Presentation of the project “EU support for the development of higher education in Ukraine through Erasmus+: Digital University — Open Ukrainian Initiative (DigiUni) project” (11.10.2023, online/offline)
On 11 October 2023, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv presented the EUs Erasmus+ Programme project “Digital University — Open Ukrainian Initiative (DigiUni)”. This initiative is an instrument of EU support for the development of higher education in Ukraine in the context of martial law and post-war reconstruction.
The European Commission has provided a special window of opportunity for Ukraine within the Erasmus+ Programme in response to the challenges faced by Ukrainian higher education due to russia’s full-scale invasion. As a result of a special call in 2023, the DigiUni project was selected for funding by the Erasmus+.
The project team, coordinated by Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, brings together an international consortium of universities and organisations from France, Germany, Spain, Czech Republic and Poland, 10 Ukrainian universities, together with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, the National Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance and the Ukrainian Association of IT Professionals (UAITP).
Based on EU best practices, the team will create a unified digital education ecosystem in Ukraine that will provide continuous, high-quality, inclusive and transparent education regardless of the location of students and staff, using digital innovations in education. The project also aims to support students who continued their studies in Ukraine during martial law and to help strengthen connections between Ukrainian universities, students and staff who were forced to leave Ukraine. The project also focuses on promoting Ukrainian studies and engaging foreign students and Ukrainians abroad into Ukrainian education in general. The project will ensure synergy and close cooperation between the Ukrainian partner universities to overcome the challenges faced by Ukrainian education during martial law, extend the project results to other universities, and contribute to a systematic approach to the future recovery of higher education in Ukraine.
Rector of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Volodymyr BUGROV presented the Erasmus+ project DigiUni and stressed that the future Digital University as a digital educational ecosystem in Ukraine will ensure equal access to quality higher education in the context of martial law and post-war recovery.
Deputy General Director for Innovation, Digital Education, Youth, Sports and Culture of the European Commission, Philippe van DEPULE stressed that the European Commission will continue to support Ukraine in the context of education development as long as necessary.
Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, Remi DUFLOT said: “Today we have presented a new Erasmus+ project DigiUni which opens up new opportunities for Ukrainian students and the country’s education system. I am proud that the EU is constantly improving its cooperation with Ukraine in the field of higher education.”
Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine for digital development, digital transformations and digitalization, Dmytro ZAVHORODNII said: “The Erasmus+ DigiUni project will contribute to strengthening higher education reforms in Ukraine”.
Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine for European Integration, Valeriya IONAN noted that the Erasmus+ DigiUni project will promote digitalisation of higher education in Ukraine.
Advisor, The Fund of the President of Ukraine on Support of Education, Science and Sports, Olha BUDNYK stressed the importance of ensuring equal access to quality higher education under martial law and post-war recovery as a priority for Ukraine.
Vice-Head of the National Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance (NAQA), Nataliia STUKALO assured that the NA would be happy to join all the project initiatives. Speaker stressed that not all universities have already switched into online education and understood that high-quality content of educational programmes cannot be built on the basic principles of pedagogy, but must be based on logic and cyber logic. This understanding is at the heart of modern online programmes.
Svitlana SHYTIKOVA, Project Coordinator of the National Erasmus+ Office in Ukraine, summed up the meeting: “Everything is just beginning, 4 years of ambitious goals are ahead. We are talking about broad access to education – both for those in Ukraine and abroad, and for foreign students and those who are ready to study in Ukraine. The team is ready to realise its ambitious goal with the help of international partners and absolutely all stakeholders. Let’s work together!”.