UCLan sends computer equipment to Ukrainian university

Posted on - 17th March, 2023 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Preston News, Proud Preston, UCLan, University campus
UCLan's Student Centre and University Square
UCLan’s Student Centre and University Square

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is sending a range of computer equipment to their Ukrainian partner university, as part of a wider pledge to help them maintain operations during the war and to re-establish the University post-war.

A pallet containing 30 computers, monitors, keyboards and mice will be heading to Uzhhorod National University (UzhNU) as part of UCLan’s wider five-year pledge with the institution, which has approximately 15,000 students and is based in the west of the country on the Slovakian border.

There are two potential uses for the IT equipment once they reach UzhNU: the first is to kit out a study area in the University’s Halls of Residence for young learners who have been displaced from their homes, with the computers helping them to continue their studies remotely.

Read more: UCLan twins with Ukrainian university

The university is also planning to establish a Project Office, where the computers could help to create a single working space for experts from different areas of the University, and from those who have been displaced by the war who are staying in Uzhhorod, including scientists, researchers, and administrative staff.

The idea is that this location will unite all those who wish to develop internationally focused projects and submit them for grants: bringing together all those who are striving for international cooperation and conducting research with foreign partners.

UzhNU has said they intend to name the new space ‘the British-Ukrainian Friendship Chamber’, as a testament to the success of the twinning scheme.

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Derek Drummond, John Kiernan and Frank Wadmore, from the Learning Information Systems and IT Hardware Support team at UCLan
Derek Drummond, John Kiernan and Frank Wadmore, from the Learning Information Systems and IT Hardware Support team at UCLan

The twinning initiative, which is supported by Universities UK and was started by Cormack Consultancy Group, has seen various UK universities – of which UCLan is one – partner with Ukrainian institutions to provide urgent, targeted support now, and beyond the war.

The hashtag ‘TwinforHope’ has generated a huge amount of support since its launch, with more than 100 long-term partnerships now in place.

Paul Rowe, Director of International Partnerships at UCLan, said: “Colleagues at our twinning partner, Uzhhorod National University (UzhNU), have been working tirelessly to provide accommodation and support to fellow Ukrainians displaced by the invasion.

“UCLan is proud to be collaborating with UzhNU, and we hope that by providing this equipment – and through our other ongoing initiatives with UzhNU – we can continue to support this vital work.”

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The computer delivery is one example of the partnership in action.

Other initiatives run by UCLan to support those in Ukraine include the delivery of a two-week English Language summer school in August 2022, for a group of UzhNU staff and students at UCLan Cyprus, along with online English Language programmes (running through to this summer), which will help to support more than 150 students in their English Language learning.  

The university is exploring the chance to support a UzhNU academic currently in the UK to base themselves in Preston, as well as hosting a visit by the Vice-Rector Prof. Myroslava Lendel and four members of UzhNU’s International Relations team in May.

There is further work underway on the research element, UCLan’s School of Medicine is currently looking at options for potential research collaboration, and the Library team has been working with their counterparts at UzhNU about support to access academic Journals.

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UCLan is also continuing to look at ways to support the digitisation of UzhNU’s 15th Century scientific documents.

Oksana Svyezhentseva, Head of Department for International Relations at UzhNU, said:

“We would like to express gratitude to our British partner – the University of Central Lancashire – for friendly and fruitful support during this difficult time.

“We have been able to implement several joint projects, including English language courses and a summer school.

“Now, with the provision of this computer equipment, we will have the opportunity to provide educational processes in mixed mode – both on and offline. We are very proud to be a part of #TwinForHope.”

The computer equipment has been organised and packed by UCLan’s Learning Information Systems (LIS) IT Hardware Support team – once on its way, the pallet should arrive in Ukraine within a few weeks.

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