In the midst of a twinning campaign, the University of Plymouth welcomed Ukrainian delegates

Members of Plymouth City Council, representatives from other organizations, and representatives from the State Uni...

Since a twinning program began last year, representatives from a Ukrainian university have paid the University of Plymouth their first visit.

As part of the nationwide TwinForHope campaign, the State University of Infrastructure and Technology (SUIT) in Kiev was visited.

The University of Devon has been helping SUIT staff and students who have been displaced by the conflict.

One year has passed since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine this week.

Since the invasion began, representatives from the two universities had not been able to physically interact until their trip to Plymouth.

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 welcomed Ms. Kostenko and her colleagues to the city.

The IT infrastructure and mental health support were the twinning project's initial areas of emphasis.

A long-term, mutually beneficial partnership aimed at preserving and reviving Ukraine's higher education system is also in the works.

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

Ms. Kostenko, who was forced to leave Ukraine with her children last year and has since been residing in Portugal, claimed that she "tried her best to save" her kids.

She added that knowing the university was "not alone" during any future challenges was comforting.

"We have signed numerous agreements with numerous universities across Europe during these difficult times, but most of these agreements are merely on paper," she said.

"We are extremely appreciative of our agreement with the University of Plymouth, which is a true partnership. ".

Olena Kostenko talking to staff from the University of Plymouth
The delegates were given a tour of a few of the university's facilities before the civic reception.

The Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Cllr. Sue Dann, hosted a civic reception at The Box with the visitors from SUIT as guests of honor.

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

"This is about getting to know a reputable university in Ukraine and finding ways to collaborate in the future for the benefit of all parties, but obviously with some immediate concerns and support. ".

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

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

"One of the tragedies," he said, "is that many universities and other higher education institutions have basically sold off all of their facilities.

"This particular group has essentially just been kicked off their campus; as a result, they are unable to continue with either educational or research endeavors. ".

During the visit, it was also confirmed that the university would bring a generator so that the research and support staff at SUIT could continue working when the power went out due to the ongoing Russian invasion.

In response to the University's request for assistance, Princess Yachts donated and modified it.

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