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I Vote For Peace – Bath Spa University

‘I Vote for Peace’ project strengthens twinning partnership between Bath Spa and Ukrainian university

Wednesday, 29 March, 2023

As part of a twinning partnership launched last summer, Bath Spa University and the International University of Economics and Humanities (IUEH) in Ukraine have today (Wednesday 29 March) announced the start of a joint project called, ‘I Vote for Peace’: Collaboration and Compassion in a Time of War.

Funding awarded by the UK–Ukraine R&I Twinning Grants Scheme will be used to facilitate the initiative, the launch of which coincides with the one-year anniversary of the higher education sector’s #TwinForHope UK and Ukrainian university twinning campaign.

The ethos of education, solidarity, and compassion underpins both the project and the long-term ambitions of the collaboration between the two universities. Drawing on shared academic interests in education, humanities, and business, Bath Spa University aims to:

  • Strengthen IUEH’s research and innovation capacity by devising a strategy and action plan.
  • Support collaborative research in education and humanities.
  • Offer research-skills training for IUEH faculty.
  • Develop a leadership training programme for IUEH faculty.
  • Enhance the public-facing work of the Museum of Peace in improving wellbeing among children and young people.

In addition to online meetings, training, and shared activities and events, the project
will involve an in-person two-day planning and strategy workshop hosted in Poland, and will be attended by senior leaders and staff from both universities.

Paying homage

The ‘I Vote for Peace’ project title takes its inspiration from IUEH’s annual creative writing event for secondary school students run by its celebrated ‘Museum of Peace’, established in Ukraine in 1999 to teach young people the value of peace and tolerance.

In recognition, funding will also be used to help expand the Museum of Peace’s capacity to host exhibitions, with additional display cabinets and other museum materials. It will also be used to support a significant community awareness event in Ukraine when possible. 

David Newman, University Secretary, will be representing Bath Spa at a reception event at the House of Lords to mark the official anniversary of the #TwinForHope initiative. Discussing the collaboration, he said: "We are delighted to celebrate our partnership with the IUEH on the anniversary of the #TwinForHope initiative. This important relationship not only cements our friendship with and active support for IUEH, but also reflects Bath Spa University's continued solidarity with the people of Ukraine. 

“At its core, this partnership is all about hope. We should not underestimate the power of coming together as a community of higher education institutions in response to the horrific and senseless war to give hope to the people of Ukraine. I am confident about the positive impact that we can have on the future success of IUEH."

“Thanks to Bath Spa University's successful bid for grant funding, developed by Professor Ian Gadd, we will be working with IUEH to develop their research and innovation capacity and enhance the public-facing work of IUEH's celebrated Museum of Peace, to improve wellbeing among children and young people in Ukraine. This collaboration goes to the heart of the Bath Spa University values and I am hopeful about what we are doing as an institution to make a positive and meaningful difference."

Building on strong foundations

A natural fit, both Bath Spa University and IUEH are of comparable size; both are innovative and dynamic institutions with strong pedagogical roots and a student-centred approach to teaching and learning.

This latest collaboration builds on an existing connection between Bath Spa University and IUEH, having first worked together in 2018 as part of an Erasmus-funded initiative to improve journalism education in Ukraine.
More recently, Bath Spa University held an online event with IUEH in January 2023 which was attended by more than 100 people, including the Leader of the Council from Bath and North East Somerset and representation from Universities UK.

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