Our action in support of Ukraine

We stand in solidarity with Ukraine and its people. Here are actions that our University community has taken in support of Ukraine, and its people, especially those displaced by the conflict.

Action in support of Ukraine

Reviewing  our relationships, partnerships and collaborations

In line with UK sanctions, we regularly review our investments and collaborations with organisations and governments linked to conflict.

After the invasion of Ukraine, we reviewed our relationships with Russia and instructed our investment managers to divest all our Russian investment holdings at the earliest opportunity.

We formally confirmed the withdrawal of the honorary degree awarded to the Head of the Ruskiy Mir Foundation, Vyacheslav Nikonov.

We do not have any institutional partnerships with Russian universities or organisations, so our current links are limited to individual academic projects and exchange programmes.

These appalling events are the actions of the Russian Government and not the Russian people and we remain committed to the free exchange of ideas between universities and between academics, regardless of nationality or location, while recognising the importance of managing the risks associated with international collaboration.

Fostering connections 

In the summer of 2022 we joined forces with Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (KNU) in Ukraine as part of twinning projects involving universities across the UK. Edinburgh and KNU pledged to work more closely together on opportunities ranging across teaching, learning and research. 

Funds to strengthen Ukrainian-Scottish research links  

On 29 March 2023, UK International announced funding for universities involved in the twinning projects with Ukranian universities. These funds aimed to mitigate the devastating impact of the ongoing war.

The funding further strengthened research links between the University and Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (KNU), with a particular focus on environmental sustainability, geopolitical relations, the impact of war and understanding language and culture. 

A year of alliance

When the partnership celebrated its one-year anniversary we showcased the outputs and impactful work created between the two institutions. These collaborative projects, which have benefitted both partners, have included the exchange of people and ideas, the creation of joint research initiatives and greater virtual connections and digital learning.

Our one-year review features all the actions and activities across the University which our partnership with KNU generated:

A year of alliance: Edinburgh-KNU partnership 


Support for those displaced by the conflict

Supporting the local Edinburgh community

We liaised with our civic partners at the City of Edinburgh Council to explore how we can best support the Ukrainian community. The city of Edinburgh is twinned with Kyiv, and we continue to provide whatever support we can. We work with the Home Office, UUK and others to ensure a secure and welcoming environment for refugees and asylum seekers.

Our Scholars

We are a founding member of the Council for At-Risk Academics (Cara) and were the first university of sanctuary in Scotland.

Working with Cara, as we did for academics displaced by the conflicts in Afghanistan and Yemen, we have funding to host ten at-risk scholars from conflict zones across the world, with a focus on Ukraine as the most pressing issue.

Cara set up a fundraising appeal to support their work bringing academics to safety.

Sanctuary Scholarships

The scheme offers financial and welfare support to those who have been unable to either begin or continue their doctoral work due to conflict in their home country to come to the University of Edinburgh to continue their research studies.

Displaced students

As well as supporting academics, we have a scholarship fund for displaced undergraduate students seeking to join us in Edinburgh. Our admissions teams are supporting prospective students who have been affected by this crisis.

We are working with our European partners on how we can best support Ukrainian universities to get up and running again and we are developing closer long-term relationships with them to support this action.  


Solidarity and campaigns for peace

We marked the one-year anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine by flying the Ukrainian flag above Old College from 24  to 27 February 2023 and holding a vigil for staff, students and members of the public at the University’s Chaplaincy Centre.

Prayers and messages of hope were shared, led by Reverend Dr Harriet Harris. 

The Chaplaincy has been running a ‘Light Up Our Hearts for Ukraine’ campaign, encouraging people to show solidarity in any way they can. 

We have been showing support online on the Guerrilla Peace map to show our ongoing commitment to Ukraine.  

How you can help

The University has developed tailored guidance for colleagues on what you can do, including:

  • Assistance from the Council for At Risk Academics (CARA);
  • The UK Government’s ‘bespoke’ Ukrainian resettlement schemes and other existing UK immigration routes;
  • Advice for colleagues wanting to support Ukrainian academics; and
  • Additional ways to support academics at risk, from Ukraine and other areas of conflict.

For advice on what you can do and to access the guidance, please contact Sarah Hoey, Deputy Head, Global Community, Edinburgh Global (sarah.hoey@ed.ac.uk).