We follow the developments in Ukraine on a daily basis with shock and horror. The invasion by the Russian army has left behind unprecedented scars. We are concerned, particularly about the situation of academics and students in the areas facing violence and siege.
WUR aims to support those who are directly and indirectly affected by the war. We express our abhorrence, as do our partners from Universiteiten van Nederland, Association of European Life Science Universities ICA, Euro League for Life Sciences en European BioEconomy University. We are impressed by the initiatives taken by our students and staff. The group Cooperation Eastern Europe is active in the intranet to collect and share information. Various student organisations have set up their own actions.
We offer help in this situation in keeping with the WUR policy of open education and research for all. We are, therefore, in contact with our current Ukrainian and Russian students and staff: help is available for them. The possibilities of supporting Ukrainian and Russian refugees who want to study or work temporarily here as researchers are being looked into.
Suspension, collaboration and aid
WUR follows the national government and European Union policies and our WUR policy for international cooperation. Within the Universities of the Netherlands, this is translated into decisions that WUR supports. For now, this means the suspension of the academic institutional collaboration with Russia. All research and collaboration initiatives and projects with Russian universities and organisations will be suspended until further notice. Individual scientific contacts with Russian researchers may, however, be maintained.
We have three funds/initiatives available for aid:
- The calamity fund for Ukrainian and Russian MSc and BSc students who are currently studying with us face problems because of the war.
- We support refugees (also from Ukraine and Russia) who are staying here through Wurthwhile, enabling them to follow courses at WUR temporarily.
- A new fund is to be set up for Ukrainian and Russian scientists who work at WUR and are experiencing difficulties due to the war. This fund is also available for Ukrainian academic refugees who want to work at WUR temporarily. The details of this fund are currently being worked out.
A working group has been formed to follow the developments in and around Ukraine relevant to WUR and coordinate support and advice. This group is chaired by Wouter Hendriks, with Vanya Simenova (Coordinator Eastern Europe) as focal point of contact.
Last Thursday, occupational social work, HR, the student psychologists and the Wageningen Graduate Schools organised a walk-in for the WUR community in Atlas. The personal, emotional stories that were shared about the war and its impact touched all those present. Every day, we endeavour to create a safe study and work environment. Please reach out to your supervisor, colleagues, student council or fellow students if the war impacts your work or study. We are able to meet on the campus again, so use this opportunity.
We will regularly post messages on the intranet about current initiatives and activities linked to the situation in Ukraine. You can also find more information and share messages if you are a WUR employee in the intranet group Cooperation Eastern Europe. See Resource for more information as well.