Aston University's response to the conflict in Ukraine
The University Executive strongly condemn the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing war in Ukraine. Our immediate priority has continued to be the wellbeing and the safety of our students and staff, whilst also having our thoughts and hearts with the people of Ukraine and with anyone within our university community with family, friends or colleagues there. We also know that many individual Russian academics, including those who are based at Aston University, are as horrified at what is happening in Ukraine as the rest of us are.
It is difficult to fully comprehend that there is war in Europe and that close to 10 million Ukrainians have been displaced from their home and close to 4 million have left the country in the last four weeks. We are also aware of colleagues and students from other parts of the world where there has been historic conflict or are current conflicts, as these may be difficult times for them too. This is a time where the university community needs to stand together and where we need to be kind and show that we care about one another.
At a University level, we have taken a number of actions:
We are mindful of the importance of supporting Ukrainian universities to continue their operations despite the challenging circumstances. Universities UK is working with the Ukrainian Rectors’ Conference to unpack what support is required, including access to library resources and online teaching materials. We are engaging with UUK to find ways in which Aston University can contribute to this work.
Students can contact the Counselling and Wellbeing team for help and support.
The Chaplaincy Centre is also available for all students, regardless of belief or faith.
Students with any specific questions about finance, or studies, can come to The Hub on the ground floor of the Main Building, where are friendly Advisers will be ready to help.
If students have any concerns that their studies are being affected by the crisis, please contact your Personal Tutor to discuss your concerns. You can also discuss any specific study concerns with your Programme Director.
The wellbeing of our Aston University community is our top priority and the University will make every effort to provide care and support staff where we are able to do so. If you are affected in any way, you can contact your HR Business Partner, line manager or member of the Senior Management Team in your College for support at any time.
All employees of Aston University also have access to the employee assistance programme, PAM Assist, which offers free confidential advice and support across a range of issues, both personal and work related. Details of how to access the service is available on the University staff intranet.
If you have any concerns or queries regarding future planned travel then you should contact firstname.lastname@example.org who will be able to provide advice.
We will consider applications from students in Ukraine who would like to study with us. We understand that you might not have all the relevant paperwork available, but please contact our Admissions team on email@example.com (for Undergraduate Courses) or firstname.lastname@example.org (for Postgraduate Taught courses) to discuss your particular situation. We will consider tuition fee waivers where possible.
We will also accept applications from those wishing to study a PhD or from displaced academics. Please apply through CARA (Council for At-Risk Academics) and specify that you wish your application to be considered by Aston University.
If you are studying, researching or teaching in Ukraine and need access to learning materials we have a variety of options available. Please contact the library for further information.
The University is co-ordinating a number of ways that staff and students can help in supporting those caught up in the crisis. Details of activities will be posted here as they become available. If you are interested in being part of this group, or you are planning any activities, please contact Professor Kathy Daniels on email@example.com.
The University is providing funding to launch an emergency training package for Ukrainian interpreters. The training will be made available for free to public and third sector organisations. The aim is to provide support to local organisations that will be in contact with Ukrainian refugees. This is quite key for our region as there are no interpreters of Ukrainian in Birmingham (the closest ones are located in London).
The training consists of 10 hours delivered online over 5 weeks (two one-hour sessions/week).
More details are available from Dr Emmanuelle Labeau.
Our academics have been giving their expert opinion on matters relating to Ukraine:
Ernest Reid talks about the impact of protests in Russia here.
Elisabeth Schimpfössl’s work is referenced in this article.
Professor Tomasz Mickiewicz has co-edited an anthology dedicated to the war in Ukraine, which can be accessed here.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office is currently advising against all travel to Ukraine. You can access the latest advice here.
The FCDO is also currently advising against all travel to Russia. You can access the latest advice here.