Statement by Vice Chancellor Nick Petford regarding the invasion of Ukraine

Date 4.03.2022

The cynical decision by the Russian Government to invade Ukraine has stunned and appalled people around the world. On behalf of the University of Northampton, I express our solidarity with all the citizens of Ukraine who are suffering as their homeland fights this unjustifiable invasion.

Our thoughts are with members of the community who are affected by distressing news from Ukraine and hope above all for an end to the violence and a return to peace for the Ukrainian people. As I write, my colleagues and our students have begun to mobilise fundraising efforts for the more than a million Ukrainians who have fled their homes to escape the conflict.

The Home Office has confirmed that Ukrainian people who are on work, study or visit visas in the UK will have their visas temporarily extended or be able to switch onto different visa routes, which I welcome. The University of Northampton and the higher education sector firmly believe the UK must be a welcoming destination for academic and student refugees, and we will continue to work together to offer support where we are able. Earlier this week, Universities UK – our collective voice for higher education – issued an unequivocal condemn the invasion and outlined the key points that universities will be taking forward in the wake of this attack. You can read the statement in full here.

I understand that – even for those not directly affected by the unfolding events – there will be many people who will find the brutal aggression and disregard for life of the Government of Russia to be truly frightening. In such times it is vital to seek and provide help, perhaps through friends, colleagues or the staff and student support that we provide here at UON.

As the rallying of the international community behind Ukraine has proven, unity gives strength in the face of despotic ambition. My sincerest wish is for the safety of you and your loved ones.


Professor Nick Petford DSc DL
Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer
University of Northampton