UUK says UK providers will offer support to students and staff
UK universities are to twin with institutions in Ukraine, offering support to both academics and students during the conflict.
Conversations between universities began this week, and it is hoped the project will establish long-term collaboration across areas such as curriculum content, online resources, research collaboration and the movement of students and staff.
Around 30 universities in the UK have expressed an interest in the twinning initiative, which is coordinated by Cormack Consultancy Group, which helps institutions develop transnational education, with the support of Universities UK.
Janet Beer, vice-chancellor of the University of Liverpool and chair of UUK’s International Policy Network, said UK universities have “unequivocally condemned the war on Ukraine, and we are committed to supporting Ukrainian staff and students currently in the UK, as well as those who arrive here fleeing the conflict”.
“Our universities have a wealth of resources, knowledge and expertise, and we want to find practical ways to support Ukrainian universities now and in the future,” she said. “That starts with understanding their current needs, and this twinning initiative is an excellent way for UK universities to support Ukrainian universities directly, in partnership alongside our higher education counterparts around the world.”
In addition to future long-term collaboration, some universities are already discussing short-term support initiatives, UUK said.
These include enabling Ukrainian academics to be based in the UK to continue to teach Ukrainian students through online courses; offering students and academics access to IT infrastructure and accommodation; and giving Ukrainian students who can speak English the opportunity to take online UK university modules with credits which their home institution will recognise.
Others are helping to enable Ukrainian academics to access libraries and other online academic resources by providing them with UK email addresses, and hosting summer schools at UK campuses to help students catch up with learning.