Press release

Dundee welcomes Ukrainian medical students

Published on 23 February 2023

The University of Dundee has welcomed two students from Ukraine’s Dnipro State Medical University, who have travelled to Scotland to train at Dundee's School of Medicine

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Olesia Strelchenia and Viktoriia Zemliana are continuing their medical education by undertaking short-term placements in Dundee following the signing of a twinning agreement with their home university.

Friday 24 February sadly marks the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Dnipro, located in central Ukraine, has been targeted by Russian forces on several occasions.

Teaching at Dnipro State Medical University has been severely impacted since the invasion and there has been only limited hands-on opportunities available for Ukrainian students who remain in their homeland.

Olesia, a penultimate year student who has provided support in a local hospital throughout the conflict, explained the importance of the Dundee placement.

She said, “It’s a great opportunity. From the first day of the war I have volunteered in our military hospital’s surgical department. Now, when I go home, I can share new information to help the situation.

“I’m looking forward to seeing new methods of treating people and sharing new techniques with doctors and medical students back home.”

Final-year student Viktoriia added, “We have had a difficult situation in our country for a long time. I feel so proud to be here and to receive education from Dundee doctors. It’s a big opportunity for us to have this experience and to be able to provide for our country.”

Before they arrived at Dundee, Olesia and Viktoriia provided insight into the clinical areas that they would most benefit from exposure to. Working with colleagues in the NHS Directorate of Medical Education, the visiting students have been matched to their preferences and allocated a buddy from the current Medicine MBChB programme.

The twinning agreement with Dnipro State Medical University is part of a wider package of involvement with the School of Medicine that includes supporting learning and fundraising. 

Dr Ellie Hothersall, Head of Medicine MBChB at Dundee, said, “We are delighted and proud that these students from Dnipro have been able to join us for a clinical placement. This marks an important step in our twinning partnership, and we hope it is the first of many such visits. It is important to us to be able to do everything we can to support our friends and colleagues during these difficult times.”


Jessica Rorke

Media Relations Officer

+44 (0)1382 388878