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Edinburgh’s twinning with Kyiv bolstered as signing forges new links

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The University of Edinburgh and Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv in Ukraine have today (Thursday, 19 April) signed a Memorandum of Understanding.

Part of a UK-Ukraine higher education twinning initiative, this formal alliance signals that the institutions will strengthen their links – with plans to hold joint public lectures and welcome Ukrainian students to Scotland this summer already in place.

During the MOU signing, leaders of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv and the University of Edinburgh spoke of their hopes for the new partnership – the first of its kind in Scotland – and for cooperation across Ukrainian and UK higher education and research.

The online event took place on Vyshyvanka Day, a national celebration of Ukrainian culture that aims to preserve the folk tradition of crafting and wearing colourful embroidered clothes.

To mark the signing of the agreement, the National University of Kyiv produced an online exhibition showcasing the exquisite craftsmanship that goes into the creation of the national dress. 

As a result of this formal partnership Professor Mykola Kapitonenko of the National University will hold a public online lecture titled, Why Russia Invaded Ukraine and What Comes Next.

During the event on 7 June, the expert in International Relations will explore the huge risks Russian leadership have taken by invading Ukraine.

Students from Kyiv will also receive funding to participate in the Una Europa One Health Summer School in Edinburgh this July. The two-week programme will bring together students and staff from across Europe to explore new ways to tackle global challenges.

Despite the ongoing war in Ukraine, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv remains open, with many students and staff studying and working remotely.

This alliance will provide practical support to enable the National University to sustain its operations during this turbulent period and to deepen collaborations and opportunities for mutual gain in the future.

The partnership builds on the City of Edinburgh’s existing twinning arrangement with Kyiv. It was initiated as part of a new scheme to pair UK and Ukrainian universities co-ordinated by Cormack Consultancy Group, which promotes international links in higher education, with the support of Universities UK (UUK).

Professor Volodymyr Bugrov, Rector of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, said:

“Cooperation of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv with one of the leading UK universities and one of the oldest universities in Scotland opens promising opportunities in education and science. Our collaboration is evolving as a constructive partnership to support Ukraine’s reconstruction after victory over the Russian aggressor and development of higher education in our country.”

Professor Peter Mathieson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, said:

“In signing this Memorandum of Understanding, both institutions are cementing a deep commitment to work more closely on opportunities across teaching, learning and research. I am delighted that we will be co-hosting the esteemed Professor Kapitonenko’s lecture next month, and welcoming Ukrainian students to Edinburgh this summer.”

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