FAQs on the situation in Ukraine
The universities in Ukraine have closed and in Sweden the Government has called on higher education institutions to cease collaborations with state institutions in Russia and Belarus. This raises questions about the consequences of this for individuals who are active at Uppsala University.
How many staff at Uppsala University come from Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus?
Uppsala University has employees from many different countries. Since the University does not register the employee’s origin or nationality, it is not possible to specify the exact number of individuals from these countries.
What support is there for employees who are feeling distressed by the ongoing conflict?
In a crisis, basically the regular functions are the front line for dealing with questions about the crisis and managing the additional support needed. For employees, including doctoral students, this may mean talking to their immediate manager. Employees can also contact the occupational health service, which offers professional support to employees who are experiencing distress or mental health issues.
At the University level, a crisis group has been appointed to coordinate work related to the invasion of Ukraine and this group is in contact with other government agencies such as the County Administrative Board, the Swedish Migration Agency, and Social Services.
Have conflicts arisen between staff at some workplaces at Uppsala University?
Not that we know of. Individual researchers and students cannot be held responsible for the actions of these countries. Many researchers and students from Belarus and Russia are risking their own lives by taking a strong stand against the invasion of Ukraine by these countries and associated restrictions on democratic rights. If problems or conflicts arise in workplaces, they will be handled by the head of department or manager, who can get support themselves the University’s Human Resources Division.
Is Uppsala University trying to help the situation in Ukraine in any way?
In addition to continuing its core tasks of education, research and third stream activities, the University’s most important task at this point is to safeguard free research in every possible way. The knowledge and expertise of the University’s researchers and teaching staff come to fore in times of conflict and unrest. Through journalists and on other platforms, Uppsala University’s researchers and teaching staff are sharing their knowledge with the public and contributing facts and analysis to decision-makers. Research on democracy, Russia and Eastern Europe, nuclear power and nuclear disarmament are some examples of areas that are more topical than ever before. We are also collaborating nationally with other higher education institutions within the Association of Swedish Higher Education Institutions (SUHF), and internationally within the Guild of Research-Intensive Universities, the Coimbra Group, and the ENLIGHT European University initiative.
Will the University be organising any fundraising efforts to help Ukraine?
This is not part of the University’s mission, and the University can only assist with efforts on request from another government agency. Individual staff and students who want to provide assistance and support in the crisis that has arisen are invited to contact established aid organisations to make donations. The University is investigating the possibility of organising fundraising activities for the situation that has arisen.
Are there plans to move operations from Campus Gotland to the mainland as Gotland is an important strategic military target in the Baltic Sea?
As things stand, the University’s activities are continuing as planned. Uppsala University is a government agency and has not received any instructions from the Swedish Government to relocate activities or switch to distance education.
Can I continue or finish my current studies at a University in Ukraine at Uppsala University?
We do not admit new students mid-semester and most of our courses and programmes are taught in Swedish. However, we have a number of international Bachelor’s programmes and Master’s programmes taught in English. Applications for these programmes starting autumn of 2022 have already closed, but you can apply for autumn semester 2023 starting in mid-October 2022.
If you are already living in Sweden, you can contact us at email@example.com for more information on study options.
Can a student from Ukraine avoid paying tuition fees in Sweden?
It depends, read more on tuition fees in the Staff Portal (in Swedish).
How many students from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus are there at Uppsala University?
Uppsala University has students from many different countries. Since the University does not register its students’ origins or nationalities, it is not possible to specify the numbers of students from these countries.
How many students from Uppsala University are currently in Ukraine, Russia, or Belarus?
The University is in contact with all students who are studying under the University’s student exchange agreements, and none are currently in any of these countries.
What's going to happen now with students from Russia and Belarus?
Students who are here can continue their studies. It’s important to distinguish between individuals and collaborations with state institutions.
Will students from Russia and Belarus be able to apply for courses and study programmes at Uppsala University for next semester?
The University’s admissions will continue as usual and students from Russia and Belarus can therefore be admitted as students for the autumn semester. If the rules for residence permits are changed, this may affect individuals’ chances of being able to study in Sweden.
Will this be different for students who apply on their own (‘free movers’) that for students who plan to come to the University under student exchange agreements?
For now, Uppsala University has frozen many student exchange agreements with Russia and Belarus. This means that for now, no new students can come to Sweden from those countries under student exchange agreements. Free movers who come to the University to study outside a student exchange agreement must be able to get a residence permit and pay for their studies.
What support is there for students who are feeling distressed by the ongoing conflict?
In a crisis, basically the regular functions are the front line for dealing with questions about the crisis and managing the additional support needed. For students, this may mean contacting their study counsellors. Students can also contact the Student Health Service, which offers professional support through individual counselling for students and to support their mental well-being. The University Church also offers support in the form of confidential conversations. The University Church is also located in Visby.
How are students from Russia and Belarus being impacted financially?
The current economic sanctions may make it difficult for students from Russia and Belarus to pay their tuition fees and living expenses in Sweden. The University is working on solutions with Uppsala Municipality and Region Gotland for the individuals affected.
Can the University assist students from Ukraine financially?
For students from Ukraine, the University is investigating the possibility of targeted scholarships.
Can the University assist students whose assets have been frozen due to the sanctions against Russia and Belarus?
Uppsala University is a government agency and is not permitted to give away its assets in the form of either property or money. At present, all the University can do is refer students to other organisations – Uppsala Municipality, Region Gotland, and voluntary organisations. Students who are in Sweden and do not have access to their funds can contact Social Services.
How are researchers from Russia and Belarus being impacted financially?
The University is not permitted to pay salary or any other compensation to banks in Russia or Belarus. This means that for University staff who have bank accounts in Russia or Belarus, the University cannot pay their salary or allowances.
Can the University assist researchers from Ukraine financially?
For researchers from Ukraine, the University is investigating the possibility of targeted scholarships. A number of funding bodies have taken the initiative to provide grants and scholarships to researchers from Ukraine who come to Sweden. Information about these will be published in the Staff Portal.
What research collaborations does Uppsala University have with Russia and Belarus?
Uppsala University has a handful of research collaborations with state institutions in Russia and Belarus, for example within the Baltic University Programme. These collaborations will now be frozen. They cover six Russian universities and six universities from Belarus. Cooperation with the other universities in the network will continue.
How are current collaborations directly between individual researchers (not regulated in agreements between universities) being affected?
Collaborations and contacts between individual researchers need to be tested on a case-by-case basis. All researchers who have partnered with Russia or Belarus need to carefully review their collaborations. A security assessment should be done on a case-by-case basis. Individual researchers and research groups are responsible for this assessment and can consult their head of department or immediate manager on this. Support is available from the Security and Safety Division. No payments may be made to Russian or Belarusian banks.
How are research projects funded by the EU affected?
The EU has frozen collaborations with Russia and Belarus so projects with parties from there may be affected in a variety of ways.
How will the sanctions imposed by the Government and other actors affect research?
It will affect research, but we do not know exactly how and to what extent. It is difficult to foresee. Many research projects are extremely complex involving collaborations, equipment, and other infrastructure from a variety of places around the world. One particular problem in this context is the doctoral students who are dependent on equipment and infrastructure that researchers in Russia or Belarus are using.
How is Uppsala University working to support scholars from Ukraine?
The University is preparing to receive scholars from Ukraine. The University works with the organisation Scholars at Risk for example, an organisation that works to help researchers who, for various reasons, can no longer do their research in their home countries. The University is also exploring the possibility of targeting grants from its own resources to researchers from Ukraine. A number of funding bodies have taken the initiative to provide grants and scholarships of various kinds that can be used by researchers from Ukraine who come to Swedish higher education institutions.
Are there any concrete examples of what Uppsala University is doing to assist scholars from Ukraine?
We are working with Uppsala Municipality and with Region Gotland. Individuals can have very different needs.
Do Russian and Belarusian researchers have to distance themselves from Russia/Belarus in order to remain at Uppsala University?
Sweden is a democratic country, which entails freedom of opinion and expression. The University does not register people’s political views.
Is it permitted to receive visiting research fellows from Russia?
It might be appropriate not to enter into any new partnerships at this time and not to receive any new visiting research fellows from Russia or Belarus. Collaborations and contacts between individual researchers need to be tested on a case-by-case basis and all researchers who have collaborations with Russia or Belarus need to carefully review their collaborations.
Can the University purchase equipment (books, research materials, etc.) from Russia or Belarus?
The EU sanctions against Russia mean a ban on some exports but no import bans. But Sweden’s Minister of Education has called on all higher education institutions to stop collaborations with state institutions in Russia and Belarus. Imports from non-state organisations in Russia and Belarus are therefore not subject to the sanctions currently imposed by the EU and the Swedish Government.
Can the University assist researchers whose assets have been frozen due to the sanctions against Russia and Belarus?
The sanctions affect individual researchers from Russia and Belarus. Uppsala University is a government agency and is not permitted to give away its assets in the form of either property or money. At present, all the University can do is refer students to other organisations – Uppsala Municipality, Region Gotland, and voluntary organisations.
What support does the University provide to managers to handle crisis situations?
Managers and heads of department can contact the human resource strategists at the University Administration for individual support in dealing with issues that may arise in their managerial roles. This might include, for example, addressing students who have concerns or their own experiences of war, and managing tensions that may arise between employees or different groups. There is also the option of hiring external managerial support if necessary.
Managers and heads of department can receive psychosocial crisis support via an external supplier 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The support offered includes guidance in a crisis situation, debriefing sessions with affected employees or groups, and follow-up after a crisis. You contact the supplier via the Duty Officer.
The University Administration is also planning to hold workshops with external suppliers of psychosocial crisis support on the theme of “Managing at a time of worry and crisis” in weeks 11 and 12 for heads of department and managers covering how to respond to and manage crises. The invitation will be sent to those concerned.