Swedish-Ukrainian Contact Seminar 2023 (3-4.10.2023, online)

Swedish Council for Higher Education together with the National Erasmus+ Office in Ukraine and co-organisers on 3-4 October 2023 organised Swedish-Ukrainian Contact Seminar 2023. The aim of this contact seminar is to strengthen collaboration between Sweden and Ukraine and offer an opportunity to learn more about funding opportunities in education and research.

During this two-day conference Swedish and Ukrainian participants had a chance to:

  • Learn more about higher education and research in the respective countries
  • Build a networking platform
  • Learn about funding opportunities in both education and research
  • Find partners for future collaborations

Contact webinar consisted of two working days dedicated to the opportunities of the EUs Erasmus+ Programme on mobility, cooperation projects and research for Ukrainian and Swedish potential partners, bringing together more than 350 participants from Ukraine and Sweden: representatives of International Relations Offices; institutional Erasmus+ coordinators; HEIs and research institutions staff; representatives of other organizations working in the field of higher education and science.

During the first day of the event, Oleksandra HUSAK and Hryhoriy MOZOLEVYCH, Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, as well as Eino ÖRNFELDT, Director General of the Swedish Council for Higher Education addressed the participants with a welcome speech. Professor Robert EGNELL, Vice-Chancellor of the Swedish Defense University, spoke about the importance of Swedish-Ukrainian cooperation and the role of higher education institutions in times of crisis and war. Andrii PLAKHOTNYUK, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the Kingdom of Sweden, spoke about the present day of Ukraine during martial law. Samuel TUNFJORD, Desk Officer, Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, spoke about the strategy of supporting Sweden in the reconstruction of Ukraine and cooperation for 2023-2027.

In the next part of the first day, Oleksandra HUSAK and Hryhoriy MOZOLEVYCH presented the system of higher education and scientific research in Ukraine, challenges and ways of European colleagues support during the war. Swedish higher education was presented by Ulrika AXELL and Katarina CLEMENTZLOR, Swedish Council for Higher Education.

Catrine ÅKERBLOM, Swedish Council for Higher Education, presented opportunities of academic mobility of Erasmus+ for students and staff of Ukrainian and Swedish universities. Jan Olof NILSSON, Senior lecturer and Kjell NILSSON, Senior lecturer, Lund University, highlighted their experience of participating in the Erasmus+ program on international credit mobility. Christofer CARLSSON, Swedish Council for Higher Education presented a brief overview of opportunities for cooperation projects between organizations. After his presentation, the representative of the Erasmus+ CBHE OPTIMA project, Oleksandr BEREZKO, Associate Professor, Lviv Polytechnic National University, spoke about the main goal of the project “Open practices, transparency and integrity for modern higher education” (OPTIMA), the introduction of open science practices in Ukraine with the aim improving the quality of national higher education services. At the end of the first day, participants had the opportunity to hold a conversation in closed Zoom rooms and take the first steps towards new partnerships in mobility and international cooperation projects.

During the first parallel workshop on the opportunities of academic mobility in the field of higher education, participants learned more about the features of this action and experiences of successful practices from:

  • Katarina STANISZ, Swedish University of Arts, Crafts and Design and Mykhailo BOKOTEY, Lviv National Academy of Arts
  • Olga DEMYDENKO, National Technical University of Ukraine “Ihor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute”
  • Max PETZOLD and Violetta DUBOVIK, University of Gothenburg and O. O. Bogomolets National Medical University.

Within this workshop, 2 training sessions on writing a successful application were held:

  • for beginners with the participation of Oksana KRAYEVSKAYA, Erasmus+ Institutional Coordinator, Ivan Franko Lviv National University;
  • for the experienced – Krystyna SHECKOVA, IRO Head, Sumy State University.

During the second parallel workshop, representatives of the European Commission Georgiana PLESU, International Relations Officer, DG EAC and Fanny LACROIX-DESMAZES, Policy Officer, DG EAC gave a brief overview of EU support to Ukraine in the field of education and opportunities within the framework of KA2. Christofer CARLSSON, Swedish Council for Higher Education presented the action, requirements for partnerships, priorities, etc. Svitlana SHYTIKOVA, Coordinator of the National Erasmus+ office in Ukraine, spoke about the features of cooperation projects with the participation of Ukraine, as well as the existing experience for inter-project cooperation and synergy. Olga KORDAS, KTH – Royal Institute of Technology, spoke about CBHE good practices and thematic focus on how to build sustainable projects and partnerships.

Markus BOMAN, Swedish Institute, spoke about funding opportunities from the Swedish Institute, and in the second half of the workshop, Lyudmyla BABAK, Baltic University Program, Uppsala University, spoke about the RESCUU project – Resilience of Education: Sustainability and Cooperation for Ukrainian Universities. Brian KUNS, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences spoke about the RETURN project – Restoring Environments in Ukraine: Capacity building and knowledge exchange on environmental assessment and restoration. Jekaterina BOUTTIER, Project Officer, European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) spoke about the possibilities of Erasmus Mundus. Halyna GRABCHUK, Educational and Scientific Institute of High Technologies of Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University and Olga KATERNA, National Aviation University presented  experience of Ukrainian organizations within the framework of the implementation of such Erasmus Mundus projects.

At the end of the day, all participants gathered for a general panel discussion, summarizing the results of the workshops and discussing opportunities for cooperation within Erasmus+ among Swedish and Ukrainian organizations.

We believe in Ukraine and the Armed Forces of Ukraine, every citizen and partners! Glory to Ukraine!

#ErasmusPlus #ErasmusUA #StandWithUkraine #ErasmusJointForcesUA

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