SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: July 28, 2022

Attack Types: Other

Institution(s):Kherson National Technical University

Region & Country:Europe | Ukraine

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On July 28, 2022, Russian occupying authorities appointed an acting director to manage the Kherson National Technical University (KhNTU) five months after Russian forces invaded Ukraine.

The head of the Russian-controlled “Department of Education and Science” operating in the occupied region (Ukraine’s state education authorities operate under the (Department of Education, Science, and Youth”) appointed Halyna Raiko, a former head of the Department of Information Technology described as a supporter of the Russian occupation, for the position. They also reportedly retitled the university “Kherson Technical University,” removing “National” from its name.

By the time Raiko was appointed, KhNTU’s administration had been offering educational programming online and conducting administrative operations on the Khmelnytskyi National University campus, in western Ukraine, for several months.

Scholars at Risk is concerned by foreign occupying forces violating a university’s institutional autonomy by seizing control of campus infrastructure and operations and appointing a rector. Armed forces and occupying authorities should refrain from seizing or using higher education infrastructure and interfering in higher education governance.