The lecturers of Bohdan Khmelnytsky National University of Cherkasy, associate professor Nataliia Slyvka and professor Halyna Lutsenko, participated in the 2023 International Week «Future University. Connecting Regions».

The event was held from May 15 to 19, 2023 in Valmiera, Latvia.

The large-scale project brought together scientists, university staff, Erasums+ project coordinators from fifteen countries — Latvia, Estonia, Austria, Finland, Portugal, Moldova, Albania, Romania, Egypt, Jordan, and others.

During panel discussions, round tables, and networking, the participants of the International Week discussed issues relevant to modern higher education institutions, in particular, the experience of transformation of universities in conditions of uncertainty and permanent changes, their role in the economic and cultural development of regions, ways of digital transformation of the educational sphere, etc. Participants also learned more about Latvian culture, learned a few words in the Latvian language and enjoyed national choral singing.

It should be noted that Valmiera is a sister town of Cherkasy, which was mentioned by the mayor of the town, Jānis Baiks, during his speech. He demonstrated how successful even a small town can be, acting in cooperation with regional entrepreneurs, educational, cultural and sports institutions. Despite a very tight work schedule, Mayor Baiks met with representatives of Cherkasy National University, expressing support for our country and the region. In a friendly and warm conversation, Nataliia Slyvka and Halyna Lutsenko told how, in wartime, the university supports an innovative educational and research-oriented environment, intellectual and professional growth of students and academic staff, and thanked Valmiera for special attention to our institution.

The organizers of the even have been focusing on ways to help Ukraine in its resistance to a full-scale invasion. It should be noted that uncompromising support for our country, sincere belief in its victory, admiration for educators and scientists who continue to perform their professional duties in difficult conditions, was the leitmotif of all meetings. Also, it was especially nice to see the flags of Ukraine raised near Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences, other educational institutions and official institutions.

A special panel discussion was organized to highlight the issues of supporting Ukraine in its resistance to russian aggression, in which the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the Republic of Latvia Anatolii Kutsevol, Rector of Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences Agnese Dāvidsone, representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia and Ukrainian universities took part. Cherkasy National University was represented by associate professor Nataliia Slyvka. She spoke in detail about how our educational institution, during all months of the full-scale invasion, continues to educate students, help the Armed Forces of Ukraine by conducting large-scale charity events, provide psychological and organizational support to internally displaced persons, serving as a bright example of resilience and devotion to the native country for the entire Cherkasy region. Nataliia Slyvka also emphasized the importance of supporting Ukraine in the scientific field, in particular by involving Ukrainian scientists in international projects, organizing open lectures, conferences, seminars, etc.

One of the events of the International Week was the Study Fair, during which Halyna Lutsenko and Nataliia Slyvka told colleagues from other countries and future students about Bohdan Khmelnytsky National University of Cherkasy, its more than a century-old history, scientific schools, specialties of education, university life before and during the war. In order to deepen international cooperation between universities, the participants were invited to take part in trainings devoted to the implementation and coordination of international academic mobility projects. Associate professor Nataliia Slyvka joined the training, which was held in the format of an open discussion.

The participants of the training shared their experience regarding the development of the internationalization strategy of universities and discussed practical cases of the implementation of various types of mobility projects.
Summing up the work during the International Week, professor Halyna Lutsenko emphasizes that many challenges facing modern universities are universal for all regions. Accordingly, the opportunity to learn more about the modernization of educational programmes, teaching and learning methods, the organization of inter-institutional student projects, online laboratories, hackathons for students was extremely useful.

International cooperation in the field of higher education is of great importance for universities in contemporary globalized world. It helps universities to expand their horizons and improve the quality of education, ensures the exchange of knowledge and innovations, supports the development of scientific research and promotes cultural diversity.

International Relations Office