As we continue to view the unfolding events in Ukraine with horror, our thoughts go out to the many bereaved and wounded, those suffering bombardment, homelessness and the destruction of their lives in the region. We express our solidarity with Ukrainian students and colleagues, along with all of those affected by the invasion, and we stand united in unequivocally condemning violence against civilians, hoping that peace can be restored as quickly as possible.
As communicated last week, we have identified several staff and students from Ukraine and Russia and have taken immediate steps to support these individuals. Additionally, we have been supporting students based in both countries to ensure we can get them to a safe place as quickly as possible. Teams are also tracing any further staff or students who have travelled to the regions to make sure they can access the help they need.
How we can all help
We also look to how we can help as the humanitarian situation escalates in the country and the wider region. As Dr Olena Nizalova, Senior Lecturer in Economics and a member of our staff of Ukrainian origin, has said in a blog post earlier this week, there are practical ways to help, the critical means being the donation of money.
National efforts are focussing on the work of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) which coordinates efforts across a range of agencies working in the region and we would urge students and staff who wish to donate to contribute to DEC’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
At the University, we are already engaged in a number of practical steps to support those impacted by the conflict in Ukraine.
For many years we have provided the Council for At Risk Academics (CARA) funding to support refugees and displaced academics with opportunities for study and research at Kent. You can find out more on the News Centre.
Our Student Support and Wellbeing Team are hosting lunchtime tea and coffee drop-in sessions every Monday for students affected by the Ukrainian and Russian conflict at 13.00 in Keynes (Group Room, I block). This is open to all students and is facilitated by two Mental Health Advisors.
We are offering students from Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia, who are currently living in part-catered university accommodation, to stay on campus free of charge for the Spring vacation. To apply for this please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We are also exploring how our hardship mechanisms can be utilised by Ukrainian students, and whether or not we can enable specific donations to support this provision. We will be communicating with students, staff and alumni about this as soon as we have worked through the practical details.
Fundraising and events
We are working with students and Kent Union to organise and promote a range of fundraising activities and would urge all students to consider supporting these. Further details on this will be shared shortly. Follow Kent Union’s Instagram for latest updates.
There will be a Bake and Book Sale on Tuesday 15 March, 12.00-15.00, in the Colyer-Fergusson to raise funds for the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
After the wide support offered by Kent staff and students at Kent’s Solidarity with Ukraine event, the next opportunity to feedback on our activity will be held within our forthcoming Global Showcase. This will take place on 16 March from 14.30 to 16.00.
We would very much like to hear about further ideas as to how the University community can support Ukraine and the Ukrainian people at this extremely difficult time for the country, and if you have any thoughts, please do let us know by emailing email@example.com
My thanks to all of our community who have pulled together to coordinate our response to this.
Professor Karen Cox | Vice-Chancellor and President