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War in Ukraine 

(Updated 21 June 2022)

Twinning with Zaporizhzhia National University  

As part of a large-scale twinning initiative supported by Universities UK (UUK) and the Ukrainian Ministry of Education, Durham University has been matched with Zaporizhzhia National University (ZNU).   

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

The twinning scheme aims to mitigate the impacts of the conflict by offering tangible support to Ukrainian universities, both in the short term, but also in the long term as the country’s universities look to rebuild. Most Russell Group universities are participating in the scheme.  

A Memorandum of Understanding will be signed between Durham and ZNU at this early stage to underpin our partnership and to enable ZNU to access additional support from both the UK and Ukrainian HE systems. We look forward to sharing more details with you on this important partnership in the coming weeks. 

Wednesday 24 August marks the Independence Day of Ukraine. The war continues to be of immense concern. Our thoughts are with all those affected, especially those who have lost loved ones in this humanitarian disaster.

Our twinned university, ZNU, has produced a video which you can watch here.

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Employment and study opportunities for Ukrainians  

Our work with the the Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA) fellowships continues. CARA supports academic fellowships for those who are at risk in their home country which includes, but is not limited to, Ukraine. We will commit to funding additional fellowships on an ongoing basis, taking the number of CARA fellowships we offer to six per annum. Fellows will be given accommodation and support throughout their stay.   

Along with Durham County Council and the Department for Work and Pensions, we are exploring the possibilities of offering individuals from conflict-affected countries opportunities to apply for employment with us.  

And we are working through a proposal for offering studentships to those fleeing conflict-affected countries, to enable them to finish their studies at Durham.  

We are also part of a scheme providing access to library resources to Ukrainian Higher Education institutions. Rapid ILL, which was developed to support access to resources during Covid, has been made available to help support the academic community in Ukraine.   

We are aware that there are displaced academics in the region, through schemes such as Homes for Ukraine. The University has an Honorary and Visiting Titles Policy, under which Visiting Academics may be based at Durham University for a defined period, with access to the library and other resources. 

Events and initiatives 

We know that many students, colleagues and members of our wider community are providing active support for those who are suffering as a result of the conflict and that many want to help in practical ways.  

You can find details of the events and initiatives to support Ukrainian refugees and the country’s people organised by our staff and students on a dedicated section of the Ukraine web pages.  

We would urge anyone considering travelling to those countries to deliver aid in a personal capacity to check the UK Government’s foreign travel advice beforehand to ensure that it is safe to do so. We would also suggest regularly checking travel advice throughout the duration of any trip.    

‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme   

We have registered for the Government’s ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme which provides accommodation for those who have been displaced for an agreed period. We are working with Durham County Council to house people who have been displaced in identified University accommodation. 

Working closely with Durham County Council  

It is anticipated that there will be a significant number of people displaced by the situation in Ukraine. We have joined Durham County Council’s (DCC) Humanitarian Steering Group to identify how we can lend our support.   

We are working to provide interpreting, translation and other linguistic support in Ukrainian, Polish and Russian.

Charities and organisations 

Below you will find a number of links to charities and organisations, including initiatives with which members of our chaplaincy team have links. 

Statements from networks and partners 

We are also showing our support by working with our partners worldwide in developing our response to the war in Ukraine. Please see the links below for statements from some of our networks and partners.