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Support in line with our mission

The war in Ukraine has been going on now for over a month. A long and difficult month for all those who are fighting so persistently and bravely to defend their country and their democracy.

The commitment and willingness to help is great and there are many initiatives being taken at KTH. The focus for us as a university is on trying to help students and researchers from Ukraine as much as possible – in line with our mission and according to what we are able to do.

In an increasingly uncertain world, when we have finally been able to at least partially breathe a sigh of relief after the pandemic, where globalisation is under pressure, it is even more important to safeguard the free movement of research and knowledge in the world. As always, it is also absolutely essential in these times to distinguish between person, country and system. KTH has a few collaborations with Russia that have been frozen for the time being.

In light of this, the work that KTH, Lund University and KI have done on responsible internationalisation is also useful as is the willingness to always ask one more question in order to make sensible assessments about partners.

The Association of Higher Education Institutions has also started a specific group to handle and analyse issues concerning higher education institutions and their collaborations around the world. The group includes KTH represented by Stefan Östlund, our Vice President for Global Relations.

In accordance with a decision made by the President, KTH is strengthening the resources that go to Scholars at Risk at KTH which will be dedicated to research environments for guest researchers and to help those who have fled the war. Through fundraising and a call for support for researchers from Ukraine we also hope to be able to raise more money, mainly for scholarships for guest researchers. Anyone who wishes to contribute is welcome to do so.

The power and willingness to do something is great and very gratifying – like many other universities, institutions, business and organisations. But it is important to think beforehand while we look for the best possible solutions.

As always in times of crisis, conspiracy theories emerge, if not by a letter in the post, then in some other way. While the hype and the falsehoods compete for space, we have a scientific backbone that keeps us optimistic and hopefully gives us the confidence that knowledge and research can be the way to a safer and truer world.