The outrageous and distressing scenes in Ukraine continue to shock and sadden as we watch events unfold. As an international community, with staff and students from across the world, we condemn the invasion and war in Ukraine. We stand with Ukraine and its people and offer our unqualified support and solidarity.
There may be others among us with families, friends and colleagues in Ukraine and the surrounding areas who will also feel extremely anxious and uncertain. This is also very upsetting for our students and staff from Russia who have reached out expressing their solidarity with Ukraine and concern for the people of Ukraine.
I would urge anyone affected to make use of our student support services and staff support services. Support is also available for those experiencing issues with access to money, concerns about travel and the impact that sanctions on Russia may have on them.
The University is suspending its bilateral agreements with Russian organisations indefinitely. We also call on all international sector organisations and networks to affirm their solidarity with Ukraine.
Some staff and students have been asking what they can do to help and there are various dedicated appeals from charities including the Red Cross, UNrefugees, Unicef and UnitedhelpUkraine.
Areas of the University have also started gathering specified items for Polish charity OHN Woman which is being supported by local charity AberNecessities. Collection points are being set up in the Zoology Building and the Crush Hall in University Office, at Old Aberdeen.
From our side we are contacting local MPs and MSPs adding our voice to the campaign for visa-free arrival for Ukrainian refugees into the UK. We are also in contact with Aberdeen City Council offering help with any refugee response.
King’s College Tower will be lit up in the blue and yellow colours of the Ukrainian flag in a show of our solidarity.
We will continue to review what steps we can take as a community, and with our colleagues across the higher education sector, to demonstrate our condemnation of this war.
If you have suggestions on other steps we might consider as a community, please do not hesitate to get in touch. In the meantime, we must hope for an end to the invasion and the return of peace to an independent, autonomous and democratic Ukraine very soon.
Principal and Vice-Chancellor