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Durham University welcomes delegates from twinned Ukrainian university to the North East


Durham University has welcomed over 40 researchers, students and professional services staff from twinned Ukrainian university, Zaporizhzhia National University (ZNU), to Durham and the wider North-East region.


Durham and ZNU were successful in being awarded funding from Universities UK International (UUKi) to run a collaborative research programme. The research programme, which focuses on building research capacity and resilience during conflict, sees ZNU researchers, academics and students take part in a series of workshops and summer schools at Durham.


Professor Karen O’Brien, Durham University Vice-Chancellor, said: “We’re so pleased to have been twinned with Zaporizhzhia National University and to have welcomed over 40 guests to Durham for the first time.


“We have discovered common academic interests in areas like environmental law, education practice, psychology, and post-conflict resolution.


“We have more students visiting us in the autumn and have plans to strengthen our important partnership.


“We look forward to continuing these conversations for the very long-term and very much hope we will one day be in a position to return the visit.”


A delegation of ZNU professional services staff, headed by Vice-Rector, Professor Sergiy Kushnir, met their Durham counterparts in-person for the first time, sharing best practice and identifying opportunities for future collaborations.


Professor Kushnir said: “Our twinning with Durham is important because for us it represents the support of the whole British nation, and especially Durham.


“For our researchers, students and wider staff group it represents future possibilities, provides them much-needed support and the opportunities to exchange in knowledge, experience and best practice.”


While in the region, the group visited many local partners and dignitaries, including the University Hospital of North Durham, to learn more about the University’s strategic partnership with County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust.


Delegates were also able to enjoy some of the North-East’s finest landmarks and scenery, including Durham Cathedral and Castle, The Angel of the North, the Northumberland Coast and the Cheviots.


In concluding their visit, the delegation also met the Mayor of Durham.


Mayor of Durham, Councillor Lesley Mavin, said: “This visit has been very valuable in building County Durham’s relationship with Zaporizhzhia and our Ukrainian partners. We hope everyone enjoyed their stay in our beautiful county and we hope to welcome them back in the near future.”


Durham University was twinned with ZNU in 2022 as part of a large-scale twinning initiative, supported by Universities UK (UUK) and the Ukrainian Ministry of Education.


Later this year, Durham plans to host ten ZNU students for a period of study, further building and strengthening the partnership between the two universities.

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