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23 November 2022

King's recognised in national awards for sharing expertise on the Ukraine War

King’s was highly commended at a national communications award for helping inform public discourse around the Ukraine War.

A montage of media and events which were part of the Ukraine Explained campaign

The university was highly commended in the PRCA 2022 national awards for the ‘Ukraine Explained’ campaign which included more than 40 expert essay features, high profile events, thousands of items of media coverage and its sector-leading work on the Sanctuary Programme.

King’s experts in the media

This recognition was achieved thanks to the incredible community of academics and researchers at King’s School of Security Studies, King’s Russia Institute and across the university, who shared informed analysis of events as they unfolded, including giving hundreds of hours of media interviews internationally. This contribution has ensured that coverage of the war has been accurate and reliable, and supports the argument for the vital role academia plays in educating and highlighting key issues during moments of national and international importance.

Since the invasion of Ukraine in February, King’s experts have been cited in over 36, 398 articles, including nearly 1,000 print articles and over 4,000 broadcast pieces. In May, the School of Security Studies convened an international conference focussing on the Defence of Europe, with guests from over 30 countries, discussing security and defence issues arising from the Ukraine conflict.

As the war continues, King’s experts are still regularly sought by media across the world for their knowledge and expertise on everything related to the conflict, including insights into the military campaign, use of cyberwarfare, sexual violence, how Russians feel about the war, misinformation, diplomacy and defence, and whether there is a risk of the conflict escalating further.

As the unthinkable happened and we saw a return to war in Europe, King’s was uniquely placed to be able to help the world understand what was happening and the far-reaching consequences it would have. I want to thank all of our academics who have shared their time and knowledge so generously, on top of teaching our students and carrying out important research. I am in no doubt that public and policy-makers’ discussions about this war and its global impacts have been more informed as a result. We will continue to use the expertise of our scholars and the convening power of our University to inform these discussions.

Professor John Gearson, Head of the School of Security Studies

The events that have unfolded since the invasion began in February have been incredibly fast-moving and have had a global impact, not only in the military sphere but also in areas as diverse as energy, agriculture, politics, trade and economics. The expertise and insights of academics across a broad range of subjects at King’s and beyond have been incredibly important to help properly contextualise and inform media coverage of events, as well as in countering the proliferation of fake news and misinformation that serve only to distract. On behalf of the King’s Russia Institute, I am so pleased to see that our research and expertise, and that of our colleagues across King’s, have been recognised. I am certain we will be doing our best to continue contributing to public knowledge in future.

Professor Gulnaz Sharafutdinova, Acting Director of the King’s Russia Institute

Supporting displaced students and academics

King’s also continues to lead on the design and delivery of a sponsorship model for how UK universities might best implement the Government’s Home for Ukraine scheme and help host displaced students and academics.

This model has been developed in close collaboration with university partners and provides a blueprint for how higher education communities can work together to enable individuals impacted by the war in Ukraine to continue their academic journeys. This includes ensuring that displaced students and academics have the holistic support they require to thrive in a new university environment.

A media campaign brought attention to the options available to displaced people seeking safety in the UK and who wanted to continue their studies and/or research, as well as signposting other academic institutions to guidance available, thanks to King’s long history of working with and supporting displaced people.

As the UK’s first university to act as a Community Sponsor for a refugee student and their family displaced by the Syrian war, we wanted to share learnings from that scheme to develop a model for how UK universities could support students and academics impacted by the war in Ukraine. Informed by long-standing research, and in collaboration with our partners, we have developed practical interventions that will have a tangible impact on individuals whose academic journeys have been impacted by conflict and displacement.

Dr Leonie Ansems de Vries, Director of the King’s Sanctuary Programme

The quality of the content, media engagement and speed of delivery was vital in making this work a success in reaching and capturing the attention of key audiences, including policymakers, the media and the public. The dedication of King's academics to engage with the media and produce informative and engaging content was outstanding, and by working in close collaboration with communications teams across the Faculty and university to amplify and promote this content as a cross-cutting internal and external campaign, meant we could create significant reputational impact and profile for this vital area of King's.

Annabel Chalker, Director of Strategic and External Communications, King's College London

In this story

John  Gearson

Head of the School of Security Studies

Gulnaz Sharafutdinova

Professor of Russian Politics and Director of King's Russia Institute

Leonie  Ansems de Vries

Reader in International Politics