The agreement demonstrates the two institutions' shared values during the current invasion of Ukraine. The two universities are already working together to identify a number of areas where academics and professional services staff can collaborate for the benefits of both institutions.
These areas include access to library and online resources, as well as exploring opportunities for immediate academic collaboration in research subjects such as international relations and security studies, and Eastern European language and culture.
Both Universities aim to work on long-term projects such as joint research programmes, as well as student and staff exchanges. The University of Birmingham has already committed £500,000 to support Ukrainian universities with scholarships, stipends and fellowships.
Following the signing, IFNUL Rector Professor Volodymyr Melnyk commented: “We thank the University of Birmingham and the people of the UK for your solidarity with Ukraine. We trust that this partnership will be beneficial to both our universities with areas of research that have great potential for collaboration. Thank you to everyone at Birmingham for the hard work you have put into creating the foundations for a long and successful partnership.”
We thank the University of Birmingham and the people of the UK for your solidarity with Ukraine. We trust that this partnership will be beneficial to both our universities with areas of research that have great potential for collaboration.IFNUL Rector Professor Volodymyr Melnyk
IFNUL is one of the oldest universities in Ukraine, established in 1661, specialising in training experts for education, research and industry. It was renamed after the Ukrainian writer, poet, and statesman, Ivan Franko (1856-1916).
The two universities have been twinned via the Cormack Consultancy Company/UUKi twinning programme to support linkages between UK and Ukrainian Higher Education institutions. This brings together British and Ukrainian universities to develop joint educational initiatives, share best practice and launch joint staff training and research projects.
Professor Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor and Principal at the University of Birmingham, commented: “The University of Birmingham has many academic bonds around the world. We are particularly keen to establish a partnership with IFNUL to show our solidarity with Ukrainian colleagues and given our shared values. I look forward to working closely with Professor Melnyk and his team.”
Professor Robin Mason, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) at the University of Birmingham, commented: “Colleagues in Birmingham and Lviv have been working hard to prepare for this day and I’m delighted that we have signed today’s agreement which marks our commitment to working together with IFNUL academics, staff and students in multiple ways.”
Academics from IFNUL and the University of Birmingham also marked their new partnership today with a virtual academic panel discussion on the theme ‘British and Ukrainian Constitutionalism: Joint Values, Challenges and Prospects’.
Professor Mason also joined his IFNUL counterpart Professor Serhiy Riznyk to deliver a case study on best practice within the partnership, as part of a national twinning conference. The event involved 70 UK-Ukraine university twins and showcased UoB-IFNUL as one of the six most proactive examples of partnership.
The University of Birmingham has already taken several steps to support students and staff affected by the war in Ukraine with direct support payments, fee waivers and relief to some of its current and prospective students. The University is also supporting a number of new students, who have been displaced from their studies at home in Ukraine and are looking to study at Birmingham in September.
The University is a long-standing supporter of the Council for At Risk Academics (CARA) and has increased its financial commitment, with support currently offered to three additional Ukrainian academics to come to Birmingham.