The University is one of more than 40 in the UK to have been matched with a Ukrainian institution as part of a twinning initiative coordinated by Cormack Consultancy Group with the support of Universities UK.
Sheffield Hallam University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Chris Husbands, and the Rector of Kyiv National University of Technologies and Design (KNUTD), Professor Ivan Gryshchenko, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the twinning of the two institutions.
An initial meeting has also taken place between the universities to identify immediate needs and response, with a longer-term intention to establish teaching and research collaborations, including student and staff mobility.
Dr Oleg Shevchenko, Director of the KNUTD Institute for Internationalization of Higher Education and Science, noted: “In these difficult times of unprecedented aggression by the Russian army, the question of international support of Ukrainian educational institutions by the academic community from all over the world has been arisen as never before. Universities in the UK are most active in this mission, showing an example of constructive practical support. Sheffield Hallam University, in our opinion, is a model for admiration in this sense. Therefore, we express our sincere gratitude from all KNUTD staff and students for their invaluable motivation to work with even greater inspiration”.
Professor Chris Wigginton, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement and Academic Partnerships at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “As a University of Sanctuary, it is our duty to offer support and solidarity to the universities in Ukraine in response to the Russian invasion. We are delighted to be twinned with Kyiv National University of Technologies and Design as we have a shared mission for applied learning and research. We are working to provide immediate support to the students and staff at KNUTD.”
Initiatives being considered by the 40 universities who have signed up to the scheme include enabling access to IT infrastructure and accommodation, providing access to libraries and online academic resources, and giving Ukrainian students who can speak English the opportunity to take online UK university modules. Work is also underway to protect Ukrainian resources including rare book collections, while the possibility of hosting summer schools at UK campuses is also being explored.
Charles Cormack, Founder and Chairman of Cormack Consultancy Group, said: “I am delighted that the Twinning project is moving forward so quickly, and it is thanks to the responsiveness and willingness to help of UK universities like Sheffield Hallam. We are already seeing the positive impact of these partnerships and by supporting Ukrainian universities we are also minimising the risk of brain drain, with academics and students disappearing into the HE systems of other countries.
“It also allows UK universities to focus their support on a particular partner, which allows them to see they are making a real difference to the lives of academics and students and helping to sustain their partner.”
Professor Dame Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool and UUK’s International Policy Lead, added: “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. 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.”