Ukraine crisis: a message from THE’s chief executive

Company expresses solidarity with Ukrainian people and announces steps in response to invasion

March 4, 2022

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has shocked the world, and THE expresses its solidarity with the people of Ukraine, and its condemnation of the atrocities being enacted by the Russian government.

As a global business, we work with universities around the world, including in Ukraine and Russia, and a crisis of this sort requires a response.

We will therefore be making the following changes to the way we operate as a business:

  • We will do whatever we can to protect the interests of Ukraine’s universities at a time of such huge disruption and distress. As such, we will ensure that those that appear in any of our rankings will have their standing protected next year, regardless of their ability to submit data.
  • We will ensure that the Ukraine crisis, and ways to support its universities and their staff and students, are themes at forthcoming summits, and we will develop charitable activities at those events to raise funds to support at-risk academics.
  • Our news team will continue to report independently and robustly on the war in Ukraine, and all of the implications for higher education. That coverage is already prominent on our homepage, and is being made open-access so that it can be read by all in front of our paywall.
  • Our current rankings reflect global higher education as it was during the previous data collection period, however we will take steps to ensure that Russian universities are given less prominence in the rankings, and that their university profiles are not available.
  • Our rankings are based on data, and as such offer an independent view of the world as it is, both the good and the bad. We would expect Russian universities’ performance to be impacted negatively by the actions of the Russian government. As such, we will allow the rankings to do what they are designed to do, and show the world the impact of those decisions. This, we feel, is the appropriate way to show that actions have consequences.
  • We will be ending all business development activity in Russia. This means that we will not be seeking out or taking on any new commercial activity with Russia until further notice.
  • As part of this, we will be taking steps to ensure that Russian universities are not using branding or other promotional opportunities offered by THE until further notice.

As a business, we have always said that universities are institutions that do more than almost any other to promote understanding, collaboration and the values we stand for at THE.

We understand that Russian universities are not synonymous with the Russian government, and we firmly believe that many of those working in higher education in Russia are fully committed to those values, and we hope that in time they will be able to play a central role in bringing Russia back into the international community in a constructive way.

However, the current situation requires a response that reflects our solidarity with Ukraine, and our rejection of Russia’s aggression.

We feel that these steps make that position clear, but we will of course keep the situation under constant review, and will not hesitate to take further steps if we believe it is necessary to do so.

Paul Howarth is chief executive of Times Higher Education.

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