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UMass Amherst Establishes Partnership with Ukraine’s Kyiv School of Economics

AMHERST — UMass Amherst has signed a series of memoranda of agreement with the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE) to assist students and scholars affected by Russia’s war with Ukraine.

UMass Amherst’s new multi-level partnership with KSE will establish several modalities for Ukrainian students and scholars to be part of the UMass academic community. An academic exchange program for students will enable undergraduate and graduate students from Ukraine to study at UMass for a semester or academic year with nearly all costs waived.

In conjunction with the academic exchange program for students, a non-resident, virtual Scholar in Residence program will be created for scholars affiliated with KSE. Selected Ukrainian scholars will collaborate with centers, departments, and faculty at UMass Amherst on relevant research topics virtually and will receive a stipend through the KSE Foundation.

The agreements were finalized between March and July 2022 by KSE President Tymofiy Mylovanov and Rector Tymofii Brik and John McCarthy, now emeritus provost and senior vice chancellor for Academic Affairs for UMass Amherst.

Anna Nagurney, professor and the Eugene M. Isenberg Chair in Integrative Studies in the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst, played a central role in driving these collaborative efforts. As a longstanding member of the International Academic Board at KSE, and now also co-chair of the board of directors at KSE, Nagurney was instrumental in nurturing the relationship between the two institutions. Most recently, Nagurney has been a leading expert in providing insights on Russia’s ongoing war with Ukraine.

Nagurney is thrilled about the opportunity for Ukrainian scholars to continue their research during this challenging time and hopes that this program will provide them with additional moral and professional support. “We expect good interaction with research centers, institutes, and departments,” she said. “I foresee fantastic research outcomes coming out of this program.”

These agreements resulted from UMass Amherst faculty’s call for more support for Ukrainian scholars and students. In a letter addressed to Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy and McCarthy on March 29, a group of UMass faculty, led by members of the Russian, Eurasian, and Polish Studies program, provided a detailed list of requests for action and urged senior leadership to act in support of students and scholars displaced by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Founded in 1996 by the Economics Education and Research Consortium and the Eurasia Foundation as a master’s program in economics, KSE is now a leading world academic institution. It currently offers degrees in programs such as economics, business analytics, mathematical economics, and public policy.

The UMass Amherst International Programs Office will be spearheading and overseeing these program initiatives through its units of Education Abroad and International Student and Scholar.

“It has been absolutely inspiring to work with our Ukrainian colleagues who are committed to maintaining the continuity of the academic experience in the face of terrible odds. As both Tymofiy Mylvanov and Tymofii Brik have shared in public fora, a strong, independent academic sector is crucial to Ukraine’s political and intellectual survival,” said Kalpen Trivedi, UMass Amherst’s vice provost for Global Affairs and director of the International Programs Office.

Senior administrative leaders at UMass Amherst are fully supportive of these programs to aid Ukrainian scholars and students. Nagurney is especially appreciative of the joint efforts by the administration, faculty, and senior staff leaders in ensuring that UMass offers many means of support for students and scholars. “What [KSE] have been doing in wartime has been absolutely awe-inspiring — still hosting top speakers virtually and even in person,” she said.

McCarthy added that “I enthusiastically support these efforts to assist our Ukrainian colleagues and their students in continuing their research, study, and teaching despite the war in their country.”