War in Ukraine - University of Helsinki guidelines
This page contains updated information on the effects of the war in Ukraine on the University of Helsinki as well as University-level guidelines and instructions regarding the situation.

The University of Helsinki condemns the military action by Russia and expresses its support for Ukraine and its university community. We, together with all Finnish universities, join in Universities Finland’s expression of support to Ukraine, as well as the European University Association’s Statement to the same. As a demonstration of support, the Main Building of the University and Unioninkatu 35 have been lit in the colours of the Ukrainian flag.

The University of Helsinki believes in and supports international collaboration in research and higher education, even in difficult circumstances. However, there are times when collaboration must be reconsidered, and Russia’s condemnable attack in Ukraine warrants exceptional action.

We keep monitoring both national and EU sanctions, and will adjust policies and processes accordingly. We will work together with other Finnish and international universities in an effort to end hostilities in Ukraine, and to support Ukrainian institutions and individuals.

The University of Helsinki has a team to monitor the situation in Ukraine, the related sanctions and their impact, to issue recommendations and coordinate measures taken by the University.

Ukraine related questions and queries can be sent to ukraine@helsinki.fi.

This is how the University of Helsinki helps students and staff

All Ukrainian degree and exchange students studying at the University of Helsinki as well as Ukrainian employees of the University have been personally contacted to offer them support. In keeping with the institutional value of inclusion, all members of the University community are to be treated equally, and with respect, regardless of nationality and will continue to have the same rights and services as before.

Support for health and wellbeing on the Instructions for Students and occupational healthcare (link goes to Flamma).

University of Helsinki grants the right to complete non-degree studies to persons who have arrived in Finland and whose degree studies have been suspended at the Ukrainian higher education institution due to war.

The right of completion may be granted to courses or study modules. This does not give the right to complete a degree at the University of Helsinki. The right to complete a degree can be applied for in the normal admission process.

Applications will be processed until the end of 2023 without application deadlines. Rights of completion will be granted until 31.7.2024 and no fees will be charged for non-degree studies.

Read more about non-degree studies for people fleeing the war in Ukraine and apply.

In special case, University of Helsinki may offer special arrangements for tuition fee payment for students whose ability to pay tuition fee has severely been affected by the war in Ukraine. In such case, please fill an e-form after you have received the admission letter. The e-form will be opened in April 2023 after the admission results have been published.

Ukrainian citizens will not be charged for studies at Open University until autumn 2023.

Universities, like the University of Helsinki, offer jobs to researchers who have fled Ukraine. They are listed on the international website.

Aleksanteri Institute organises an interdisciplinary series of lectures on Ukraine and from Ukraine in Spring 2022. The lectures are for wider audiences.

It is now possible for a unit at the University of Helsinki to hire a researcher on career steps 2 or 3 for one year with 40% of the cost being being covered by common funds. The remaining 60% would be covered by the hiring unit. This support is allocated to 20 researchers.

The support is meant for researchers that have arrived from Ukraine because of the war after February 24, 2022. Employment must begin between August 1 and December 31, 2022.  The university is therefore not opening a specific funding scheme, but instead a unit can propose a researcher coming from Ukraine for the funding by contacting the local HR-Services.

The University of Helsinki donates

The University of Helsinki has launched a Crisis Fund and an emergency appeal. The money raised will be used to support researchers and students fleeing Ukraine who wish to move to Finland and conduct research or study at the University of Helsinki, as well as those already at the university. You can donate here.

The University of Helsinki is supporting the victims of the war in Ukraine with a donation of € 50,000 to Unicef. The donation is made from the income of the University of Helsinki's funds (HYR).

The University Pharmacy has also supported Ukraine in the humanitarian crisis and has made two donations worth a total of 20,000 euros to those in need. The first donation was made through Operation Hope and the second donation was made to the Finnish Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. In addition, the University Pharmacy has reduced its pharmacy chain in Russia and plans to exit the Russian market.

Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies receives additional funding from Kone Foundation to support researchers fleeing the war in Ukraine. The grant allows for a total of 36 months of research time at the Collegium. Kone Foundation has granted additional resources for fellowships targeted for scholars who have escaped the war in and cannot continue to work in their home country. The additional funding will be distributed through the Collegium’s Kone Foundation Fellowship program, which supports researchers from the Baltic countries, Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine.

Guidelines on collaboration with Russia and Belarus
  • The University will suspend the development of all new collaborations with Russia and Belarus for time being.
  • In line with the recommendations of the Ministry of Education and Culture, all institutional collaboration with Russian and Belorussian universities and other institutions is suspended. Ongoing mobility periods of students and scholars from Russia will be allowed to be concluded as planned.
  • The University community members are asked to make note of the fact that the European Commission has decided to halt research, education and innovation co-operation with Russian organisations, and has stopped making payments to Russian entities under current contracts.
  • The University community is asked to refrain from any engagement with any government agency of the Russian Federation.
  • The University does not hire individuals affiliated with Russian or Belarussian universities, unless they relinquish such affiliations.
  • At UH, we do not recommmend using employees of Russian universities as experts in recruitments or when granting the tittle of docent. If such action is ongoing already, it does not need to be aborted. However it is important to note, that compensating Russian individuals for these kind of services might be difficult because of the sanctions imposed on Russian banks.  ​
  • We also recommend UH staff not to act in roles described above at Russian universities.
  • Units and community members will freeze all institutional invitations to representatives of Russian and Belorussian universities and research institutions.
  • Researcher are recommended to not initiate new publications with researchers affiliated with Russian or Belorussian universities or research institutions. No action is required regarding publications already in progress of being published.
  • The university does not recommend participating in peer review processes involving a researcher affiliated with a Russian or Belarusian institution, nor act in any role with journals published in these countries.
  • Work related travel to Russia is not possible at the moment.
  • In accordance with EU directives (EU 2022/328 ja EU 2022)/355) access to certain IT-infrastructures from Russia and Belorussia will be blocked. As a result, the University's VPN service will be restricted based on geographic location.

Staff feeling anxious or worried about the situation can contact occupational health services; instructions for students are available here.

Travel to Ukraine, Belarus and Russia should be avoided in accordance with the recommendations of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

See the website of the Finnish Immigration Service for information relating to the war in Ukraine.

International conferences
  • It is recommended not to issue invitations to conferences organised by or at the University for scholars with an affiliation in a Russian or Belarusian university or research institute
  • It is recommended not to have scholars with an affiliation in a Russian or Belarusian university or research institute as conference speakers or presenters
  • It is recommended that participant lists or conference publications do not include affiliations in a Russian or Belarusian universities or research institutes

Last updated on 22 June.

Are you looking for an expert regarding the war in Ukraine?

Would you like to consult an expert about the war in Ukraine? Researchers at the University of Helsinki are monitoring the situation and developments in Ukraine and are ready to answer questions.