The University of Birmingham in the UK, and the Ivan Franko National University in Lviv, western Ukraine, have signed a twinning agreement to demonstrate their shared values during the current invasion of Ukraine, according to a press release issued by the University of Birmingham on June 29.

The two universities are already working together to identify a number of areas where academics and professional services staff can collaborate for the benefit of both institutions.

These areas include access to library and online resources, as well as exploring opportunities for immediate academic collaboration in research subjects like international relations and security studies, and Eastern European language and culture.

Both Universities aim to work on long-term projects such as joint research programmes, as well as student and staff exchanges, the press release added.


The University of Birmingham has already committed £500,000 to support Ukrainian universities with scholarships, stipends and fellowships.

After the signing of the agreement, IFNUL Rector Professor Volodymyr Melnyk commented: “We thank the University of Birmingham and the people of the UK for your solidarity with Ukraine. We trust that this partnership will be beneficial to both our universities with areas of research that have great potential for collaboration. Thank you to everyone at Birmingham for the hard work you have put into creating the foundations for a long and successful partnership.”

IFNUL Rector Professor Volodymyr Melnyk commenting via video link from Lviv. (Photo Credit: University of Birmingham)

INFUL is one of the oldest universities in Ukraine, and specializes sing in training experts for education, research and industry. It was renamed after the Ukrainian writer, poet, and statesman, Ivan Franko (1856-1916).

Professor Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor and Principal at the University of Birmingham, commented: “The University of Birmingham has many academic bonds around the world. We are particularly keen to establish a partnership with IFNUL to show our solidarity with Ukrainian colleagues and given our shared values. I look forward to working closely with Professor Melnyk and his team.”


Academics from the two institutions marked their new partnership on June 29 with a virtual academic panel discussion on ”British and Ukrainian Constitutionalism: Joint Values, Challenges and Prospects”.

Professor Mason also joined his IFNUL counterpart Professor Serhiy Riznyk to deliver a case study on best practice within the partnership, as part of a national twinning conference. The event involved 70 UK-Ukraine university twins and showcased UoB-INFUL as one of the six most proactive examples of partnership.

The University of Birmingham has already taken several steps to support students and staff affected by the war in Ukraine with direct support payments, fee waivers and relief to some of its current and prospective students. It also supports a number of new students who have been displaced from their studies at home in Ukraine and are looking to study in  Birmingham in September, the University of Birmingham underlined in its press release.

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