On the 5th of May, a joint research network conference for the post-war rebuilding of Ukraine was held online at Bohdan Khmelnytsky National University of Cherkasy within the cooperation with University of Greenwich (the United Kingdom).
Rector of Cherkasy National University Oleksandr Cherevko addressed the audience with a welcoming speech:
— You and I live in those rare times when history is being made. These times are difficult, bloody and very painful for Ukraine. But right now the fate of not only our country, our nation is being decided – the fate of human global values, the free world, democracy and the established world order is being decided right now! I would like to thank the United Kingdom for being one of the first to react to russian brutal aggression and lending a helping hand of military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine. We have high hopes for the prospects of our cooperation, in particular in the academic and scientific fields, student, scientific and cultural exchanges! I believe that together we will be able not only to overcome difficult times, but also to create a qualitatively new scientific and social product.
Director of the National Research Institute Professor Sheryl Hendricks, coordinator of the scientific community of University of Greenwich Nataliya Rumyantseva and international partnerships manager Olesya Demyan took part in the meeting from the British side.
Professor Vitaliy Masnenko in his speech on the topic «Ukrainian History and Contemporary Context» emphasized:
— The russian invasion consolidated Ukrainian society around the primary goal of victory over the aggressor! Thanks to the courage of Ukrainian soldiers and the strong support of the allies in the anti-putin coalition, among which the United Kingdom ranks first, it was possible to take significant steps to achieve it. The offensive of russian troops on Kyiv was repulsed, Kyiv Oblast, Zhytomyr Oblast, Chernihiv Oblast, Sumy Oblast, Kharkiv Oblast, partially — Donetsk Oblast and Kherson Oblast were liberated. The summer counteroffensive of the Armed Forces for the complete de-occupation of all Ukrainian territories begins.
During the meeting, issues of further cooperation, higher education in Ukraine and the process of its rebuilding after the end of the war were discussed.
Oleksandr Spriahailo, Vice-Rector for Scientific and Innovation Activities, gave a speech «Higher Education in War Time». In his speech, he mentioned the story, one of many in the joint project of Ukrainian and Canadian students Unissued Diplomas, of Oleksandr Kotsukon, a student-journalist of BKNUC, who will never receive a diploma. On March 22, 2022, Oleksandr died defending Ukrainian Mariupol. He is one of 18 graduates of our university and thousands of other Ukrainian students whose lives were taken by russia.
— By teaching, we raise a generation that does not know and does not want to know about slavery, terrorist habits of the northern neighbour, is oriented towards the development of democratic traditions, European values. We believe that the self-sacrifice of Oleksandr Kotsukon and thousands of other Ukrainians was not in vain. We will definitely defeat the enemy, we will definitely win and return to the family of European nations, Oleksandr Vasyliovych noted.
Dr. Nataliya Rumyantseva and Professor Claire Monks talked about the scheme of each disciplinary direction and the work of the sections.
— When planning the rebuilding of education in the future, it is necessary to understand how the system works now. This is a trilateral mission. Our main tasks are to educate, promote development and benefit those who are currently abroad. There are now many organizations that promote youth development, but we still need to actively engage with organizations that can also benefit from such investments. Only thanks to the joint steps we will be able to achieve success, – Nataliya Rumyantseva stressed.
In the concluding remarks, Professor Svitlana Zhabotynska expressed her expectations for the development of scientific cooperation in joint areas of research and the enlargement of academic mobility vectors.
The University of Greenwich sent us a video in which Vice-Chancellor Jane Harrington welcomes the community of Cherkasy National University. Jane is delighted to be partnering with BKNUC and excited about the prospect of what this partnership can bring.
Video link: https://vimeo.com/819543796/16f6cf90dc?share=copy
The British partners have taken into account all the proposals of the Ukrainian side and are determined for further cooperation and comprehensive support. Further steps were outlined. All participants expressed their gratitude to the organizers and translators.
Lina Kostenko, a student of the 4th year of Educational-Scientific Institute of Ukrainian Philology and Social Communications
Press service of Bohdan Khmelnytsky National University of Cherkasy