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Second Coimbra Group Executive Board Statement on Ukraine

02 March 2022

The Coimbra Group Executive Board reiterates its solidarity with Ukraine and all its people, as well as with all who are affected by Russia’s military invasion.

We are in contact with our member universities to identify which actions we could implement together to complement efforts already undertaken by Coimbra Group members and the rest of the international academic community to address the needs of impacted university students and staff.

Ukraine was also a popular destination for international students. According to available figures, the country was hosting about 80,000 incoming international students from over 150 countries in recent years, the largest numbers being from India, Morocco, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Nigeria.

Like for all Ukrainian students, the war brutally interrupted the studies of international students preparing a degree at Ukrainian higher education institutions. First and foremost, their individual safety and security should be unequivocally guaranteed. Our thoughts are with the families of those killed by the attacks.

With this statement we urge the EU institutions and Member States to include in their emergency responses all non-European citizens directly impacted by the war.

We call for as much flexibility and support as possible in trying to mitigate the effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the academic success of all students affected, both Ukrainian students and international students in Ukraine. Some were in their last years of studies. Reenrollment at universities, either in Europe or in the home country when this is the student’s choice, should be a priority.

The Coimbra Group Executive Board also condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s Russian missile attack on Kharkiv National University in Ukraine. Education institutions must be protected and remain places of safety.

Read the PDF Statement here