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Donation of goods sent to Ukrainian university

A shipment of goods from the University of Leicester has been sent to students in war-torn Ukraine to help them continue their studies as well as day-to-day life.

Along with dozens of warm winter coats, over 40 PCs and tables and chairs were sent to partner university Kremenchuk Mykhailo Ostohradskyi National University (KrNu) in Central Ukraine.

Leicester Time: Donation of goods sent to Ukrainian university
Picture: University of Leicester

Kremenchuk lies just 300km from the capital Kyiv and some 200km from the frontline. It’s main shopping mall was destroyed by Russian missiles some time ago, killing and injuring dozens, while its power generation facilities have also been targeted by missile and drone bombardments since the war began in February 2022.

Lisa Booker from Campus Services helped arrange the shipment, liaising with Ukrainian colleagues to ensure the cargo made it to the right place intact.

She said: “It’s not the easiest thing to make happen. It takes time to ensure it’s all packaged correctly and weighed properly. It’s wonderful that some redundant equipment could be rehomed somewhere where there’s greater need, while the coats we sent were of the right number and correct sizes for students over there. 

“We know this simple gesture will make a big difference and the time it takes to make it happen is worth it when you see their faces opening the packages.”

The University of Leicester twinned with KrNu in 2022 following the start of the conflict as a way of showing solidarity and a commitment to helping those in Higher Education, via the Universities UK scheme. 

Smaller donations have already been sent over, while online English Language summer schools have taken place for Ukrainian students. UKRI-funded research projects have also been initiated in particular fields including Aerospace, Bioengineering and Artificial Intelligence. 

The universities’ respective business schools have been forecasting and mitigating the effects of the current crisis, while the engineering schools are developing technology and models to support Ukraine’s energy recovery and for making the Ukraine energy network more resilient and ultimately share the UK and the Ukraine joint long-term vision for a carbon-neutral national energy network. 

In addition, four Ukrainian students have been studying at Leicester as part of a Sanctuary Scholarships Scheme.

The twinning agreement aims to preserve and promote the human research capital of KrNU through a five-year plan of research collaboration, with specific war risk-mitigation actions and a strong post-war growth plan.

Professor Mykhaylo Zagirnyak, rector of KrNu, said: “I would like to express my gratitude to the entire University for providing us with humanitarian aid.

“We have more than two years of the heroic struggle of the Ukrainian people against Russian aggression. During this time, more than 50 Ukrainian higher educational institutions have been affected by bombing and shelling, and a lot of them have been destroyed. In these circumstances, we have to do our best to retain our achievements and our infrastructure. That is why humanitarian aid provided by the University of Leicester is so important to us.”