Manchester lecturer to lead project rebuilding education in Ukraine

A Manchester lecturer will lead a project in Ukraine this week to help ease the severe disruption to the education system since the Russian invasion. 

Dr Simon Hutchinson has been instrumental in creating digital learning tools to support students of geography and environmental studies in the war-torn country, who have been unable to carry out fieldwork due to the ongoing conflict. 

He was part of the team behind Virtual Field Trips (VFTs), a project organised earlier this year by the University of Salford and universities in Kharkiv and Kyiv, to make field trips possible digitally.

“Right now, it is more important than ever to support Ukraine’s Higher Education System,” said Dr Hutchinson, who will co-run the event alongside Romanian geography lecturer Marcel Mindrescu. 

“With the summer school, we will be able to bring digital skills that will open up new doors for students starting yet another term with a war raging in their country.”

The summer school will provide students and teachers with VFT technology and suggest ways to use it for improving accessibility and inclusion in schools. 

The event will be hosted in nearby Romania this week, due to restrictions on travel in and out of Ukraine, but it will also be streamed online.

Speakers from several countries and University of Salford academics, where Dr Hutchinson teaches, aim to help minimise disruption to higher education, and to inspire students in their studies in an extremely difficult time.

“With this kind of support, the education system for students and staff can slowly start to be reconstructed,” he added. 

Featured image credit: University of Salford.

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