New campaign launches to showcase links with Ukrainian universities

The #TwinForHope campaign has been launched by Universities UK in order to highlight how partnerships between UK and Ukrainian universities are making a positive difference during the humanitarian crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The University of Manchester has twinned with the Ivan Horbachevsky Ternopil National Medical University in the west of the country in order to support medical students whose studies have been disrupted by the war. The university is providing academic support and training as well as sharing teaching and learning materials, and hopes to start providing elective clinical placements here in Manchester for their most senior students – the aim is to stabilise the pipeline of desperately-needed newly qualified doctors in the war-torn country.

These long-term twinning partnerships will provide vital support in the short term, so students can continue their studies, and researchers can carry on with their research. In the longer term, this collaboration will help the Ivan Horbachevsky Ternopil National Medical University to rebuild their campus and play an important role in the rebuilding of Ukraine.

“When the opportunity to support a fellow medical school came along via the UUK twinning scheme, we were keen to help,” said Professor Margaret Kingston, Director of Undergraduate Medical Studies at The University of Manchester. “It has meant an awful lot to colleagues in Ternopil to receive our support, as their main concern was losing their faculty and students.”

“They have lost many students and staff as people have left the country or joined the fighting, funds have been diverted and accommodation is housing displaced persons. Their request to us was to help them to continue delivering medical training so their supply of future doctors is maintained, and they do not suffer an even worse “brain drain” in addition to everything else.”

The university is also supporting Ukraine in other ways. In June, the University and the Ukrainian Student Society worked together to organise participation in a live question and answer session with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in which he thanked universities for their support and spoke of the deep historic links Ukraine has with British academia. There was such high demand for tickets that a second location had to be secured at extremely short notice to broadcast the session to students.

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