Durham welcomes visitors from Ukrainian University  

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40 staff and students from Zaporizhzhia National University (ZNU) in Ukraine have been welcomed to Durham this summer to collaborate on research.

ZNU is twinned with Durham University as part of a national initiative, supported by Universities UK (UUK) and the Ukrainian Ministry of Education.

The delegation included students and researchers who are collaborating on work with Durham staff into building research capacity and resilience during conflict.

Joint research interests were discovered by the group in the areas of memory politics, post-conflict urban renewal, mental health, legal aspects of conflict, global justice and arbitration, and the challenges of internal displacement.

Some of ZNU’s professional and teaching staff also attended to share best practice on areas including energy and sustainability, student wellbeing, quality assurance, student governance and internationalisation. They were led by ZNU’s Vice-Rector, Professor Sergiy Kushnir.   

Durham and ZNU received joint funding from Universities UK International (UUKi) for a joint research programme after they were twinned. This has involved over thirty ZNU staff and students visiting Durham for workshops and summer schools. 

The guests also saw Durham Cathedral, the Angel of the North, and the University Hospital; Professor Kushnir, Vice-Rector of ZNU, and a Rotarian, visited Durham’s Rotary Club.

The delegation also met the Mayor of Durham, Councillor Lesley Mavin.

“Our twinning with Durham is important – because for us, it represents the support of the whole British nation, especially Durham”

Professor Sergiy Kushnir, Vice-rector of ZNU

Professor Karen O’Brien, Durham University Vice-Chancellor, said: “We’re so pleased to have been twinned with Zaporizhzhia National University and to have welcomed over 40 guests to Durham for the first time.”

O’Brien mentioned more “plans to strengthen our important partnership.” These include a Memorandum of Understanding between the insititutions’ law schools, and plans to host ten ZNU students at Durham University this autumn. 

She added: “We look forward to continuing these conversations for the very long-term and very much hope we will one day be in a position to return the visit.”

Professor Sergiy Kushnir commented: “Our twinning with Durham is important because for us, it represents the support of the whole British nation, and especially Durham.

“For our researchers, students and wider staff group it represents future possibilities, provides them much-needed support and the opportunities to exchange in knowledge, experience and best practice.”

Image: Durham University

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