Statement and InformationHeidelberg University at the Side of People in Ukraine

28 February 2022

As an academic community, Heidelberg University stands at the side of the people in Ukraine and of its Ukrainian partners in research, teaching and student affairs. Ruperto Carola condemns all forms of violation of international law, aggression and armed conflict as they find expression in the attack on Ukraine. This is in profound contradiction to the spirit of science and its inherent values of freedom, tolerance and non-violent international exchange. Accordingly, Heidelberg University stands by all those calling for an immediate end to this invasion of Ukraine.

Taking up the appeal by the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany, Heidelberg University is making every effort to uphold its contacts and cooperation with Ukrainian academics at all levels. That also includes the protection of all the researchers, teachers and students who are now – or will be in future – part of the community of Heidelberg University’s members. This commitment applies to all students and researchers peacefully engaged in furthering their studies or doing research – those from Ukraine as well as those from Russia.

Heidelberg University is, of course, also critically appraising its partnership with the University of St. Petersburg. Over many decades, scientists and scholars from Ukraine, Russia and Heidelberg have worked for academic cooperation and intercultural understanding. Precisely in difficult times it is necessary to oppose the work of destruction together, and to maintain bridges in academia that have been built over time, are based on trust and serve peace.

Heidelberg University expresses its solidarity with all those who are urgently raising their voices against this war and advocating for peaceful relations. The Russian attack violates not only basic values and fundamental rights but, above all, is inflicting enormous suffering on all Ukrainians. Our thoughts are with those people in Ukraine who have to fear for their lives and fight for their freedom.

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