College of Guelph first to twin with Ukrainian college and ‘construct concrete relationships’
The University of Guelph (U of G) announced on June 28, 2022, that they are now the first post-secondary school to twin with a Ukrainian university as part of their new international partnership program.
Through this agreement, Ukrainian students and faculty from Dnipro State Agrarian and Economic University (DSAEU) will be able to continue their learning, work, and research by partnering with University of Guelph staff and faculty.
On the morning of June 28, U of G President Charlotte Yates signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) joined online by DSAEU officials from eastern Ukraine.
“This partnership is a testament to the unrelenting power of higher education, and the profound courage of the students, staff and faculty at Dnipro State Agrarian and Economic University,” said Yates, in a news release.
Yates said the memorandum represented the beginning of a long-term commitment to collaborating on academic and research endeavors.
Located in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro, DSAEU is less than 150 km from the front line of the war with Russia. The school is home to about 8,000 students and 500 faculty members.
Stuart McCook, assistant vice-president (international) at U of G, said they are proud to be the first to partner with Ukrainian colleagues, and help the country recover from the impacts of war.
He thinks other Canadian universities will soon follow their lead. “The major benefit of this twinning partnership is that we get to build concrete relationships with people in Ukraine. We’ll be able to help in very important and impactful ways,” said McCook, in the release.
DSAEU has strong programs in animal and veterinary sciences as well as engineering, according to McCook, and is an ideal twin for U of G.
Iryna Volovyk, representative from DSAEU, wants to support students and faculty in moving ahead with their plans and dreams. For our university, it’s very important to keep doing academic and research activities despite the war and all the difficulties,” said Volovyk.
She said DSAEU appreciates the long-term partnership and collaboration for future projects. “The energy of U of G’s willingness to support us — we can feel that from thousands of miles away,” said Volovyk.
The twinning initiative was spearheaded by the UK-based Cormack Consultancy Group, which matches universities worldwide with shared research and academic interests. Since last fall, McCook and other U of G officials have discussed potential partnership opportunities in other countries with the organization, said the release.