Education

Universities should support Russian and Ukrainian academics that want to leave their country

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  1. Launched 24/03/2022
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We call upon all universities and research institutes, upon all countries and companies, to aid both Ukrainians and those Russians that want to escape from Russia while there is time, and give them the option to continue their lives. They all are our friends and should also receive our support. 

Ukrainians are fleeing in large numbers from the war. We need to provide these work and an opportunity to continue their research. Universities and research institutes should open up any possible position to support those that suffer from this devastating war. Much here is already on its way, with the EU actively supporting temporary employment to refugee researchers from Ukraine. Another very good platform is the https://scienceforukraine.eu/, which lists current help offers across a large number of countries. Another good platform is science4refugees.

However, we should not only think about the Ukrainians that are seeking refuge here. It must also be acknowledged that the sanctions placed on Russia also hit those that are not responsible for the war, or those who even try to escape from it. 

Clearly, the Russian population is strongly divided on whether or not the war in Ukraine is justified. As we have been told by Russian colleagues, it seems a majority of Russians do not want the war. Many Russians who are fearing to be drafted into the war, do not want to take part and are clearly against Putin, want to flee Russia. Despite that, they are often unable to do so, as quite a few countries have stopped issuing VISAs to Russians. This is clearly a mistake as these are the wrong people to prevent from entering our countries and institutions.

Many researchers that we know of would like to leave Russia and find work, any work, in a university in Europe. They want to continue their research and avoid being drafted into a war that they do not support. However, all universities that we contacted have told us that they essentially stopped any collaboration with Russia, and are therefore also not hiring Russians. That is a grave mistake. Think about it – here you have the option to support someone who is against the war, who may even be drafted and will then have to fight in the Ukraine conflict against his will. And despite that you prevent this person from saving his life, from saving other lives, and from continuing to do his job and potentially support those in Russia that are against the war.

We thus call upon all universities and research institutes, upon all countries and companies, in addition to providing positions to Ukrainian researchers, do not block those Russians that want to escape from Russia while there is time, and give them the opportunity to continue their lives. They are not our enemies, they are our friends, they need to receive our support and should not be held accountable for the decisions of their autocratic leaders.

Reason

We feel that both Ukrainian and Russian researchers require our support, they are not our enemies, they are our friends, they need to receive our support and should not be held accountable for the decisions of their autocratic leaders.

News

  • This is a note from the openPetition editorial team:

    The petition conflicted with point 1.9 the terms of use and was therefore paused. In the meantime the petition has been revised, checked again by the editorial staff of openPetition and released.

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