University of Liverpool twins with Ukrainian University Sumy State

The University of Liverpool has today (28 June 2022) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Sumy State University, Ukraine.

The two institutions have already embarked on a range of initiatives to help respond to Sumy State University’s current needs at this challenging time for Ukraine.

The MoU was signed at an online event alongside 23 twinning partnerships between other UK and Ukrainian institutions. The event was chaired by Professor Dame Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Liverpool and the International Policy Lead on the Universities UK (UUK) Board, and attended by numerous Universities involved in the scheme as well as Melinda Simmons, British Ambassador to Ukraine, Vadim Prystaiko, Ukrainian Ambassador to the UK and Olga Budnyk, Plenipotentiary of President Zelenskyy.  

The UK-Ukraine University Twinning scheme will seek to identify further ways that UK and Ukrainian institutions can work together to help prevent ‘brain drain’ and ensure Ukraine’s universities not only survive but emerge stronger from the war, allowing them to play a critical role in post-war reconstruction.

It has been coordinated by Cormack Consultancy Group (CCG) with the support of Universities UK International (UUKi), drawing on each group’s expertise in the needs of Ukrainian institutions and the international outreach activities of UK universities.

Activities already in place between the University of Liverpool and Sumy State University include providing access to electronic library resources and provision of an extensive database of online learning materials across disciplines, summer school places (physical and virtual) and accommodation for students able to get here in person, access to space and accommodation for Sumy State University academics able to travel to Liverpool, access to Liverpool staff development courses, support for Sumy’s cloud-based IT needs and joint working between academics on journals and conferences. The University of Liverpool is also supporting Sumy State University in communicating with applicants.

Professor Gavin Brown, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education at the University of Liverpool said: “The University of Liverpool is proud to be twinned with Sumy State University in Ukraine. We are already working together on a number of initiatives, from the provision of library resources to support for online teaching for students displaced by the war. We are also delighted that we have started to welcome Sumy State students onto campus for our summer school, and have many students and staff studying online too. Research links are also starting to be established and both universities look forward to a long and fruitful partnership together.”

Professor Dame Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool and the International Policy Lead on the UUK Board, said: “UK universities unequivocally condemn Russia’s unprovoked and illegal occupation of Ukrainian territory. This initiative will offer a lifeline to Ukrainian staff and students determined to continue their learning and research despite the ravages of war.

“While short-term assistance is vital, both sides are seeking to build lasting ties of cooperation and cultural exchange that will outlast the war and contribute to the rebuilding of the Ukrainian education system when the war is over.” 

Liverpool International Summer School is hosting a number of Sumy State University students this Summer, both online and in person.

Kateryna Zhuk, a 6th year Sumy State University medical student said: “It is incredibly interesting to be part of the summer school in Liverpool alongside students from around the world. We have classes every day, followed by excursions and various social activities. The lecturers at the summer school deserve to be specially commended, they are so friendly and positive. I am lucky to study here and use this experience in my studies at Sumy State University and my future professional activity.”

Professor Vasyl Karpusha, Rector of Sumy State University expressed gratitude to British colleagues and the people of the UK for their support: “I am confident that our partnership will contribute to further integration of the academic community and internationalization of higher education in Ukraine and the United Kingdom. Twinning with University of Liverpool is a great advantage to Sumy State University and we strongly consider it to be highly prospective and mutually beneficial”.

Dr Kostyantyn Kyrychenko, Head of Sumy State University International Affairs Department and Rector’s Assistant for International Relations, said: “We appreciate the very valuable and large-scale support of University of Liverpool to our students and staff, contributing to our strategic policies that have to change in current conditions and leading us to further sustainable development. We are looking forward to launching a shared online learning platform as well as to working jointly on educational and research projects in a wide range of subject areas.”