On August 12, 2020, the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine initiated a meeting with the team of the EU project "Network of National Offices of the Erasmus+ Program and the National Higher Education Reform Experts team (HERE team)". The following participants joined the meeting: Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine - Andrii VITRENKO; Director General of the Directorate for Strategic Planning and European Integration - Rimma EL JUVEIDI ABULSAN; Director General of the Directorate of Higher and Adult Education, member of National Higher Education Reform Experts Team (HERE team) – Oleg SHAROV; Head of the Department of International Cooperation and Protocol – Stella SHAPOVAL; State Expert of the Directorate of Higher Education and Adult Education, BFUG member – Kateryna SUPRUN; and representatives of the National Erasmus+ Office in Ukraine – project Coordinator Svitlana SHYTIKOVA and Analytical Manager Zhanna TALANOVA.
During the meeting, Deputy Minister Andriy VITRENKO shared his experience of participating in international projects, stressed the importance of the European Union's Erasmus+ Program for the development of Higher Education in Ukraine and expressed readiness to continue supporting the Programme in Ukraine and continue cooperation with the National Erasmus+ Office in Ukraine.
Svitlana SHYTIKOVA and Zhanna TALANOVA informed about the activities of the National Erasmus+ Office in Ukraine and the National Higher Education Reform Experts team (HERE team) as well as outlined the Ukraine's participation within the Calls of the new generation of the EU Erasmus+ Programme for 2021-2027. Svitlana SHYTIKOVA highlighted the peculiarities of mobility projects implementation in 2020, which will provide a blended approach to urgently adopt amendments to the Regulation on the Implementation of the right to academic mobility, including new types of mobility - "blended" and "virtual". The Coordinator informed that the NEO – Ukraine team together with the HERE team are actively involved into the development of the Strategy for the Development of Higher Education’ 2021-2031 as part of 2 working groups of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.
The participants of the meeting discussed the importance and appropriate steps to intensify cooperation between the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and Erasmus+ projects, in particular through involvement into the project monitoring, constant promotion of project activities and results via different media resources of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine. Moreover, all participants highlighted the importance of transparency and clarity of the information submission procedure for the mandates of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and support project applications taking into account reform priorities and calls deadlines, providing relevant recommendations on urgent challenges, avoiding duplication and ensuring synergy.
NEO – Ukraine Coordinator Svitlana SHYTIKOVA draws attention to the proactiveness of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine to support current Erasmus+ Capacity Building in Higher Education projects, especially those where Ukrainian organisations act as grantholders/coordinators, in particular for further legal framework improvement to promote international cooperation in Higher Education and to wider use the results.
In addition, participants discussed the recognition of research results within the Erasmus+ projects in the context of the Formulas for the distribution of state budget expenditures for Higher Education between Ukrainian HEIs, based on scientific results and project outcomes demonstrated by 70 Ukrainian universities participating in the Erasmus+ projects. Also, during the meeting Zhanna TALANOVA drew attention to the importance of resuming the activities of the National Bologna Process Support Group in Ukraine and intensifying the participation of HERE team and academics to discuss and present a common position and recommendations at the international level, in particular for the Ministerial Conference in Rome this autumn.
During 2014-2020, thanks to a number of Erasmus+ and Tempus projects, Ukrainian universities and research institutions were able to build internal QA systems, train QA experts and provide recommendations for the establishment of an external QA system to The National Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance (NAQA) in accordance with Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG).
In the context of discussions on the ensuring and improving the QA of HE in Ukraine, in particular on the formation, status, goals and objectives of the NAQA, it is critical to consider that its recognition in the European Higher Education Area is possible only if the ESG Part 3: Standards and recommendations for QA agencies are followed. The procedure of forming the National Agency defined by the Law of Ukraine "On Higher Education" inspires the public trust, as it is transparent and democratic, provides participation of international representatives of the EHEA, demonstrates the involvement of employers and students, sectoral representation and gender balance. The National Erasmus+ Office in Ukraine together with the partner universities of the Erasmus+ projects are ready to provide the proposals to the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine on the development of quality assurance and improvement of Higher Education in Ukraine based on international experience.
Among other things, all participants agreed: to intensify cooperation through constant exchange of information, joint activities, coordination of efforts to implement the EU Erasmus+ Programme successfully; to continue active participation in the development of the Higher Education Development Strategy; to provide communication on project results and its promotion via the Ministry’s sources; to update the matrix of compliance with project results and key priorities of reforms in Higher Education; the importance to summarise the CBHE projects’ results for further widespread use of the Ministry and the development of Ukrainian HEIs; and to develop transparent and clear procedures for mandates signing and support to projects etc.