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AAU Meets with President Zelenskyy to Discuss Future of Ukrainian Higher Education

The following is a statement from Association of American Universities President Barbara R. Snyder about AAU leaders’ meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the future of Ukrainian higher education:

The Association of American Universities thanks Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for taking time today to engage with the presidents, chancellors, and provosts of America’s leading research universities about how we can all work together to assist Ukraine in rebuilding its higher education system after the war ends.

President Zelenskyy rightly understands that one of the best ways to guarantee a better, stronger, more prosperous Ukraine is through education – including a robust higher education system built around research universities. Strong research universities educate a nation’s populace and contribute immeasurably to innovation, healthcare, economic growth, and cultural vibrancy. President Zelenskyy spoke at length about the resiliency of Ukrainian students and educators and their efforts to continue their education even as they fight for their right to life and freedom in the midst of war. He also spoke about how AAU institutions can build on the work they have already done to support displaced Ukrainian students and researchers by establishing long-term partnerships to provide technical expertise and assistance to the country as it rebuilds its decimated education sector.

Today’s meeting between President Zelenskyy and the leaders of AAU member universities was the result of discussions we have had with the Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova, and other Ukrainian officials. AAU thanks the Embassy of Ukraine and Ambassador Markarova for initiating this important conversation.

President Zelenskyy’s address was livestreamed to campuses across the nation for students, faculty, and staff to watch. We’re humbled by President Zelenskyy’s willingness to spend his time with us and are committed to continuing our efforts to help Ukrainian students, scholars, and researchers. 

Founded in 1900, the Association of American Universities is composed of America’s leading research universities. AAU’s 65 research universities transform lives through education, research, and innovation. 

Our member universities earn the majority of competitively awarded federal funding for research that improves public health, seeks to address national challenges, and contributes significantly to our economic strength, while educating and training tomorrow’s visionary leaders and innovators. 

AAU member universities collectively help shape policy for higher education, science, and innovation; promote best practices in undergraduate and graduate education; and strengthen the contributions of leading research universities to American society.

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