At a virtual gathering organized by the Association of American Universities (AAU), Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with presidents, chancellors, and provosts from America’s leading research universities, including Yale President Peter Salovey. Zelenskyy discussed his vision for rebuilding Ukraine’s higher education system, and how educators can help in the days and months ahead.
He also spoke about how AAU institutions can build on the work they have already done to support displaced Ukrainian students and researchers by establishing long-term partnerships to provide technical expertise and assistance to the country as it rebuilds its decimated education sector.
During the conversation, university leaders applauded Zelenskyy for his leadership in the face of the invasion, and for standing as a bulwark for democracy. “I know I speak for everybody when I say we so admire and appreciate your leadership and the bravery and suffering of the Ukrainian people,” Salovey told the Ukrainian president.
Salovey also commented about the important work done by Ukrainian students on American campuses, including at Yale. “They have organized rallies in support of the Ukrainian effort,” he said. “They have been educating their fellow students even while they themslves have been incredibly stressed and concerned about their families back in Ukraine.”
He noted that Yale and other universities have supported these students in many ways, including restructuring their financial aid and offering flexibility with academic requirements.
Salovey also asked Zelenskyy about how to support students from other states in the region, including those from the Baltic states and, indeed, Russia, who are also enduring personal difficulties as a result of the invasion.
Zelenskyy responded that it is important that there be no discrimination against any students. However, he urged that all students, regardless of their home country, not be silent in the face of injustice.
Read full coverage of the event by visiting the Yale News website.