Since 2022, the University of East Anglia is proud to have twinned with the Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University (PNU). Together we share hope, ideas, support, resources and expertise.
This collaboration is co-led for UEA by Matthias Neumann (Professor of Modern History) and Karen Blackney (Associate Director Global) and is part of the Universities UK International (UUKi) initiative, showcasing how twinning partnerships between UK and Ukrainian universities are making a positive difference during this humanitarian crisis. Through UUKI, UKRI, XTX and other Government funding, financial support is anticipated, in particular to support joint research, student and academic fellowship, and capacity building between institutions.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to collaborate on our research outputs in such a meaningful way and I’m really delighted to be co-leading this initiative. From involving our students in filming the fieldwork, to discussing how soil is impacted in each of our Nations, to supporting start up business, we’re working collectively to solve issues. Having Ukrainian visitors in the UK, working with us here at UEA, will be a great way to deepen our partnership with PNU as we continue to support each other’s research interests.”
Karen Blackney, Associate Director UEA Global.
In September 2022, our University Presidents – at the time being Prof David Richardson (UEA) and Prof Ihor Tsependa (PNU) - convened online to further develop this new partnership. Since then, UEA and PNU have been active in establishing research collaborations, and opportunities for student and staff mobility.
During autumn 2022 discussions lead towards a collaborative research symposium taking place in December. This focussed on the three key areas of (1) Science and health: climate change, environmental science, aging; (2) Humanities: cultural studies, creative writing, history; and (3) Social Sciences: economics, public policy and political science. Close to 200 academic staff from each university attended the online symposium, joining these thematic discussions and drawing in each university’s research themes - from meeting the needs of an ageing population to understanding the unique and fragile environments we live in. During these discussions, we discovered mutual research interest and an appetite for future research collaboration.
In March 2023, we learnt of the successful outcome of our bid to Universities UK International, a competitive scheme supporting UK universities to in the delivery of the institutions’ strategic objectives as they relate to research and innovation. The funding allows institutions to scale up and sustain their commitment to supporting their Ukrainian partners. This £131,022 grant enabled a group of PNU professors to travel to the UK for an intensive programme of research discussions and fieldwork. The group joined us in Norwich in June 2023, engaging in a range of explorative, networking and culture activities around their research pathways. These had been fine-tuned from December’s symposium to suit those visiting, covering Enterprise and Innovation (convened by Finbarr Carter (RIN)), Journalism (convened by Eylem Atakav and Clare Preacy (HUM)), and Contaminated Land (convened by Brian Reid and Yaroslav Khimyak (SCI).
Since then, those engaged during the visit have continued to develop joint research initiatives, with a second visit to UEA taking place in Autumn 2023.
For more information about the overarching project and ongoing collaborations please contact UEA’s Academic Lead Matthias Neumann.