Ukraine crisis statement from the Vice-Chancellor

  • Date

    Wed 2 Mar 22

Anthony Forster

The indefensible invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Government is causing horrifying suffering for those caught up in the war that is raging in many parts of the country. It is also having a different but profound effect on many of our community at the University of Essex, including our Ukrainian and Russian students, staff, alumni and family members.

I share the anger and the deep sense of concern that many members of the University have expressed on our campuses in recent days, especially those with loved ones whose safety, security and way of life have been so grievously damaged by this war. We also know that the bonds that draw our international Essex community together are strong, helping us to work, study and live together, even when events beyond our campuses are marked by conflict.

We are working hard to support staff and student wellbeing and to respond to any member of our community affected by events in the region, working in partnership with our Students’ Union. We recognise that you may be finding it hard to focus on your studies or your work – and we want to provide you with any help and advice you might need at this time.

Members of the University have rightly been asking what they as individuals and we as a University can do to demonstrate our support for those affected.

  • Many of our colleagues are already making their voices heard, drawing on their areas of expertise to advocate powerfully from their academic perspectives. Next week, our colleagues in the Human Rights Centre plan to run a rapid response ‘HRC Speakers Series’ event, drawing on expertise in international human rights law and international humanitarian law to provide clear and authoritative perspectives on the conflict.
  • For those wanting to make your own contribution, the Ukrainian Institute in London has listed additional suggestions for people wishing to support Ukraine and Ukrainians.
  • The University, has a well-established relationship with the Council of At-Risk Academics (CARA), who partner with universities to offer support to scholars. We have contacted CARA to offer our support for scholars who are at-risk as a result of the invasion and war in Ukraine. We will also ensure that Ukrainian students remain able to join our University community through the establishment of special scholarships to support current and future students, alongside other practical, financial and wellbeing support that are available now for all who are affected by the conflict.
  • With our partners in Young Universities for the Future of Europe (YUFE) we have also issued a united statement expressing our complete condemnation of the Russian Government invasion and offering our solidarity with all Ukrainians.

At moments of crisis, our University has a proud tradition of pulling together to support each other and to demonstrate our collective values. The invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Government makes this even more important than ever.

Anthony Forster