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Higher education links with Ukraine celebrated by Twin for Hope campaign

Posted 8 September

The Twin for Hope logo - blue and yellow hands joining together

Links between Shropshire and Ukrainian Universities are being celebrated as part of a national campaign pairing UK and Ukraine institutions.

The links between Harper Adams University and the Odessa National University of Technology (ONUT) are among those being marked in the Universities UK International (UUKi) Twin for Hope campaign.

The campaign, which launched today at the Universities UK national conference, demonstrates the growing links between UK and Ukraine institutions.

Driven by UUKi and the Cormack Consultancy Group, Twin for Hope sees colleagues from each respective twin university stay in regular contact via online meetings to build relationships, make plans for sustaining Ukrainian education during the war, and create relationships that will make a real difference.

The links being built between Shropshire and Odessa will see a group of four students from ONUT studying at Harper Adams during the 2022/23 academic year, thanks to generous support from the Harper Adams Club alumni association, the Harper Adams Development Trust and Rabobank UK.

It is hoped that the University will be able to welcome more Ukrainian students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, as well as faculty members from ONUT. 

Meanwhile, Harper Adams Professor in Food Biotechnology Frank Vriesekoop has been working to explore and develop academic links between the two institutions.

Harper Adams Strategic Adviser, Policy, Institutional Strategy and International, Ian Rowley said: “Harper Adams, as an institution stands with Ukraine during the ongoing war.

“The conflict is having a global effect – not least in some of the areas which Harper Adams as a University seeks to address, such as the provision of sustainable and secure access to food and agricultural commodities.

“Indeed, the Ukraine war has shown the similarities between our countries – and the importance of education in harnessing the strengths of each.

“That’s why it is so important for us as an institution to work alongside the Odessa National University of Technology, boosting the links between our institutions, and supporting colleagues in Ukraine to ensure they can access academic resources, collaboration, and support.”

As well as hosting its Ukrainian student visitors later this year, among the associations already forged between the two Universities have been research collaboration on gluten free foods, Harper Adams staff judging student work in the ONUT ‘Black Sea Science’ competition and ONUT staff interacting with the upcoming fifth  Symposium on Agri-Tech Economics for Sustainable Futures later this month.

Vivienne Stern MBE, Chief Executive, Universities UK, said: “I’m really proud of the way that the UK university sector has stepped up to play its part in the global response to enabling Ukrainian universities to get through this war and hopefully emerge stronger.”

And Charles Cormack, Chairman, Cormack Consultancy Group, added: “The response has been amazing. I’ve never seen universities respond in such an open-hearted way and to pull down the barriers that normally get in the way of a collaboration and just make things happen.”

Read more about the Twin for Hope campaign on the Unviversities UK website here.

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