Aurora universities stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people in these sad and world-changing times. As so many higher education institutions around the world, Aurora has been working hard to offer support to our Ukrainian colleagues who are forced into this devastating reality.
Aurora has an associate member university in Ukraine, the Karazin Kharkiv National University. Under the coordinated efforts of Palacký University Olomouc in the Czech Republic, Aurora is supporting Karazin’s students and staff in these difficult times. The Aurora universities’ leaders have expressed their explicit wish to – now and in the future – continue to offer any and all support that we can provide.
On this page, you will find more information about the activities undertaken, and the help provided by Aurora and its member universities.
Aurora has published and participated in several statements, as network, but also with other European University Alliances. You can find them below:
- Statement by Aurora President and rector of the University of Iceland, Jón Atli Benediktsson
- Statement by Palacky University Rector, Martin Prochazka
- Statement by the Aurora Student Council
In addition, the Aurora President sent a letter to the President and leadership of Karazin Kharkiv National University condemning Russia’s actions and expressing our full support.
Overview Aurora actions
The Aurora actions that have been underway are based on the Action Plan for supporting Karazin Kharkiv university based on assessment of the needs in immediate (humanitarian), mid-term (recovery) and long-term (development) phase of needs, as a joint collaborative work between CDS task team and International office of the Karazin University.
The overview provides the periodic support planned accordingly:
1) Short-term priorities and actions for the immediate emergency period
For the immediate and urgent needs of Karazin University, the Aurora office and CDS staff at Palacký University Olomouc has been in regular and continued contact with Karazin International Office management to exchange information on necessary needs and identify support measures for their staff and students. In addition, Karazin University has launched online teaching as a form of resistance and continued academic mission on March 28th.
In line with above, the concrete Aurora support activities that have been underway in this emergency phase are following:
- Alliance level fundraising to support Karazin online teaching. Aurora has so far raised central funds to purchase necessary equipment for Karazin staff in support of the online teaching process in Ukraine.
- Providing support for Karazin International office staff and Aurora contact persons including relocation, work and accommodation at the Aurora institutions
- Providing support for Karazin academic staff and students to study at the Aurora institutions and receive accommodations
2) Medium-Term actions and plans for the continued functioning of Karazin University during war-period
- Ongoing fundraiser, leading up to the Aurora Spring Biannual in May in Innsbruck as a continuous effort to support emerging needs of the institution under siege, during war and dislocation phase. At the Biannual, the fundraiser will be opened up to wider activities where in addition to financial donations, collaborations to support student graduations, co-teaching and academic time can be donated as well
- Possible redirection of Aurora Alliance mobility funds toward mobility and accommodation of Ukrainian students
- Securing/prioritising access to study programmes, enrolment and graduation of Ukrainian students across Aurora universities
- Securing/prioritising Karazin staff collaboration and further training opportunities via the CDS programme
3) Long-term actions for the post-war period
- Arranging donations and support for the recovery and reparations of the devastated teaching and support facilities of the Karazin University Campus
- Deepening partnerships and collaborations between Karazin University and Aurora universities to enable staff and students’ exchanges
- Providing Visiting Research programme for Karazin staff and enabling access to research infrastructure in Aurora (labs and equipment to support continued research work and publications)
- From the URV point of view each institution should be able to handle its own mobility funds since some of them have been already allocated for future mobilities. Also, as Thomas says we would need more money left for our core objective of mobility expansion.
Support provided by individual institutions
The Aurora members also are working tirelessly to welcome displaced Ukrainian staff and students. In the table below, you can see a short summary of the activities of the individually Aurora members.
|Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
- Crowdfunding for the emergency fund for Ukrainian, Russian and Belarusian students
- Offer courses to refugees from Ukrainian universities
- Help Ukrainian students find accommodation
- More information: VU website
|Palacký University Olomouc
- Aurora CDS Coordinates the Aurora Alliance support to Karazin Kharkiv University through continuous and regular communication, needs assessment, action planning with the Karazin International office in Ukraine and in exile, at Palacký University Olomouc (UP), and facilitates info-sharing about coordinated support through the Central office and our Aurora website
- UP offers comprehensive and centralized information and resources to Ukrainian students and staff in Ukrainian, Czech, and English
- UP Volunteer Centre offers 24/7 help via email and its hotline and can advise about housing, help family members, arrange legal advice and psychological help, provide university aid and info and referrals to other instances for additional aid
- More information: Palacký website
|University of Iceland
- A special task force has been formed at the University of Iceland (UIce) to deal with the consequences of the situation in Ukraine. All inquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
- UIce has set up an information portal on Ukraine, which includes information for students and staff as well as links to official government information sites etc.
- The deadline for new applications from Ukrainian citizens for Fall 2022 studies will be extended, and current Ukrainian university students will be allowed to enter as special exchange students for 1-2 semesters
- UIce is offering student dorms for newly arrived Ukrainian refugees
|University of Duisburg-Essen
- A special task force has been formed at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE). Central contact for all inquiries is Udo Rasum (email@example.com)
- UDE offers information on our website in English and German
- The links to the support and counselling services (including accommodation) of the two cities Duisburg and Essen are listed there.
- UDE offers “free guest audiences” for refugees. For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Guest students can participate in cultural and social activities (e.g. Language Café) that are offered by the TSC (Tutoren Service Center) and also UDE’s sports courses
|Universitat Rovira i Virgili
- Universität Innsbruck (UInn) has set up a crisis team regarding the current situation in Ukraine. Staff and students who have specific enquiries, insights, suggestions or even specific problems (e.g. traumatic experiences) can contact the crisis team via email@example.com. A central webpage is the main communication hub for all relevant support initiatives, ranging from study matters via finding accommodation in Innsbruck to charity events
- A particular focus in Innsbruck is put on Ukrainian students who are coming to or already studying at the Universität Innsbruck. Besides the constant contact with them, Innsbruck implemented a Buddy-System as a low-threshold support mechanism, together with the Students’ Union, which is accompanied by two psychologists.
- Newly arrived Ukrainian students/academics can join the Language Centre’s “German as a Foreign Language” course for free at all times.
- Several emergency aid funds have been set up as well, e.g. by the Rector, the Austrian Students’ Union (ÖH), the Faculty Works Council or the Association of University Teachers at Universität Innsbruck.
|University Federico II of Naples
- Fast track enrollment procedure for Ukrainian refugees
- Free introductory Italian language courses
- Help Ukrainian students find accommodation
- Joining Scholar at-risk initiatives
- Student/Staff awareness initiatives in place
|Copenhagen Business School
- Copenhagen Business School (CBS) supports Ukrainian students by allowing them to apply for full degree careers at CBS outside the deadline, and they are exempt from paying the application fee. After they receive their residence permit, they are able to apply for the Danish State Educational Grant and Loan Scheme (SU) to get monthly financial aid. Please access the information for undergraduate students and information for graduate students
- CBS also offers one AURORA summer university course. The students are exempt from paying the application fee and the exchange social program.
- CBS is contacting the career partners to see whether it is possible for them to support the student’s living costs while in Denmark.
Support and resources at European level
On European level, several initiatives have developed, both in an official capacity by the European Union, as well as initiatives set up by volunteers. Below you will find a non-exhaustive overview of these initiatives.
European Union: EURAXESS – ERA4Ukraine
This initiative aims to support researchers of Ukraine by providing them with an overview of all existing actions at European and national levels. The webpage includes an overview of the most useful information per country on issues such as housing, job offers and recognition of diplomas.
Website: EURAXESS ERA4Ukraine
European Union solidarity with Ukraine
This webpage contains practical information on the EU support to the Ukraine, the EU actions and information on how you can help.
Website: EU solidarity with Ukraine
European Union: External Action – #StandWithUkraine
On this webpage you can find all the latest news on the situation in Ukraine and EU decisions.
This is a website run by volunteer students and research scientists from academic institutions in Europe and around the world. The page aims at collecting and disseminating information about support opportunities at the university, national, and international level for graduate students and researchers directly affiliated to an academic institution in Ukraine.
Ukrainian Global University
Support for Ukraine’s students and scholars to offer the opportunities for quality education and research to rebuild Ukraine.