Oxford in Ukraine: History

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.


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Mar 20, 2019
Event Series: "Depicting Donbas: Creative and Critical Responses to the War in Ukraine".

Date: Thursday, 25 April 2019

Time: 6pm - 7.30pm

Venue: UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies.

Date: Friday, 26 April 2019

Time: 10am - 4.45pm and 7pm - 9pm

Venue: Birkbeck School of Arts and Centre for Contemporary Theatre

The Birkbeck School of Arts and UCL SEES will host a series of three events over two days exploring how artists across genres are responding to the ongoing military conflict in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region.

Register here.

Feb 20, 2019
Marci Shore Talk: "The Ukrainian Night: An Intimate History of Revolution".

Date: Friday, 1 March 2019

Time: 1.30pm - 2.30pm

Venue: Deakin Room, St. Antony's College, Oxford, OX2 6JF.

Join us to hear Marci Shore discuss her newest book. Marci Shore is an Associate Professor of History at Yale University, and is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Human Scienes in Vienna. She focuses on intellectual history of Central and Eastern Europe, and is the author of several books and articles published in the New York Times, the Neworker, the Economist and others.

Jan 14, 2019
Sviatoslav Vakarchuk Talk: 'Real Changes in Ukraine - a Must for a Successful Future'.

Date: Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Time: 7pm - 8pm

Venue: the Atkee Suite, Porticullis House, Bridge Street, Westminster, SW1A 2LW

To attend RSVP to secretariat@britishukrainiansociety.org

The British Ukrainian Society is delighted to host a talk by Sviatoslav Vakarchuk, lead singer and founder of Okean Elzy, social activist and philantropist, in which he will discuss the necessity of new leaders and a new political culture in Ukraine, the rule of law and justice.

Nov 4, 2018
Serhiy Zhadan: Ukraine's Enfant Terrible

Date: Monday, 12th November 2018

Time: 7pm - 8.15pm

Venue: Knowledge Centre, The British Library,

96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB

Fee: £10

Book here

An evening with one of Ukraine's most iconic contemporary writers: poet, intellectual and ska ban frontman Serhiy Zhadan.

Chaired by Eastern Europe specialist Uilleam Blacker of University College London.

Organized by the British Library in partnership with Ukrainian Institute in London.