"Mariupol State University is not a name, not a location, not walls, but people"
Mykola Trofymenko, rector of MSU
The University of Hull is proud to be standing in solidarity with the people of Mariupol State University who, in this darkest of times, continue to carry the light of learning. We invite our wider community to get actively involved in our partnership and help us to support our colleagues who are teaching, learning and researching through the war and devastation, to keep that flame undiminished.
Between February and May 2022, all five academic buildings of Mariupol State University (MSU) were destroyed or substantially damaged through the artillery bombardment that accompanied the siege of Mariupol. At least eight employees and five students lost their lives as a result of the invasion. Out of necessity, MSU and many of its c.4,500 students, relocated to Kyiv in April 2022 taking up a temporary home within Kyiv National University of Construction and Architecture
Consider for a moment the extraordinary experience of staff and students of MSU. Many would have witnessed the near total physical destruction of their campus and heard about the loss of staff and fellow students, before being faced with the upheaval of being transferred nearly 500 miles across a war-torn country to complete their studies in unfamiliar and improvised facilities
Despite the daily toll of destruction and misery, it is essential that life and learning continues in Ukraine. Many of those students and the academics that teach them, will be in the vanguard of rebuilding a destroyed city and a besieged country both physically and culturally. The continuation of their higher education is in itself a potent symbol of their resistance.
To support this aim, the University of Hull has recently entered into a twinning arrangement with MSU. Through this partnership we plan to assist MSU academically through the development of double degree programs, the provision of opportunities for academic mobility programs and the opening up of online educational resources.
We also need to help MSU address some immediate needs and this is where you can get involved. MSU needs to refurbish their new space and acquire essential new equipment and furniture to help restore their learning and teaching capacity.
This is how we keep hope alive and plant the seeds of future renewal.
"The dream of a peaceful and restored Mariupol continues to live in our hearts"
Mykola Trofymenko, rector of MSU
How will the funds be used?
Following the almost total physical destruction of Mariupol State University, the institution is currently reliant on support from the government and the goodwill of other higher education institutions in Ukraine. A recent twinning arrangement with the University of Hull creates the potential for additional support and we're calling on the generosity of our alumni, staff, students and other supporters to make this happen.
The funds will be used flexibly to help equip Mariupol State University to establish their new base in Kyiv. This will include the purchase of equipment necessary to teaching and learning and/or the adaptation and refurbishment of space specifically for the purpose of aiding teaching, learning and administration at MSU.
Without support, Mariupol risks losing one of it's key institutions - a national asset that will play a central role in rebuilding the city and the country.