UK universities help Ukraine ‘twins’ through and beyond war

A growing number of universities in the United Kingdom are pledging to help rebuild campuses damaged or destroyed once the fighting stops in the Russian war against Ukraine while providing short-term ‘virtual support’ by recognising credits so that English-speaking Ukrainian students can complete their degrees, via online courses from UK universities, through twinning agreements.

So far, 71 universities have confirmed twinning partnerships with Ukrainian universities under an initiative coordinated by the Cormack Consultancy Group and Universities UK International (UUKi).

Most of the institutions signing up are based in the United Kingdom, but several in North America have also joined the scheme.

Five years of support

Universities will be expected to partner directly with their Ukrainian counterparts for a minimum of five years.

As well as pledging to help physically rebuild damaged and destroyed campuses once the war ends and letting English-speaking Ukrainian students complete their degrees online, the partnerships will provide a wide range of practical assistance.

This includes facilitating the sharing of academic resources such as libraries and technical equipment, allowing Ukrainian teaching and research to continue in UK laboratories and classrooms in cases where facilities have been destroyed or damaged in Ukraine, and preserving Ukrainian archives in UK institutions and facilitating more cultural and language exchange opportunities.

It also involves sharing mental health support – particularly for Ukrainian staff and students suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and allowing Ukrainian students to ‘catch-up’ the learning they miss at summer schools hosted in UK institutions.

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