Rector of Ukrainian Catholic University Taras Dobko visited the University of Nottingham, Great Britain. He and Vice-Chancellor Shearer West signed an agreement about a double master’s program and discussed global relations between the two universities.

During the visit, Taras Dobko also met with representatives of the University of Nottingham Robert Mokaya and David Ouchterlonie and discussed strategies for recruitment and internationalization.

UCU’s rector met with the Ukrainian community in Nottingham and with Ukrainian scholars who were forced to leave the country because of the Russian invasion. They are now working with colleagues from Nottingham University to develop joint educational and research initiatives.

The visit ended with an open lecture by Taras Dobko, “On the Battle of Wills: Lessons from the War about Democracy and Resilience.” The rector stated that now Ukraine’s defensive capability and resilience depends to a great extent on the West’s support, both military and financial: “Public opinion is a key factor in determining the position of democratic Western governments in this war. I firmly believe that in the Kremlin’s imagination, public opinion is the weakest link in Ukraine’s defense. Therefore, we see a massive attempt by Russian propaganda to convince Western citizens that they should not sacrifice anything for the sake of Ukraine. And, conversely, it is important for Ukraine and its partners to convey to people in the West the global significance of Ukraine’s victory over revisionist Russia.”

The rector emphasized that, with its heroic defense, Ukraine reveals Russia’s true face and demonstrates the reality of evil: “The Ukrainian experience should become a source of hope for the world, to give it back faith in absolute values, heal it from cynicism and excessive attachment to comfort. Ukraine is teaching a lesson that safety cannot be an end in itself, that one should not sacrifice values for the sake of safety, and that democracy deserves to be defended at the cost of one’s comfort, health, and even life.”

We recall that in February 2023 Ukrainian Catholic University won a competition in a program of double diplomas as part of the project The UK-Ukraine Twinning Initiative. So UCU has started a joint program with the University of Nottingham “The Future of Heritage: History, Culture, Literature.” The students received an opportunity to earn a double diploma, from both universities.

This opportunity also arose thanks to The UK-Ukraine Twinning Initiative, which foresees a model of cooperation between the universities and is coordinated by the Cormack Consultancy Group and the Fund of the President of Ukraine in Support of Education, Research, and Sports with the support of Universities UK International. The initiative allows universities from the whole world to support Ukrainian colleagues in real and concrete ways. The results of the competition for joint double master’s programs were announced in February, and the start of the realization of the project was planned for September 2023. So the first group of students started studies in the program.

“We are glad that we were able to shelter Ukrainian scholars who were displaced because of Russia’s terrible war, to provide them safe conditions in which to continue research and build international academic relations. This new cooperation that we are working out in education and research will allow us to support ongoing relations for our mutual advantage,” stated Professor of Nottingham Robert Mokaya.