Innsbruck supports partner university in Ukraine

On 10-12 May 2022, Universität Innsbruck and its partner universities from the Aurora Network gathered in Innsbruck for their regular annual face-to-face conference. The Rector of V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, Tetyana Kaganovska, was also a guest. She reported on the situation in her city and was able to receive €51,000 in financial support from the Aurora universities. The cheque was handed over during the opening session of the conference, which was also attended by Innsbruck mayor Georg Willi.

Around 180 delegates from all over Europe met at Universität Innsbruck: they are part of the Aurora University Network, which Universität Innsbruck joined in 2019 and whose annual network meeting it is hosting this year. A thematic block of the opening panel was dedicated to the joint activities of Aurora universities in Ukraine, in particular with V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University. Kharkiv University is an "Associate Partner" of the Aurora European University Alliance, and its Rector Tetyana Kaganovska was in Innsbruck to tell the conference participants about the difficult situation in her city:

"At the moment, we are living through the most difficult moments since Ukrainian independence. I come as a witness to the war, the killings and the displacement of my co-workers and students. In moments like these, I feel especially honored to be able to personally represent our Kharkiv Karazin University community from eastern Ukraine."

In order to support the ongoing (online) operations of Kharkiv University, the Aurora universities re-focused the Capacity Development Support Program work package, which pushes cooperation with Central and Eastern European universities, to supporting colleagues from and in Kharkiv and set up a joint donation account. In this way, a total of around €51,000 was raised as direct financial support for Kharkiv, which was handed over to Rector Kaganovska today. The work package and the immediate financial aid for Kharkiv are led by Palacky University Olomouc and are supported by the Aurora Central Office in Amsterdam. Currently, university colleagues from Kharkiv who fled are also working in Olomouc.

Supporting operations

V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University has about 28,000 employees and students in peacetime. "According to the QS rating, we are the best Ukrainian university, the country's powerhouse for education and science. The university is the heart of Kharkiv, and it remains in Kharkiv despite the shelling of the city and numerous siege attempts that lasted 77 days. We were able to accommodate the university's staff and students as best we could, and on the 33rd day of the war, we moved our teaching completely online. Our lecturers deliver their lectures from basements and emergency shelters and from the most diverse parts of the world," the Rector notes. "Unfortunately, there are irretrievable losses in the university family: at least 17 people lost their lives, including 2 students, 5 professors and 10 alumni. Nevertheless, we continue to fight and actively plan the future activities of the University."

Read the full press statement by Tetyana Kaganovska, President of V.N Karazin Kharkiv University, on the occasion of her participation in the Aurora Biannual Spring Meeting 2022 Innsbruck.

Please support the appeal for donations via the HELP KARAZIN UNIVERSITY campaign:  

https://karazin.ua/en/helpkarazinuniversity/

About the Aurora Universities

The Aurora network consists of nine universities from all over Europe: Universität Innsbruck (A), University of Iceland, Reykjavik (IS), Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (NL), University of Duisburg-Essen (D), Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II (IT), Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Tarragona, ES), Palacky University Olomouc (Olomouc, CZ), University of East Anglia (Norwich, UK) and Copenhagen Business School (DK). The network's main project is the joint Aurora European University Alliance, one of 41 university alliances funded by the EU Commission. These alliances implement innovative modes of university cooperation in Europe, promoting seamless student and staff mobility in particular. The Aurora European University Alliance brings together 260,000 students, 30,000 staff, 112 faculties and 813 research groups. It is supported by a total of €7 million of Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 funding.

Pictures: © Universität Innsbruck, Birgit Pichler.

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