In response to the war in Ukraine, Royal Holloway has signed a memorandum of understanding with Volodymyr Dahl East Ukrainian National University (VDEUNU), twinning the two institutions for the next five years.
The memorandum is part of the twinning partnerships initiative, Twin for Hope, by Cormack Consultancy Group together with Universities UK International (UUKi) to share resources, learning and ideas during the war against the Ukraine.
These long-term twinning partnerships will provide vital support in the short term, so Ukrainian students can continue their studies, and academics can carry on with their research. In the longer term, it means collaboration will help to rebuild campuses and play an important role in the rebuilding of Ukraine.
Volodymyr Dahl East Ukrainian National University, at which both students and staff are currently studying and working remotely due to the war, is one of the leading establishments of higher education in the Ukraine and was founded in 1920.
The scheme is intended to create a deep, strategic, long-term partnership that will be of mutual benefit to both Royal Holloway and VDEUNU, with Royal Holloway pledging to provide immediate support as required. This support includes providing access to software and technical equipment, as well as library and English language resources.
It also supports research connections via centres and institutes at both universities, and additional collaborative arrangements such as summer schools for Ukrainian students enabling them to come to Royal Holloway’s campus. The development of joint teaching provision will be explored.
Students at both universities will be invited initially to connect virtually to establish an English Language Club in support of VDEUNU’s needs.
Professor Tracy Bhamra, Senior Vice-Principal at Royal Holloway, said: “We are very pleased to announce our twinning partnership with Volodymyr Dahl East Ukrainian National University, which will be the start of a long-term partnership.
“We aim to provide support, resources and connections to help the university during these difficult times but also ensure that it emerges stronger after the war.
“The twinning partnerships in general have demonstrated the university collaborations at their best. They show the power of education to unite, share hope and change people’s lives. They also show our unwavering solidarity with the Ukraine.
“We very much look forward to working alongside the students and staff of Volodymyr Dahl East Ukrainian National University.”
Rector, Olha Porkuian from Volodymyr Dahl East Ukrainian National University, added: “For our university, the signing of the memorandum of understanding with Royal Holloway opens up a window of opportunities for establishing deep cooperation in the field of research and education.
“The support and partnership of such a famous university is very important to us, and we hope to implement joint scientific, educational and socially significant projects that are important for all of Ukraine and the world.”
Since the start of the Russian invasion, more than 95 professional pre-higher and higher education institutions have been damaged. At least nine have been destroyed.
University teams and Students’ Unions have arranged mass evacuations. Some students and colleagues are now protecting their country on the frontline. Others are spread far and wide desperately trying to continue their research and studies.