Academic value added17 Mart 2017р.
The intensification of the processes of globalisation in the modern economy encompasses not only traditional areas of entrepreneurship but university education as well, which in the last two decades has become an important factor in the development and commercialisation of human capital, and thus of the national economy's competitiveness. It should seem that western universities, with their annual budgets sometimes being bigger than the one of some oblasts (provinces) of Ukraine, would play a primary role in the process of university internationalisation. However, they have a considerable interest in universities of Ukraine. Having this very reasons in mind, the EU supported a large-scale TEMPUS project "Development and Improvement of the University Administration International Affairs" (UNIVIA) 543893 — TEMPUS — 1 — 2013 — І—AZ — TEMPUS — SMGR, with the following participants:the University of Warwick (UK), Universities of Malaga and Santiago-de-Compostela (Spain), University of Bologna (Italy) as well as Azerbaijan State University of Economics - coordinator, Nakhchivan State University, Ganja State University, Sumqayit State University (Azerbaijan), Kyrgyz Economic University, International University (Kyrgyzstan), Khujand State University, and Institute of Entrepreneurship & Service of Tadjikistan, with Ukrainian universities being the part of this multinational consortium: Kyiv National Economic University named after Vadym Hetman and Poltava University of Economics and Commerce. The beneficiaries attracted the ministries of education and science of Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan because, having approved the project's funding, the European Commission would like to see not only tangible results of its integration and investment activity but models for transfer of accumulated organisational, knowledge, innovative, and other resources into the educational systems of the partner countries.
The project ends in February of this year with a large conference in Baku where all project participants will be present including Kyiv National Economic University named after Vadym Hetman, its contribution greatly appreciated by the project's international team. The Ministry of Science and Education of Ukraine, National Erasmus+ Office, and international experts assessed positively all what has been done. Professor Dmytro Lukianenko, acting Rector of Kyiv National Economic University named after Vadym Hetman, Doctor of Economics, a noted international economist, a founder of the national scientific school who participated in the creation of documents within the project realization, agreed to answer our questions about the project.
■ Prof. Lukianenko, the project, in which twenty different universities and four ministries of education participated, has been completed. How do you estimate its results? Or, as one says in the EU, what is its academic value added?
- Carrying out this project, we did many so-called follow ups and tried to, when it was possible, put in perspective its interim results. They had not always been optimistic, first of all, becausethe resource base of national universities and, for instance, the one of the University of Bologna (Italy), and the University of Warwick (UK) are not similar. At the same time, the Ukrainian universities have much to learn from their foreign colleagues, e.g. how to diversify sources of funding, to stimulate staff and student exchange, to recruit foreign prospective students, to be involved in international projects not only as participants but as its coordinator. The ways of evaluation of the university's competitiveness, its academic mobility, courses' rankings, academic staff, citation index, etc. is also the issue to be clarified and improved.
Thus, there are the following cardinal elements of the academic value added: a package of documents concerning internationalisation of the university's academic activity, changes of its structure, and the Centre for Foreign Affairs (now — Centre of International Academic Mobility), rapid development of the Erasmus+ programme's potential and caused by it student and academic staff exchange, international expertise of KNEU's academic positions, development of the Institute for English-Taught Programmes, carrying out of the joint degree project (the University of Redlands, USA), active grant activity. The main lines of this international activity have been reflected in the Strategy we have elaborated.
■Speaking of the Internationalisation strategy. How was it elaborated and what does it bring to the University? Has it not become another one of those formal documents actively created in the educational environment?
- The "KNEU's Internationalization Strategy for 2016-2020" was created by the leading specialists of our University in association with the Institute for Higher Education. I took part in its development, too. The Strategy's key tasks are: consolidation of the University as a leading national scientific and research educational centre, ensuring personal and professional growth of students, forming competences that determine students' competitiveness, all around development of the creative potential, building up KNEU's international image as a regional research educational centre, facilitating the formation of the harmonic, intelligent personality, active member of the society, patriot of Ukraine. To create an effective polystructural system for international academic mobility is the overarching goal of the internationalization. We are sure that definite measures, following the Strategy's key tasks, are not of prescriptive nature since they directly harmonize our Innovative strategy and programme of our University, reflected in bi- and multilateral inter-institutional agreements. Some Strategy's provisions are already being carrying out. In particular, our University has become a member of in the number of international research networks — a new model for implementation of powerful scientific projects, practically each month some of our colleagues hold lectures at universities of the USA, Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic, and other countries. We have begun receiving students and academic staff from the leading countries for study and training respectively. This allows one to say that the Strategy works efficiently.
■Aren’t you afraid that the Internationalization Strategy and other documents, created by your University within Univia Project, as well as the internationalization model, will be used by competitor universities?
— No, we are not! We have posted these documents on our Web site. They had been subject to numerous discussion and clarifications, with the Ministry of Science and Education offering us to create a platform for discussion of the process of the internationalization in higher education of Ukraine. And we completely agree with this. Everything that the package contains has been written specifically for the conditions of our Alma mater, oriented on the data of the international monitoring conducted at our University, suggestions of our partners, grant projects, etc.
■The world becomes more and more cramped, something that lately has been considered unattainable, now is easily overcome, thanks greatly to the Internet. The interclosing affects different areas of life, the civilizational processes become natural...
Lately, the internationalization has become an important element of modern life, there are numerous examples of new contacts, presented by the time in the global educational community. The encounter of professor V. Chuzhykov with a Ukrainian ex-student whom he knew well — Natalia Chaban — at a scientific conference in Brussels is rather demonstrative. Having graduated, she went to the USA to do an internship, where she met a colleague from New Zealand, later she married and now works at one of the leading universities of this country, heading the department of European integration and the global research network of the same subject. Our regular meetings with her may result in a new project that is global not only in its essence. In other words, we are dealing with the real internationalization now. The University of Konstanz, having been our partner for 25 years, is another example. Our partnership is implemented in several professors’ visits a year and 5-6 study places for students for a semester. Now, carrying out of grants, exchange of faculty members, research activity and conferences have been added to the list. The first German students are to arrive to study at KNEU under the English-taught master's programmes in autumn of 2017.
In 2016, our University actively cooperated with different foreign higher education institutions and international educational organizations. We have signed 12 new agreements on scientific inter-institutional cooperation with foreign partners. Now there are 67 of such agreements. In 2016, the University has sent abroad for study and training 203 persons to 23 countries, 66 of them being academic staff and 137 students. And we welcomed 50 foreign specialists in KNEU.
The University's scientists work on development of international programmes, including the integration of doctoral (candidate) programmes in management and business administration, adjusting criteria, awarding degrees of candidates and doctors of sciences. The University is a member of the following international organizations: EDAMBA — European Doctoral Programmes Association in Management and Business Administration, EPLO — European Public Law Organization, Magna Charta Universitatum. The University is also a member of the Regional Studies Association (RSA) and Council for European Studies (CES), membership in which provides participation in conferences for faculty members, students, post-graduate students, young scientists and specialists; publishing of research results in international publications. All that in general helps to increase the level of teaching activity, preparation of dissertations, monograms, improve the educational process, etc. In other words, there is a base we can use and later create our own.