Immediate cessation of cooperation with Russian institutions

Thu 03 Mar 2022 23:00

At a press conference 2 March, the Swedish Minister of Education, Anna Ekström, called for the cessation of contacts with Russian and Belarusian state institutions. Mid Sweden University is currently reviewing its collaborations.

The government calls for contacts and collaborations between higher education institutions and research funders and state institutions in Russia and Belarus to cease immediately and for no new contacts or commitments to be initiated.

Universities, university colleges and research funders have a very important role in standing up for knowledge, for academic freedom, for democracy, for human rights and in showing solidarity with students, teachers and researchers in Ukraine," said Anna Ekström.

At the same time, the Minister for Education stressed the importance of carefully assessing cooperation with individual researchers. 

It is important that individual Russian and Belarusian researchers are not automatically equated with state institutions.

What is Mid Sweden University doing?

— Mid Sweden University monitors the developments closely and we want to do everything we can to help students and researchers in Ukraine. As a higher education institution, we are members of Scholars at Risk and we stand ready to receive and assist researchers who have to flee, says Vice-Chancellor Anders Fällström.

Mid Sweden University currently has no direct cooperation with Russian institutions. However, Mid Sweden University is part of the same mobility network as Russian institutions, within North2North. It now looks at how the cooperation should be handled on the basis of the Government’s request. The faculties are working to review which other collaborations are affected. Today, cooperation with a Russian-owned company has been suspended.

Vice-Chancellor Anders Fällström stresses that it is very important to distinguish between individuals and systems.

— Many individual Russian researchers are regime-critical and need contacts with researchers from other countries. We believe that interrupting all research contacts with a Russian connection is not the right way forward. We have several employees with Russian background at Mid Sweden University. It is important that they don't feel singled out for blame.

Support for students and employees

Mid Sweden University, via the International Relations Office, has been in contact with a few students who come from the relevant areas. The Student Health Office offers support to all students who feel bad or worried.

Employees in need of support can contact the occupational health services after dialogue with the immediate manager.

Travel in Europe during the war in Ukraine

Mid Sweden University follows the travel recommendations of the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Please seek a dialogue with your immediate manager ahead of any business trip.

Any questions from researchers at risk

If you as an employee receive questions from researchers at risk, please guide them to Scholars at Risk so that they can register on the SAR list of researchers in need of relocation. As an employee, you can also contact the University’s SAR representative Emma McKeogh if you need help in answering any questions.




The page was updated 3/22/2022