During the Aurora Spring Biannual special consideration was given to the horrendous aggressions faced by our Ukrainian colleagues at V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University. Tetyana Kaganovska, the rector of V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University made the perilous journey from Kharkiv to Innsbruck to appeal for our support, below you will find her statement .
Original PDF Available here.
“I travelled here to be with you, despite of the dangerous journey through my home country to share my feelings and gratitude. Right now we are going through its hardest survival moments since Ukrainian independence. I come bearing a witness of war, killing and displacement of my staff and students. In these moments, I am especially honored to be able to in-person represent our community of Kharkiv Karazin University from the East of Ukraine.
Our University is a consolidated team of 28,000 employees and students, proud of their educational institution’s 217-year history. According to the QS rating, we are the best Ukrainian university, the country’s powerhhouse of educational and scientific resources. The University is the heart of Kharkiv, and it remains in Kharkiv, despite the city’s being shelled and numerous attempts of siege lasting for 77 days.
We were able to shelter the University’s staff and students as best we could and launched the educational process remotely on the 33rd day of the war. Our teachers give lectures from basements and shelters, and those who have left the country – from different parts of the world. Many students volunteer by day and study by night. Many of our students, teachers, graduates are now among the defenders of Ukraine. The University’s humanitarian headquarters is working to help those who were hit the hardest. We are working on the restoration of the destroyed buildings, the sports complex and dormitories.
Unfortunately, there are irreparable losses in the University family. At least 17 people are known to have perished, among them 2 students, 5 professors and 10 alumni’s.
And yet, we are fighting and actively planning the future University activities. We continue to cooperate with partners in Ukraine and abroad as we believe that the values of freedom and justice will prevail. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the Aurora Alliance partners who from the very first days of invasion were active in supporting and helping. Partners who encouraged us, gave hope that all the European Academic Community is backing up Ukraine.
The dedicated team of Aurora CDS (Community Development Support program) immediately reacted to our newly faced war-conditions. We worked together to assess the urgent needs. The Action plan was created. The plan where the supporting mission for “right now”, “short-term” and “long term” help was highlighted. First, it was a financial aid to support our on-line education. But, what is more important that Action plan projects the needs into long-term collaborations with all the partner universities. It will help Karazin to overcome the war destruction, and to rebuild our future.
Moreover, half of the staff and student are now displaced, internally or abroad, being hosted by the Aurora universities as well. We are deeply moved and grateful for all European universities providing them opportunity to work and study in these extreme conditions for us. We have a strong wish to be able to join you as academic community and as reliable partner as soon as the war ends. I took a personal risk to both thank you for your support and to tell you that we will resist and prevail in our fight for independence and democracy.”
Tetyana Kaganovska, V.N. Karazin Kharkiv University President