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Durham twinned with Ukrainian University

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We’ve been twinned with Zaporizhzhia National University (ZNU) in Ukraine as part of an initiative that sees UK and Ukrainian universities matched to share resources and support.

The scheme is also a gesture of solidarity and reciprocity which will help Ukrainian institutions, staff and students during these difficult times.

Many of us have been deeply concerned and affected by the war in Ukraine and as an international university, we’re committed to social responsibility and democratic values. By twinning with ZNU, we’re taking our commitment one step further.

We signed a Memorandum of Understanding at a national online event on 28 June, followed by a meeting between our Vice-Chancellor Professor Karen O’Brien and ZNU’s First Vice-Rector, Professor Oleksandr Bondar.

ZNU is located in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast region in the Southeast of Ukraine, 25 miles away from the current conflict zone.

The university includes 12 faculties with around 17,000 students and 2,000 academic and professional service staff. They have moved to online teaching and staff continue to deliver lectures remotely from Zaporizhzhia and other locations both inside and outside Ukraine. The university has also absorbed at least two universities from the east of Ukraine in areas that have been occupied by Russia.

Protected by two substantial rivers, the city of Zaporizhzhia is playing host to many displaced people and the university is acting as a humanitarian hub for the distribution of aid.

National scheme

The twinning scheme aims to mitigate the impacts of the conflict by offering tangible support to Ukrainian universities, both in the short and long-term as the country’s universities look to rebuild.

The scheme was announced by Universities UK International and the Cormack consultancy group in April and so far, 71 partnerships have been formed.

The partnerships will enable Ukrainian staff and students to access additional support from both the UK and Ukrainian higher education systems.



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