Finland halts higher education co-op with Russia, Belarus


Finland halts higher education co-op with Russia, Belarus

The Ministry of Education and Culture on Wednesday recommended that Finnish higher education institutions refrain from all cooperation with Russian partner organisations in higher education and science, said a government press release.

The recommendation was made following the decision of Minister of Science and Culture Antti Kurvinen on new policies on Russia with regard to higher education and research and on preparations related to support for Ukraine.

According to the policies, new projects should not be initiated and existing cooperation between organisations should be suspended for the time being.

The processing of new initiatives related to cooperation between the authorities of Finland and Russia or Belarus will also be frozen.

Kurvinen discussed the new policies with the heads of higher education institutions on Wednesday.

“Together with the higher education sector, our measures are directed at the Russian Federation that has attacked Ukraine,” said Kurvinen.

“Our policies focus on supporting Ukraine, not on Russian students and researchers. It is still possible to apply for entry to Finland as a student or researcher regardless of your citizenship,” Kurvinen said.

According to Kurvinen, Finland intends to support Ukraine and Ukrainians in the fields of higher education and research cooperation.

The Ministry of Education and Culture, in collaboration with higher education institutions, is preparing measures to support Ukrainian students, staff and researchers in higher education institutions and to offer opportunities to study and work in Finland for those who are fleeing the war.

It is hoped that higher education institutions can provide mental support to students and staff for the anxiety caused by the crisis in Ukraine and actively inform them of what kind of support is available. Support is available especially for Ukrainian students and staff members.

Finland also supports the decision of the European Commission to suspend cooperation within the framework of EU training and research programmes with Russian and Belarusian partners.

The European Commission has suspended negotiations on new projects with Russian and Belarusian organisations related to first applications under Horizon Europe as well as payments to Russia and Belarus in ongoing Horizon 2020 projects.