The University of Bath is pleased to announce it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Luhansk Taras Shevchenko National University (LTSNU) as part of an international support programme for Ukrainian universities coordinated by Cormack Consultancy Group (CCG), in partnership with Universities UK International (UUKi). The UK-Ukraine Twinning Initiative is a response to the conflict in Ukraine and aims to help Ukrainian universities emerge from the crisis with sustainable international partnerships and additional skills and resources, to limit brain drain, and to ensure that universities can play an essential role in the post-war reconstruction effort.
LTSNU is a State Institution founded in 1921 that has been heavily affected by the conflict in Ukraine. Before the military conflict in 2014 it was located in Luhansk, a large industrial city in the east of Ukraine. After 2014 they had to relocate, partly to a smaller town in the Luhansk region which was under control of Ukraine, and partly to Poltava in central Ukraine. Due to the current conflict, it has relocated for a second time, and the whole institution is now situated in Poltava. The university has lost most of its facilities, labs and equipment, books, and other resources, and yet continues to operate, providing both online and in person teaching.
The agreement, which formally takes effect on 1 December 2022, provides a framework for both institutions to work together on the development of a range of collaborative activities. Currently, the University of Bath is sourcing and refurbishing IT and laboratory equipment urgently needed by LTSNU to continue its teaching and research. There is currently one student from LTSNU at Bath on a semester mobility programme and additional mobility opportunities for LTSNU students have been offered for the second semester. Bath is also engaging with the LTSNU library on how it can support their needs and is exploring possibilities for online staff training in identified areas.
Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bath, Ian White, said:
The University of Bath stands with all those suffering as a consequence of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Earlier this year, I joined students and staff at the University of Bath in a vigil to show our solidarity for Ukraine’s independence. The Twinning initiative offers some hope and tangible support to Ukrainian universities who are determined to continue to deliver their mission even as the war continues and the humanitarian crisis unfolds. I am very grateful to colleagues in the International Relations Office and across our University for developing this partnership to provide support and resources to help Luhansk Taras Shevchenko National University continue to operate and to help strengthen the institution both now and in the future.
Vitalii S. Kurylo, Dr. Sc., Prof., Academician of the National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine, Chairman of Academic Council said:
I offer my heartfelt gratitude to the University of Bath, Cormack Consultancy Group, and everyone involved in the UK-Ukraine Twinning Initiative. The war in Ukraine is inflicting immense human suffering, it is devastating people, families, communities. Its negative impact on higher education is also tremendous, as it has made many higher educational institutions to relocate, lose buildings, equipment, students, and staff. At times like these it becomes of tremendous importance to feel the support from international partners. I express my sincere gratitude and recognition to all of our colleagues from the University of Bath whose active position and involvement served the cause of Luhansk Taras Shevchenko National University’s survival, stabilizing and developing.
Iryna V. Myhovych, Dr. Sc., Prof., Head of International Relations Office, Acting Dean of Foreign Languages Faculty said:
We have suffered a lot, but at the same time we are strongly supported by our international partners, and the University of Bath is now among them. Collaboration between our universities started in early May 2022 thanks to the UK-Ukraine Twinning Initiative, and it has already yielded measurable effects as it has been arranged that starting from this academic year students from Luhansk Taras Shevchenko National University will study at the University of Bath one or two terms. It is a great privilege and honour to develop cooperation with the University of Bath. There’s never enough knowledge, sharing best practices, making new contacts abroad since we live in the era of continuous changes and new developments.
The LTSNU-Bath Twinning Partnership is facilitated by the IRO with the support of participating academic and professional services departments. Members of the university community who are interested in supporting the Twinning Partnership through, for example, academic buddying or mentoring (with language support available), student-led initiatives, access to technical expertise, access to online teaching resources, translation, or hosting academics for a visit, are encouraged to contact the IRO by email email@example.com. We would also welcome any other offers of possible support.