Support for the DonNU

Support for the National University
Vasyl’ Stus Donezk

(In exile in Vinnytsia since 2014)

A university committed to open education, human rights and environmental sustainability

The mission of the Vasyl’ Stus Donetsk National University in war-time is to continue liberal education and excellent research in the face of the extreme dislocation and adversity faced by Ukrainian higher education institutions since 2014. Established 80 years ago in Donetsk, in the Eastern Dombas region of the Ukraine, the university fled Russian aggression in 2014 leaving its laboratories and library stock behind to re-established itself as a university in exile in Vinnytskia. In 2016 the university decided to add the name of one of its most prominent alumna, the poet, human rights activist and political prisoner, Vasyl’ Stus.

Longstanding Partnership

Vasyl’ Stus DonNU has nine faculties and serves as a Horizon 2020 National Contact Point, promoting the integration of leading Ukrainian research into the European research area.

While its efforts to rebuild its laboratory and library facilities have been set-back by the war, in its first two years in exile it attracted 2500 new students, and has since grown to 5,000. The University Duisburg-Essen his one of its long standing international partners, and the only university in Germany at present providing direct support for teaching and research activities during and after the war.

University life during wartime

In spite of martial law and the departure of many faculty and students to the front, university staff continue to teach, award degrees, conduct research and to hold doctoral defenses. The reality of university life during war means that camouflage nets cover classroom buildings, laboratories face short supplies, and staff and students balance concern about their children and families with support for the work effort.

The summer term 2022 was ended early in May by adding Saturday classes, so that staff and students can concentrate on civil societal support as the war continues.

The goals of the UDE partnership during and after the war

The most urgent needs are support in teaching and degree completion. In consultations between the university leadership of the Vasyl Stus Donetzk National University and the UDE, we are responding to needs in three prioritized disciplines: foreign language education, social and political sciences, especially peace studies and international relations, and chemistry and biochemistry, including soil and water ecology. These are all areas of teaching and research excellence at the Vasyl Stus Donetzsk National University. 

The UDE is asked to:

  1. Open existing summer schools in English, and in the winter semester, English language classes to hybrid participation by students remaining in Vinnytsja;
  2. Make use of DAAD and other sources to establish new cooperations and to support mobility of students and researchers as soon as this becomes possible;
  3. Support university teaching and research activities central to re-building a peaceful and democratic civil society, including journalism and communications, and a new program planned in “Peace-building in Post-Conflict Territories”;
  4. Support short-term internships in laboratories, beginning with Chemistry, Bio-Chemistry, and Bio-technology to allow students to complete their degrees despite the shortage of materials for experimental research, and to facilitate strong future research cooperation where we have compatible interests when researchers return from the war effort;

If you would like to support our activities, please donate.

Donation account

Account holder: Universität Duisburg Essen
IBAN: DE94 3605 0105 0002 4547 26
Bank: Sparkasse Essen
Intended use: UDE-Förderung Wissenschaft Ukraine