time, the study notes that the second reason for this age and gender imbalance is the additional income of higher education institutions. Thus, taking into account the average tuition fee and the number of applicants, in 2023, universities received more than UAH 2.6 billion only from men of military age. For comparison, last year this "additional income" amounted to UAH 1.7 billion.


We remind you! Ukraine has introduced significant changes in the personnel policy of the Armed Forces. One of the key initiatives is to replace the traditional conscription procedure with a new recruitment system. This and other reforms are aimed at optimizing the efficiency of military recruitment, in particular through the transition to contract military service and intensive training of citizens of conscription age. Read more about the updates in our previous article.


Want to know more? Read the latest news and useful materials about Ukraine and the world in the News section.




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