An academic from Ukraine has asked institutions across the world to help “preserve” the organisations behind destroyed universities in the country.
“We want to be preserved – we want to stay as organisations,” Stashchak told the virtual conference.
“We want to retain our students and we want to retain our staff”
“We want to retain our students and we want to retain our staff. We want to restore after the war finishes and keep on working with the students and with the academic staff,” she continued.
During her address, she spoke about her native city Kharkiv, showing attendees pictures of the damage that has befallen the city under the bombardment from Russian forces.
“The buildings are now destroyed, so almost all the universities in Kharkiv are going through the same experience. Main buildings, dormitories, and the Central Library, also a building in the business department,” she described.
“Some of them are destroyed completely and cannot be used anymore, whilst some of them just have broken windows, and still have potential,” she added.
Imploring other universities for assistance, she spoke of how physical destruction is not the only problem institutions are facing in Ukraine; students’ education is still at stake.
“Of course, we’ve been deprived of our laboratories, research materials, equipment and so on, but the research is still there and the potential is still there.
“What we’re asking right now from our international partners, whether they could be the basis to ensure maybe the programs of academic mobility to latch on with students to finish their academic years and to help them in a way to gain credits and maybe to graduate afterwards,“ Stashchak explained.
She also mentioned the initiative being brought forward by Cormack Consultancy Group, whom she is working closely with and has been working to assist institutions and civilians in Ukraine.
The main idea of the initiative, Stashchak said, is to find partners and form strategic alliances with the Ukrainian universities, which could help to support universities in particular and somehow make these contacts personalised to make the universities from both sides “feel that they are attached”.
“We think that this initiative might be helpful for both Ukrainian universities and universities worldwide, and will help retain research at the sufficient level and not only the research education system and quality assurance – maybe it will allow in the future to bring research to another level,” Stashchak added.