Since the Middle Ages students from the territory of Ukraine have been recorded to take their degrees at the University of Oxford. For much of the 20th Century the Iron Curtain had temporarily stopped this intellectual and cultural exchange, while with the break-up of the Soviet Union and the establishment of an independent Ukraine students were once again given opportunities to study at one of world’s oldest and most prestigious universities. Since 1991 the flow of students from Ukraine has been constantly on the rise. The establishment of the Ukrainian Society at the University in 2004 created a locus for the tightening of relations between Ukrainians who studied at Oxford, and upon their return to Ukraine Oxford alumni began to informally meet in Kyiv for numerous social and academic activities. Our most active alumni during this period included: Oleg Akhtyrskyi, Olena Boytsun, Dzvinka Kachur, Nadiya Kravets, Ola Onuch, Olena Ovchynnikova, Anya Plotnikova, Rostyslav Semikov, and Roman Stasiv.
The Boat Race in April, the annual Oxford and Cambridge rowing regatta, has traditionally gathered the Oxbridge alumni in the Golden Gate Irish Pub at the heart of Kyiv. In 2007 Dzvinka Kachur (Green College, 2006), while working for the UNDP Chornobyl Development and Recovery Programme, together with Oxford alumni, local partners, and the Ukrainian Society at Oxford initiated the ‘Oxford Volunteers for Chornobyl Scheme’, which since then yearly brings some 5-10 students from Oxford and other Western universities to spend several weeks in Chornobyl-affected communities, working on development issues. In November 2008 in Kyiv, the Ukrainian Society at Oxford, with the help of local alumni, organised an international, graduate conference titled “EU-Ukraine: Members or Neighbours” in cooperation with the National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”, Student Brotherhood of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, British-Ukrainian Society, Polish Institute, EUNIC, and Open Ukraine Foundation. Increased number of retuning alumni created a need to formalise their activities and in November 2011, the official Oxford University Society Ukraine was established.
The Society, headquartered in Kyiv, aims to continue uniting Oxford alumni throughout Ukraine by holding social events, inviting prominent Oxford scholars to Ukraine, pioneering social and academic activities to raise the bar of public policy discussions in Ukraine, and advising aspiring students on pursuing their education at Oxford.
Date and time: 26 Apr 2017, 4:00 PM
Venue: Merton College, the Mure Room
The Trinity term has begun, and this week we will have an outstanding opportunity to meet Gennadiy Afanasiev, a Ukrainian human rights activist of Crimean origin who spent over 400 days in Russian prison. One month after the annexation of Crimea, Mr Afanasiev was arrested on the charge of 'terrorist activities' after participating in pro-Ukrainian demonstrations and sentenced to 7 years of imprisonment in a Russian penal colony. As a result of a high-profile prisoner exchange, he was released in 2016. We are delighted to welcome him to Oxford to tell us about his struggles, captivity and ongoing activism.
Date and time: 23 Feb 2017, 8:30PM
Venue: Worcester College, Lecture Room B, OX1 2HB
Price: £1.50 (includes a glass of wine)
International Film Society is showing one of Paradjanov’s masterpieces, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors.
Paradjanov, an Armenian director and one of the great cinematic geniuses of Soviet cinema, tells a simple Romeo-and-Juliette-like story set in the Ukrainian Carpathian mountains. In Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, the simple tale of the unrequited love of Ivan and Marichka serves to revolutionise the art of story-telling in cinema, showing astonishing originality through the use of music, cinematography and camerawork. The film is a hypnotising whirlwind of colour and sound set against a background of folklore and traditional tales, which seems to come to us from another world.
Date and time: 24 Feb 2017, 7PM
Venue: Lecture Theatre, Green Templeton College, Oxford, OX2 6HG
This is the first event of Truth And Peace Series in Green Templeton College.
The goal of the initiative is to promote and strengthen the truthful dialogue in academia about challenges and conflicts around all the world.
Each event features a talk, a presentation or a film and a few minutes of silence or music followed by an open discussion.
Date and time:Wed, 15 February 2017, 1 p.m.
Venue: University College, Oxford (meet at porter's lodge)
Join us for our second conversational lunch in Hilary term, and get a chance to practice your Russian or Ukrainian language with native spreakers.
Our lunch will be followed by a short presentation of the Go Global project which offers volunteering opportunities in Ukraine.