Bohdan Havrylyshyn: "It's nice that UzhNU is celebrating its 70th anniversary thinking about the future"

Bohdan Havrylyshyn: "It's nice that UzhNU is celebrating its 70th anniversary thinking about the future"

On the occasion of the anniversary of UzhNU highly respected guests visited Uzhhorod, including the man known in many countries of the world, a symbolic person for Ukraine, a prominent thinker and activist Bohdan Havrylyshyn.

Mr. Bohdan, you are the person who changed the destiny of several countries. What is needed to change Ukraine?

Ukraine must be transformed, not just reformed. This transformation will be done by the young generation, because people who are now in power are not able to do so.

How exactly will the youth do it?

I have a clear plan in this regard. At the time, I sold everything and established the Bohdan Havrylyshyn fund.  We have already been implementing the program "Youth will change Ukraine" for three years. The goal is total transformation of the country, because complete change of Ukraine’s  political, economic and social systems is required. The main objective of the program is the creation of a critical mass of young people who will be the driving force of change and will be able to implement the transformation processes in Ukraine.

 Can students and graduates of UzhNU become participants of this program?

Of course, graduates or even senior students aged 20 to 35 years can participate in the program. They must know English, have a real desire to do something important for Ukraine and be able to work as part of a team. These are young citizens who associate their future with Ukraine and seek to improve its condition. They have some knowledge about the world and speak foreign languages. They are professional, ethical, active in public or political life and know how to work in a team.

What is the matter of the program?

Program participants form groups of 6-7 people. It would be perfect if each group consisted of a political scientist, a lawyer, an economist, a sociologist or cultural anthropologist or persons who do their research in these areas.

Formed groups study the experience of some European countries that have reached the highest levels of social and economic development and which are characterized by:

• full political freedom (transparency and openness of government);

• certain level of economic prosperity for all citizens of the country;

• social justice, especially in the fields of education, healthcare, unemployment and pension provision;

• symbiotic coexistence with the biosphere (nature and environment) and not its exploitation, destruction and pollution.

Each group studies one of these countries - Austria, Germany, Poland, Norway, Sweden or Switzerland. Then a meeting with the ambassadors of these countries in Ukraine follows, and then a study tour to selected country is prepared by the group itself: they write emails to the Parliament, various Ministries and some NGOs offering to meet for discussion. Its purpose is to choose country’s components of success that are suitable for the structure of the future Ukraine and its future as an efficient country. They study what the political structure, economic system, social policy and environmental policy should be like. Then project participants write articles, give interviews, and at the end of each year participate in a working conference where all groups exchange their experience.

What are priority values for Ukraine?

Pro-European ones. We must understand that we should be driven by a sense of duty at work, it is wrong to work just for "salary". For example, medical service on Maidan was initiated by the people who did not get any salary for providing medical services on Maidan. It is important not only to demand one’s rights, but also work with the sense of duty. Our volunteers went to the ATO risking their lives and health because they felt it was their duty to defend their homeland.

What are your impressions of the visit to UzhNU?

The most striking impression is from my meeting with students. They asked a lot of rather sharp questions. They listened carefully enough, the audience was interested. The quality of students is as important as the quality of professors, sometimes even more important. If there are really good students, they can learn a lot.

I also have the best impressions from my communication with the rector - Professor Volodymyr Smolanka. He celebrates the 70th anniversary of the university thinking about the future at the same time. It is very important and very impressive. I want to emphasize that it is important for us to establish good cooperation with many universities, especially the ones of the neighboring countries.