Restart after covid-break: on international cooperation of UzhNU and COOPERA project
International activities at Uzhhorod National University livened up with the beginning of the new academic year. New opportunities for students, such as new internships, scholarship proposals and academic mobility programs at foreign and Ukrainian universities, appear almost every week. New competitions of joint international research projects in which UzhNU scientists can take part are also announced, At the same time, the university keeps implementing several team projects, won by UzhNU in previous years, as the lead beneficiary or project partner.
Vice-rector Myroslava Lendel, who coordinates Uzhhorod National University's international activities, says that there will be a lot of new opportunities for both students and scientists in the future, and she hopes that Covid pandemic will not hinder international activity of UzhNU this academic year.
“UzhNU encourages it emploees to get vaccinated and offers free on-site vaccination. Currently, it is underway, so we hope we'll be able to conduct training in classrooms, and we also hope for active international activities during the academic year 2020-2021,” says Myroslava Lendel. “In the summer, our international partners paid visits to Uzhhorod and UzhNU staff members traveled abroad on business trips. A meeting of the Conference of Rectors of the Danube Region is scheduled for November, and is to be held in Uzhhorod for the first time. Project work is also underway, we are preparing to submit applications for the university's participation in new grant competitions. At the same time, we intensified the implementation of those projects that somewhat "slowed down" due to objective circumstances caused by the pandemic.
The Faculty of Economics belongs to the most active structural subdivisions of Uzhhorod National University in terms of international activity. Last week, the faculty welcomed scientific delegations from Serbia and Croatia. Economists have big plans for the new academic year.
“Our faculty is the leader among all structural subdivisions of the university with regards to academic mobility within Erasmus+ program,” says the dean of the Faculty of Economics Vitaliy Serzhanov. “Understanding how important international activity is for the competitiveness of UzhNU and the opportunities it offers to students, we are trying to make the most of every opportunity. Last week, we signed new agreements with our partners from Croatia and Serbia, before that we established cooperation with Georgian universities. Owing to a new project aimed at the integration of dual education in Ukraine and Moldova, which we started to implement this year, we established contacts with the universities in Moldova, Bulgaria, Poland, Germany, Slovenia and Spain.”
Associate professor Tetyana Buturlakina, the head of Career Center of Uzhhorod National University, PhD in Economics is the coordinator of the project "Integrating dual higher education in Moldova and Ukraine / COOPERA" on behalf of UzhNU. She clarifies that the project is implemented under the EU Erasmus+ program direction "Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices", action (KA 2) "Capacity Building in Higher Education", category "Development of the higher education sector in society as a whole", subject area "Cooperation between the university and enterprises".
“It’s a large structural three-year project. The project started on January 15, 2021 and will last until January 14, 2024,” says Tetyana Buturlakina. “Despite the lockdown, which affected the schedule and format of certain events, most of which are online, we managed to hold 2 large meetings of the consortium. The consortium includes two Central European partner universities (Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University, Germany and Lleida University, Spain), Eastern European ones (Varna University of Management ,Bulgaria.,Academy WSB, Poland, European Policy Development and Research Institute of Maribor Slovenia), as well as universities of partner countries from Moldova (Academy of Economic Education, Technical University, Free International University, Ministry of Education, Culture and Research of Moldova). The partnership of Ukrainian universities includes Uzhhorod National University, KROK University (Kyiv) V.N.Karazin Kharkiv National University, Odesa National University of Economics and the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.”
Tetyana Buturlakina says that one of the project objectives is to develop a flexible and universal model of dual higher education to support different needs and interests of employers, higher education institutions and students. It’s also planned to develop recommendations for the introduction of dual higher education in the Ukrainian environment, in particular by changing the legislation. This area of project work will be implemented with the support of the Ministry of Science and Education of Ukraine.
“It’s a huge advantage for the image of our university. In fact, Uzhhorod National University, together with three partners from Odessa, Kyiv and Kharkiv, is implementing a pilot project that should change the approach to higher education in Ukraine, taking into account the needs of business and the labor market in general. We often hear that universities teach theorists, and then when a graduate comes to work, he or she has to learn in a new way, learn new practical skills. Dual education solves this problem. And even at the local level: in Europe, the education system is flexible and responds quickly to changes in the needs of the economy and the labor market, even at the level of individual regions. The Faculty of Economics of Uzhhorod National University has a good tradition of cooperation with the leading employers in the region and abroad, so it is logical that our faculty joined the implementation of such a "pilot project" at Uzhhorod National University. And at this stage, the work is underway to attract employers from among enterprises, companies and business representatives of relevant industries and areas of activity in cooperation within the framework of dual programs in working with students.” explains Tetyana Buturlakina.
You can read more about the implementation of COOPERA project at the link.
All the pieces of news about the international activity of UzhNU can be found in the section ”International cooperation” on the official website of the university.