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Universities condemn Russian invasion of Ukraine

Institutions are part of the U7+ Alliance, coalition to advance schools’ role as global actors

Universities from around the world today condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and called for institutions of higher learning to mobilize in support of victims and others in need.

“The presidents of the U7+ Alliance member universities stand in solidarity with Ukraine, the Ukrainian people and Ukrainian universities, and with all those who are affected by the heinous violence currently perpetrated by the Russian government,” the statement read.

The signing institutions are part of the U7+ Alliance, the first international coalition of university presidents aimed at structuring and advancing the role of universities as global actors across the multilateral agenda. Alliance members meet annually to establish a common agenda and identify key areas for coordinated action.

The leaders of those universities also said in the statement that they reaffirm their commitment to the safety and well-being of Russian students, faculty and staff on campuses, while commending the bravery of those inside Russia who chose to speak out against the invasion. 

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a flagrant violation of international law, and universities are taking a stand in defense of shared moral values,” said Annelise Riles, associate provost of Global Affairs at Northwestern University and executive director of Northwestern’s Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Affairs.

The institutions that have signed include: Australian National University; McGill University; Université d'Ottawa; University of British Columbia; University of Toronto; Aix-Marseille Université; Université Côte d’Azur; Université Grenoble Alpes; Université Paris Saclay; Freie Universitat Berlin; University of Mannheim; Hitotsubashi University; Keio University; Osaka University; University of Cape Town; University of Cambridge; Georgetown University; Northwestern University; Sciences Po; Université de Bordeaux; Università degli Studi di Milano; Université de Montréal; and École Polytechnique.

Northwestern to collaborate with Kyiv School of Economics

Earlier this week, Northwestern University signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Kyiv School of Economics. The MOU will enable both institutions to explore opportunities to collaborate in many areas, including student and faculty exchanges, organization of joint conferences and development of joint courses, among others.

“Northwestern is entering into this partnership because we are confident that KSE's future is bright and because we are committed to assisting in any way we can as KSE rebuilds in the wake of this invasion,” Riles said.

“Kyiv School of Economics (KSE) has since its founding been one of the premier institutions of higher education in Ukraine,” said Jordan Gans-Morse, associate professor of political science at Northwestern and a frequent commentator on Ukrainian affairs.

“While remaining in Ukraine to defend their homeland, KSE’s faculty have also refused to cease scholarly activities. Working out of cars and bomb shelters, they have continued to participate in virtual panels hosted by universities around the world, offer unique analyses and insights to journalists from the perspective of scholars located in a warzone, and lead the way in planning for how Ukraine will rebuild its higher education sector in the wake of this horrific war.”

For Journalists: view the news release for media contacts