Project Background and Information
The invasion of Ukraine on 24th February 2022 saw UK universities introduce extraordinary initiatives of support, aid, and partnership for Ukrainian institutions and their communities. One year on, as the devastating conflict continues, we are seeking to understand the initiatives implemented, as well as their value and impacts.
The UK higher education sector’s response was truly unprecedented. It evidences the extraordinary power of the sector when it mobilises rapidly. The support offered to Ukraine by universities, their funders, and the government should be commended. It is now, following the first anniversary of the start of the invasion, that we reflect on the lessons learned and how the sector might be better positioned to support future, and ongoing, crises.
Universities UK International (UUKi) has commissioned Halpin to review the landscape of crisis responses across the sector. This research will shape an understanding of the policies and practices that can strengthen the crisis response capacity of UK institutions. The project’s objectives have been outlined below.
This project is funded by Research England through their £5m grant to Universities UK International supporting the UK-Ukraine Twinning Initiative.
UUKi seeks to address a gap in the sector’s understanding – between the initial support offered to Ukrainian universities and their communities and the present impacts of those activities. Beyond this, the aims of the project are:
- To provide a descriptive overview of key elements of the sector’s response and their perceived value and impacts to date,
- To identify factors that have enabled and facilitated different types of response, and those limiting the capacity of institutions and stakeholders to engage,
- To develop a framework of policy and practice options for future responses and the conditions needed for effective and impactful deployment,
- To make recommendations to universities, funders, and government to ensure all stakeholders are better positioned to offer crisis support in the future.
After 5 months of consultation and research, the review team will present its final project deliverables in July 2023, including the publication of a report and a project team-hosted webinar. We have added responses to frequently asked questions below.
The following timeline has been proposed and agreed for the review:
- Introductory meeting with steering group
- Request for information
- Desk research commences
March – May 2023
- Interviews and focus groups begin
- Data analysis
- Emerging findings meeting
May – June 2023
- 8-10 in-depth case studies created
- Framework of best practice and recommendations developed
June – July 2023
- Draft report shared for review
- Short summative report published
- Longer technical report published
- Framework of best practice presented
- Participation from case study institutions invited
- Webinar hosted by project team, open to the sector
- Impact review conducted, one year after project completion
The review team
The review team for this particular project have been assembled based on their experience, expertise, and skills relating to the review deliverables. Full biographies are linked below.
- Susie Hills, Joint CEO & Founder (Project Director)
- Paula Sanderson, Consulting Fellow (Lead Consultant)
- Professor Stephen Hopgood, Emeritus Professor of International Relations (Senior Advisor)
- Emily Owen, Trainee Consultant (Consultant)
- Beth Adams, Project Manager
Consultation and sharing your comments
If you have any questions, comments, or contributions regarding this review, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Halpin Partnership (Halpin) is a specialist management consultancy founded to meet the needs of the UK higher education sector. Halpin places high-quality research at the heart of all projects and draws on the experience of a team of Consulting Fellows, each with their own unique areas of expertise, at senior and cross-sector levels. The full team deployed on this project can be found below.
Halpin was appointed by Universities UK in February 2023 to conduct a review into the UK higher education sector’s response to the invasion of Ukraine following a public and open tendering process.
We understand that discussions regarding the Ukraine conflict can be distressing for all involved, and endeavour to create supportive and psychologically safe environments for such conversations to take place.
If you require support or assistance of any kind, please refer to the below resources.
Universities UK International’s Ukraine webpages can also be accessed here.
Frequently asked questions
How was Halpin partnership selected?
- Halpin was selected via a public Invitation to Tender process.
What experience does Halpin have of research projects?
- Halpin have undertaken numerous research projects across all four of our core services areas. Our Strategy and Transformation services can be viewed here. Some of our recent and similar projects include ‘Living Black at University’, ‘UK Universities’ Response to Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Leading through Covid: Lessons for HE in Transition’.
Is the review independent?
- Halpin is entirely independent of Universities UK and any other providers or universities that may be involved in the project. No conflicts of interest have been declared by the review team. Halpin will communicate with Universities UK via an assigned steering group, who will also provide access to relevant documentation and ensure all review deliverables are factually correct prior to publication.
Will the findings be published, and when?
- The review project is due to end on 15th July. A published report will be made available after this date, subject to fact-checking and approval. Halpin will also host a webinar in July 2023.
If you have any questions, please contact a member of the project team:
- Susie Hills, Project Director – email@example.com
- Paula Sanderson, Lead Consultant – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Emily Owen, Consultant – email@example.com
- Prof. Stephen Hopgood, Senior Advisor –
- Beth Adams, Project Manager – firstname.lastname@example.org