Solidarity with Ukraine and Ukrainian universities: HRK condemns Russian attack

24. February 2022

In a statement, the President of the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK), Professor Dr Peter-André Alt, has strongly condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

This is a deeply distressing day. Our solidarity goes out to the people of Ukraine and especially to our academic partners. We are very concerned about the lives and the well-being of Ukrainian academics and students. The German universities will assist them within the scope of their capabilities. It is also foreseeable that these developments will cause serious damage to German-Russian academic relations. We will have to examine the relevant consequences in detail.

The HRK will explore the possibilities for continuing and shaping university and academic relations with Ukraine and Russia in cooperation with the German academic organisations – in particular with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) – and in consultation with the Federal Government.

The war is also hitting Germany’s and Ukraine’s links in higher education: Ukraine is an important country of origin among international students in Germany. In the summer semester of 2021, more than 8,200 Ukrainian students were studying at German universities (source: Federal Statistical Office). The universities of both countries are also linked institutionally in many ways: there are currently 257 partnerships with Ukraine involving 113 German and 89 Ukrainian higher education institutions