The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) unequivocally condemns the Russian government’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. We are deeply distressed at recent events and fully endorse the statement made by Universities UK (UUK).
The conflict in Ukraine has created great anxiety for many, particularly those in our community from Ukraine but also those from Russia and other neighbouring countries, and those whose families and friends may be affected.
Our first priority has been on supporting affected students and staff. We have contacted students in our community who are directly impacted to offer wellbeing support and to try and alleviate the pressures on them at this time. This includes Ukrainian and Russian students who may have been impacted financially. We have staff from Ukraine and Russia with family and friends still in conflict areas and we are also supporting them at this difficult time.
The University does not have strong connections in Russia, however in view of recent events and the sanctions that the UK has implemented against the Russian state, we are reviewing our collaborations to take account of any potential security risks.
We are monitoring the situation and strongly recommend that staff and students follow Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office advice, which currently advises against all travel to Ukraine and all but essential travel to some regions of Russia.
We will continue to consider what additional action we can take to support those affected by this terrible conflict. The Disaster Emergencies Committee has also launched a Ukraine appeal.
This is a highly distressing time for all of us and the University is here to support everyone in our community. We are one UWE Bristol family, and pride ourselves on being a diverse and inclusive organisation, here to support each other.
Chaplaincy will be holding a time of vigil for all affected by the war in Ukraine. This will be held on Wednesday 9 March 12:00-16:00 in the Octagon at Frenchay, in 2B001 at Bower Ashton, and in 1C09 at Glenside, where there will be an opportunity to sit in quiet reflection or prayer. A book will be available for anyone wishing to write messages or prayers of sympathy or support.
The University offers a range of emotional and wellbeing support to staff 24 hours a day through the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). We also have many wellbeing support options available for all students.
Please continue to be kind and respectful to each other during these difficult times.
Professor Steve West
Vice-Chancellor, CEO and President, UWE Bristol