Friday, 29 September 2023
The Rector of a Ukrainian university is to meet academics and scholars who were displaced to the East Midlands following the Russian invasion of their country, as part of a visit hosted by the University of Nottingham.
The University of Nottingham and the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) in Lviv have been developing closer links since 2022 when the two institutions were matched by the UUKi UK-Ukraine University Twinning Initiative.
The visit acknowledges the major role the region has played in the UK’s effort to support people displaced by war in Ukraine. From economic to cultural integration, businesses, organisations and communities across the East Midlands have stepped up to provide jobs, homes, healthcare and friendship.
Dr Taras Dobko, Rector of UCU, will meet members of the Ukrainian community living in Nottingham, work with University of Nottingham colleagues on the development of joint teaching and research initiatives and deliver a public lecture at Lakeside Arts Centre on University Park Campus during his visit to the city on Tuesday October 3.
As a university without borders, we passionately believe in the sanctity of education.
He added: "We are delighted that we have been able to offer a sanctuary for academics who have been displaced by the terrible conflict in their homeland, providing the security to continue their research activity and enabling them to build international academic links.
"The new collaborations we are forging in teaching and research will support ongoing relationships for our mutual benefit that will have a lasting and positive impact that will outlast the war that has brought us together."
Improving humanities teaching in Ukraine
Dr Dobko will start the day with a visit to the Ukrainian Culture Centre in Nottingham, which is run by the Nottingham branch of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB) and has been supporting the city’s thriving Ukrainian community for 60 years. He will be speaking to members about the centre’s work to provide a wide range of activities designed to keep Ukrainian culture and traditions alive, including a Ukrainian language school, a choir, an orchestra, and dancing, theatrical and youth groups. He will also hear more about how the centre has supported Ukrainian refugees forced to leave their homeland by the current conflict with Russia.
In the afternoon, he will travel to Trent Building on University Park to meet with the university’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Shearer West to sign an agreement between the two institutions for a new UCU-UON Dual Master’s Programme, which will challenge Russian propaganda and improve Humanities teaching, knowledge and research in Ukraine.
The programme, which has been funded by Mosaik and arranged through the Cormack Consultancy Group, will focus on themes of heritage, memory and identity, and will help students to understand Ukraine as it is now.
Discussions will also take place around joint research projects funded by UUKi as part of the twinning initiative which will see Nottingham and Ukrainian academics working collaboratively in the areas of War and Resilience, Religion and War, Moral and Legal Considerations of Wartime Actors, or Integral Human Development and Sustainable Reconstruction.
Dr Dobko will meet researchers and PhD students who have come to Nottingham thanks to support from the university’s Scholars at Risk programme, which enables them to continue their studies safely and covers costs such as accommodation, stipend, consumables, travel to the UK and welcome packs – as well as pastoral and mental health support to scholars.
The university has provided support to scholars from a number of Ukrainian institutions including Institute for Information Recording of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, State Biotechnological University, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, and West Ukrainian National University.
We have witnessed from afar the horrors that the Russian invasion has inflicted on the people of Ukraine. So it has been wonderful to see the way that Nottingham has responded, by putting its arms around members of the Ukrainian community who have been forced to flee their homes.
He added: "Their presence in Nottingham contributes to the diversity and cultural lifeblood of our city.
“Across our university community and the wider Nottinghamshire community, people have opened up their homes to those in need and we are proud to have played our part in that support.”
From 6.30pm to 8pm, Angear Visitor centre at Lakeside Arts will host a special evening featuring a public lecture by Dr Dobko entitled On the Battle of Wills: Lessons from the War about Democracy and Resilience, in which he will share his views on what the Russian invasion tells us about democracy and the resilience of nations. There will be an opportunity for the audience to ask questions about the current situation in Ukraine, meet more of the university’s new Ukrainian community, and talk to others in the region who have supported the resettlement effort.
The lecture is a free event but booking is essential and can be done online at https://rb.gy/8h7fh
Notes to editors:
About the University of Nottingham
Ranked 32 in Europe and 16th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024, the University of Nottingham is a founding member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement.
Nottingham was crowned Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024 – the third time it has been given the honour since 2018 – and by the Daily Mail University Guide 2024.
The university is among the best universities in the UK for the strength of our research, positioned seventh for research power in the UK according to REF 2021. The birthplace of discoveries such as MRI and ibuprofen, our innovations transform lives and tackle global problems such as sustainable food supplies, ending modern slavery, developing greener transport, and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
The university is a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally - and our graduates are the second most targeted by the UK's top employers, according to The Graduate Market in 2022 report by High Fliers Research.
We lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, a pioneering collaboration between the city’s two world-class institutions to improve levels of prosperity, opportunity, sustainability, health and wellbeing for residents in the city and region we are proud to call home.