During a campaign for twinning, the University of Plymouth welcomed Ukrainian delegates

At The Box in Plymouth, representatives from the State University of Infrastructure and Technology, the Plymouth C...

For the first time since a twinning program began last year, representatives from a Ukrainian university visited the University of Plymouth.

As part of the nationwide TwinForHope campaign, representatives from the Kyiv State University of Infrastructure and Technology (SUIT) visited.

Support for SUIT staff and students who have been displaced by the conflict has been given by the Devon university.

The beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine one year ago this week.

The trip to Plymouth was the first opportunity for representatives from the two universities to actually meet since the invasion began.

Olena Kostenko, vice-rector for international relations and postgraduate studies at the State University of Infrastructure and Technology (SUIT) in Kyiv
The Lord Mayor of Plymouth greeted Ms. Kostenko and her associates upon their arrival.

The twinning project's initial emphasis has been on supporting mental health services and IT infrastructure.

There are also plans for a long-term, mutually beneficial partnership aimed at preserving and reviving Ukraine's higher education system.

Oleksandr Sobovyi, an assistant rector, Olena Kostenko, a vice-rector for postgraduate studies and international relations, and Oleksandr Kulinchenko, a vice-rector for administrative, economic, and social work, were the three SUIT visitors on Tuesday.

Ms. Kostenko, who was forced to leave Ukraine last year with her children and has since been residing in Portugal, claimed that she had "done everything in her power to save" her offspring.

She continued by saying it was comforting to know the university was "not alone" during any future challenges.

"You know, in these tough times, we have signed many agreements with various universities all over Europe, but most of these agreements are just agreements on paper," she said.

"We are extremely appreciative of the real partnership that our agreement with the University of Plymouth has become. ".

Olena Kostenko talking to staff from the University of Plymouth
The delegates visited some of the university's facilities prior to the civic reception.

The Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Cllr. Sue Dann, welcomed the visitors from SUIT as honorary guests to a civic reception held at The Box.

Senior deputy vice chancellor Professor Dafydd Moore stated: "What's really important is that this is a partnership of equals; while they may be experiencing some difficulties right now for reasons that we are all aware of, this is not charity.

The purpose of this is to comprehend a reputable university in Ukraine and how we can collaborate in the future for the benefit of all parties, while also addressing some pressing issues and providing support. ".

Representatives from the State University of Infrastructure and Technology with Professor Kevin Jones
The University of Plymouth gave a tour of its facilities to the three guests from the Ukrainian university.

The partnership is a "two-way street," with the two universities learning from one another, according to Professor Kevin Jones, executive dean of the faculty of science and engineering at the University of Plymouth.

One of the tragedies, he continued, is that many universities and other institutions of higher learning have essentially lost all of their facilities.

This specific group has recently been forcibly removed from their campus; consequently, they are unable to continue with either educational or research endeavors. ".

It was also confirmed during the visit that the university would send a generator to allow SUIT's research and support staff to continue operating during blackouts brought on by the ongoing Russian invasion.

Following a request for assistance from the University, it has been donated and modified by Princess Yachts.

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