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Help VUB help Ukraine


We stand in solidarity with all those affected by the war in Ukraine. Together we abhor the suffering, the human and material damage caused by this conflict. As an engaged university, VUB reaffirms its support to our students and our academic staff and partners from Ukraine and Russia, who are victims of this conflict. Many inspiring actions have been taken internally, others are in progress, and lots of VUBers have also set up initiatives outside the campus walls. All of them deserve a platform to help them help the victims. Vice-rector for Internationalisation Romain Meeusen: “As heart-breaking as the war in Ukraine is, the welcome with which the victims are being received in Europe is equally heart-warming. People are opening up their homes. At VUB, we want to do our bit too.”

All the initiatives can be found here.

Student sandwich campaign

Tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees are already in Belgium, and their numbers are increasing daily. Their first step is to register at the registration centre at Heysel in Brussels. The queues there are very long and people – often with children – have to stand in line for up to 10 hours with no guarantee they will get a chance to register that day. Volunteers do their part by bringing food and water, but there is never enough.

That’s why VUB student Daria Ezerina decided to set up a sandwich campaign on the VUB campus. She and fellow students prepare sandwiches in the Social room and distribute them among the people in the queue.

Solvay student group collects

The Solvay Circle is standing with the Ukrainian people. “Hello all, given the very regrettable and heart-breaking situation in Ukraine, we would like to express solidarity from the Solvay Circle by organising a donation collection event.” All donations will be taken to one of the collection points of the Ukrainian Embassy.

Scientists support Ukrainian colleagues

This initiative is going around social media worldwide, with one goal: as a university community, we are opening our doors to our Ukrainian colleagues. After all, we would want just the same if we suddenly found ourselves in the same situation, wouldn’t we?

#ScienceforUkraine is a database of offers of help from the global academic community. Do you or your research group have a place available that you would like to open up specifically to our Ukrainian colleagues? If so, please add them to the database. The following can be added:

Lodging in a dormitory or guesthouses of an institution
Research visit
Part-time/full-time work
Support for accompanying family members
Office space
Computer with internet access
Access to library and/or lab facilities

Lecture on contemporary art from Ukraine

Lecture on contemporary art in Ukraine, 1990-2020. With Tatiana Kochubinska, curator and researcher, Kyiv, Ukraine, and Anna Smolak, independent curator, Krakow, Poland.

The artistic community that emerged after the Orange Revolution is active in many areas of social life. Collectives, educational platforms and feminist organisations are just some of the progressive initiatives that have shaped the artistic landscape of today’s Ukraine. The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began on 24 February 2022, has brutally disrupted these processes.

This lecture will take place on 23 March from 17.00 to 19.00 in Aula I-0.01 on the VUB Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering Campus. It is part of the course Art in a Globalised World by Prof Dr Hans Maria De Wolf, in which our focus is on all possible peripheral art worlds.

VUB Orchestra benefit concert

On 3 April, the VUB Orchestra will give a benefit concert for Ukraine under the motto “allegro con a animali”. The proceeds will go to the Caroline Pauwels Emergency Fund, which helps students who are victims of war.

The programme is a collection of animal sounds:

- Die Fledermaus Overture - J. Strauss II

- Horn Concerto op. 91, Allegro - R. Glière Soloist: Stéphane Pflieger (horn)

- The Cabin on Chicken Feet - M. Mussorgsky

- Chicken Run - J. Powell

- Grand Canyon of the Colorado River - D. Brossé

- Philadelphia Overture - D. Brossé

- Dances With Wolves - J. Barry

- Slava! A political overture - L. Bernstein

Ukraine discussion

On 17 March, a panel discussion about Ukraine took place at VUB. Experts Alexander Mattelaer, Jonathan Holslag and Olesya Tkacheva gave their views and explanations for the current state of affairs. Their years of expertise and experience provided students, academics and citizens with a scientifically based interpretation.

VUB vice-rector for Internationalisation Romain Meeusen: “Like everywhere else in Belgium, VUBers are selflessly making their homes available to welcome Ukrainian refugees. On campus we are busy preparing for the arrival of Ukrainian students. Inquiries are already coming in to the Student Refugee Programme. We expect the number to grow rapidly. Fortunately, we have experience through the Syria crisis, so we know how to accommodate refugee students.”

You can watch the debate here