Six Welsh universities to ‘twin up’ with Ukrainian counterparts in gesture of solidarity
Six of Wales’ universities have today confirmed participation in a UK-wide twinning scheme with Ukrainian universities, whose day-to-day operations have been disrupted by conflict in Ukraine.
The scheme is designed to facilitate the sharing of resources and support in a collective gesture of solidarity and reciprocity to help Ukrainian institutions, staff and students.
Welsh universities will make up 10% of the scheme with a total of 71 partnerships put in place across the UK.
100 academics and university leaders celebrated the ground-breaking university ‘twinning’ scheme between the UK and Ukraine at an event earlier today, where 24 institutions signed a formal partnership.
Welsh universities participating in the scheme to date include Bangor University, Wrexham Glyndwr University, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Aberystwyth University, Swansea University, and Cardiff University.
Jeremy Miles, the Minister for Education and Welsh Language, said: “Wales is doing everything it can to support the people of Ukraine through this difficult time.
“Education has no boundaries and I’m really pleased to see our Welsh universities extending the hand of friendship to their Ukrainian colleagues.”
They will twin up with:
- Bangor University – Khmelnytskyi National University
- Wrexham Glyndŵr University – Chernihiv Polytechnic National University
- Cardiff Metropolitan University – H.S.Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University
- Aberystwyth University – Odesa National Economic University
- Cardiff University – National University Zaporizhzhya Polytechnic
- Swansea University – Petro Mohyla Black Sea National University
Professor Maria Hinfelaar, Vice-Chair of Universities Wales, said: “UK universities unequivocally condemn Russia’s unprovoked and illegal occupation of Ukrainian territory.
“I am proud to see universities in Wales participating in this incredibly important scheme which will provide vital resources and support to Ukrainian institutions, staff and students, enabling them to continue their work under the most challenging of circumstances.
“These partnerships are a testament to the global communities we inhabit and our shared values of the pursuit of knowledge and ideas, and the role higher education plays across society.
“Wales’ universities stand united with Ukraine and we hope that this scheme is the first step in a long relationship between our two countries.”
The twinning scheme will provide Ukrainian universities, students, and staff with a broad package of support including:
- Helping to physically rebuild campuses of Ukrainian universities that have been damaged and destroyed.
- Mutually recognising credits so that English-speaking Ukrainian students can take online courses from UK universities that count towards their final degree.
- Allowing Ukrainian teaching and research to continue in UK laboratories and classrooms where their own facilities were destroyed or damaged.
- Facilitating the sharing of academic resources such as libraries and technical equipment.
- Preserving Ukrainian archives in UK institutions; facilitating more cultural and language exchange opportunities.
- Sharing mental health support – particularly for Ukrainian staff and students suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to conflict.
- Allowing Ukrainian students to ‘catch-up’ on the learning they have missed at summer schools hosted in UK institutions.
The scheme also aims to avoid ‘brain drain’ and ensure Ukraine’s universities not only survive but emerge stronger from the war, allowing them to play a critical role in post-war reconstruction.
It has been coordinated by Cormack Consultancy Group (CCG) with the support of Universities UK International (UUKi), drawing on each group’s expertise in the needs of Ukrainian institutions and the international outreach activities of UK universities.
In Wales, Global Wales has pledged funding of up to £15,000 per university to facilitate the partnerships.
It is hoped that while this scheme will provide short-term support to Ukrainian institutions, it will also be the start of long-term collaborative partnerships between the universities involved.
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