Aalto University to offer assistance to Ukrainian scholars affected by the Russian invasion

03 Mar 2022 | Network Updates | Update from Aalto University
These updates are republished press releases and communications from members of the Science|Business Network

Aalto University condemns Russian’s military operations and expresses its support to Ukraine and its academic community. We strive to provide various forms of support to those affected by the war. The message below contains information about updates to the actions Aalto University is taking in response to the war in Ukraine. 

Our colleagues in Learning Services have contacted all Ukrainian students, while supervisors and HR Services have contacted all Ukrainian employees at Aalto University, in order to offer them all possible support. 

We are currently taking a look at the employment contracts of Aalto’s Ukrainian employees and the situation of Ukrainian exchange and degree students. We are doing this to ensure that the work and studies of Aalto’s Ukrainian employees and students will not be interrupted during the war. 

The financial situation of many students has become or will become more difficult due to the war. They may apply for a partial waiver of their tuition fee. We are also looking into offering scholarships and other forms of financial support to students who are affected by the war. 

In addition, we are preparing to offer study places to Ukrainian people arriving in Finland as refugees and charting potential ways to help researchers working in Aalto’s fields who arrive here as refugees.  

Our alumni community has also expressed their strong support to Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. The Aalto alumni network board has asked the alumni for ideas on ways to help people in need. 

We will adhere to the guidelines of the Finnish State on research, education and student exchange cooperation with Russia. We will also monitor and adhere to decisions made internationally, such as any changes to European exchange programmes. Furthermore, we are taking a look at what collaborative projects we have underway with Russian parties and investigating the impact of sanctions on commitments and collaborative projects into which we have already entered. Aalto’s schools have received more detailed information about the sanctions and the related actions. We will not enter into new agreements or launch new collaborative projects with Russia. 

We will adhere to the travel advice of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs which is calling for people to avoid travel to Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. We will actively work to find alternative exchange places for those who have planned to go on a student exchange in these countries. The exchange coordinators of each school will provide further assistance in this matter.

Regardless of the critical situation and our nationalities, we are all members of the Aalto community where every individual is equally important and valued. We expect every member of our community to act according to our values, appreciating and respecting each other, taking a cooperative and responsible approach. We have zero tolerance for all forms of hate speech and harassment. 

Should you face any problems or questions arising from the Ukrainian situation at work or during your studies, please write to [email protected]. A multi-professional team will read and treat all messages from students and staff on a confidential basis. 

The staff may also contact occupational health care or the HR Services of their school or unit, while students may contact the Finnish Student Health Service, the learning services of their school or the Starting Point of Wellbeing.

The university website now includes a page dedicated to the situation in Ukraine where we will collect news, information about different forms of support and other topical materials. Its address is https://www.aalto.fi/en/aalto-university/ukraine-war. We will update the page regularly. 

Aalto University has established a coordination group for Ukraine-related matters. It is chaired by the president of Aalto University and its members include the chief human resources officer, the vice presidents for education and research, the head of security and safety, the director of communications, the head of legal, the development director and the director of advancement and corporate engagement. The group will coordinate the actions Aalto University will take in response to the situation in Ukraine and be in charge of the related communications and cooperation with our partners and the authorities. 

This article was first published on 3 March by Aalto University. 

Never miss an update from Science|Business:   Newsletter sign-up