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Bath Spa sends birthday wishes to Sumy University – Bath Spa University

Bath Spa University sends birthday wishes to Ukrainian friends

Wednesday, 10 January, 2024

Bath Spa University joined others from around the world to send birthday wishes to one of its partner institutions, Sumy State University (SSU) in Ukraine, which turned 75 in 2023. 

Wearing vyshyvankas (traditional shirts) given to them by visitors from SSU, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise, Professor John Strachan, and Head of Development for European Projects, Professor Ian Gadd, recorded a special birthday message in front of Bath Spa’s Corsham Court campus. 

Bath Spa’s friendship with Ukraine is longstanding, and the University has been collaborating with SSU for over a decade. Most recently, Bath Spa has led on three Erasmus+ funded projects that have involved SSU: DESTIN: Journalism Education for Democracy in Ukraine: Developing Standards, Integrity and Professionalism, which focused on improving the training of journalists in Ukraine and involved 13 Ukrainian partners; ACCELERATE: Accessible Immersive Learning for Art and Design; and a staff mobility programme that saw six colleagues from SSU visit Bath in May 2023. 

In their video, John and Ian expressed how pleased they were to have been working with SSU for more than ten years before delivering a heartfelt message to colleagues at Sumy. 

John Strachan said:  

“We’re very proud to be associated with Sumy and our partnership is truly important to us. Ian and I are very glad as always to wear our vyshyvankas. The last opportunity we had for wearing them was when faculty from Sumy visited us at Fairfield House, home of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia. Fairfield house was a site of the struggle against fascism, and we can see clear analogies with [Ukraine] and what’s happening there.” 

He went on to quote Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky:  

“’Do not forget about Ukraine. Do not get tired of Ukraine. Do not get bored of our courage and our struggle.’ 

We can’t remember that too often.”

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