Executive Department for
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Adolf-Reichwein-Straße 2a Gebäude AVZ (Gebäudeteil AR-NA) 57068 Siegen
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Solidarity with Ukraine - Scientific relations with Russia at rest
Joint declaration by the state and universities in North Rhine-Westphalia. Minister Pfeiffer-Poensgen: Freedom and peace are indispensable prerequisites for scientific exchange. University of Siegen offers support to students and employees.
The Russian war against Ukraine, which is contrary to international law, is causing unbearable suffering. Ukrainian cities are attacked with bombs and missiles, millions of people are in fear for their lives, every day we are receiving new news of people killed and injured.
The University of Siegen supports the joint declaration of the Ministry of Culture and Science (MKW) and all universities in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) with deep conviction: "The Russian attack on Ukraine in violation of international law shocks us and leaves us stunned, but not speechless. Our thoughts are with the affected people in Ukraine. They have our solidarity, our assistance and our support. We think of all those who fear for their family, friends and homeland. Among them are our fellow students, our colleagues. The scientific community in Ukraine has been severely affected, many students and scientists are in danger of their lives or are on the run. Together, we want to maintain the valuable exchange in art and science with Ukraine as best we can. Students and scientists should know that they are always welcome here in North Rhine-Westphalia."
The University of Siegen offers its affected students and staff from Ukraine the maximum support. They are all under the protection of the university. Counseling and conversation services are available from the International Office, the STARTING department, the Psychological Counseling Service, health protection (website available from the university network or via VPN) or the Refugee Law Clinic (student initiative). If needed, the approximately 35 students are asked to contact the International Office (International Student Affairs department) to explore options for individual support, employees are asked to contact the Welcome Center.
For donations to support the people in Ukraine, we ask that you contact the nationally and internationally established aid organizations. An exemplary overview can be found here.
The joint announcement of MKW and all NRW universities is in line with statements of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany. The stakeholders advocate a clear positioning towards Russia.
Science Minister Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen: "The Russian attack on Ukraine is a profound turning point in Europe. This blatant breach of international law cannot be justified by anything. Freedom and peace are indispensable prerequisites for scientific exchange and cooperation. Together with representatives of the higher education sector in North Rhine-Westphalia, we have therefore agreed to suspend scientific activities and cooperation with Russian institutions. We all regret this step very much - but it is currently without any real alternative."
In accordance with this statement, the University of Siegen will suspend all cooperations with Russia on an institutional level with immediate effect. This concerns scientific cooperations as well as partner programs for student exchange. Official travel to Russia is prohibited until further notice. Furthermore, until further notice, no purchases are to be made in Russia, and exports to Russia are subject to an increased approval procedure.
For all individual relationships and contacts with scientists in Russia, the University of Siegen places the evaluation and decision to maintain contact in the hands of its colleagues. Please examine their relationships critically, but value the individual - you are free to make your own decision. The Rectorate will support your decision.
The status of all Russian-born colleagues currently employed at the University of Siegen is not in doubt. This also applies to the approximately 50 enrolled students of Russian origin at the University of Siegen. The offers of support and advice by the university also apply to these groups.
The University of Siegen stands up for democratic values and enlightened societies and sees itself as particularly committed to the peaceful goals of its actions. As a university open to the world, the University of Siegen considers the promotion of international scientific cooperation and international student exchange to be one of its fundamental tasks.
With warm regards
Holger Burckhart (Rector) and Ulf Richter (Chancellor)