The agreements, signed by KSE president Tymofiy Mylovanov and rector Tymofii Brik, along with emeritus provost and senior vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at UMass Amherst John McCarthy, will provide opportunities for KSE students to study at UMass. The majority of the costs for the exchange program will be waived.
Ukrainian scholars can also participate in a virtual scholar-in-residence program. This will enable them to work with colleagues at UMass on collaborative research projects and receive a stipend, without a residency requirement.
“There was a huge outpouring of support from our faculty and students at the start of the war for us to get engaged in a positive way with supporting the continuity of the academic enterprise in Ukraine,” Kalpen Trivedi, vice provost for global affairs and the director of the International Programs Office at UMass, told The PIE.
He praised the efforts of professor and Isenberg Chair in Integrative Studies at UMass, Anna Nagurney, who serves on the KSE Board and helped forge the connection between UMass and KSE’s Mylovanov and Brik.
Trivedi said colleagues from both UMass and KSE involved in the projects have been leading seminars, posting on social media, and presenting with him at NAFSA to emphasise the critical nature of such partnerships. “They have been tireless in the last few months,” he proclaimed.
“To preserve a strong and independent Ukrainian academic sector is crucial”
“To preserve a strong and independent Ukrainian academic sector is crucial to both the war effort and eventual post-war reconstruction efforts,” Trivedi further asserted.
Nagurney agreed, telling The PIE, “The impact of this partnership will be profound and significant. Collaborative research conducted by the virtual scholars and UMass Amherst faculty through this partnership should bring great dividends in helping in the recovery and reconstruction of Ukraine.”
She noted numerous research areas of mutual interest between the two institutions. “Knowing that academics and universities, such as UMass Amherst, are supporting them provides our academic colleagues across the miles the strength and determination to continue their critical work.”
Ina Ganguli, associate professor of Economics at UMass also spoke about the potential the program has to “foster a deep level of engagement between organisations and between nations”. She told The PIE that the anticipated programming will foster “cross-cultural collaboration; something needed now, more than ever”.
In addition to the academic and cross-cultural benefits of the partnership, Bogdan Prokopovych, lecturer at Isenberg School of Management, told The PIE he believes it also speaks to a core mission of UMass.
“One of the aspects of social justice is to avoid exclusion in education. The partnership will help Ukrainian scholars in need remain in science and practice what they have been trained to do and prevent the war waged by Russia from depriving them of this opportunity.”
Likewise, Nagurney proffered, “This partnership offers hope and a pathway for building a brighter future for Ukraine and Ukrainians through scholarship and education.”
Recent agreements as part of a twinning scheme include Bishop Grosseteste University signing an MoU with Drohobych Ivan Franko State Pedagogical University, and Loughborough University partnering with both Odesa I. I. Mechnikov National University and O. M. Beketov National University of Urban Economy in Kharkiv.
Universities Canada has identified initiatives and resources by its members that support institutions impacted by the invasion.