EUA has a long history of supporting dialogue between universities in the European Union and its neighbourhood as well as between neighbouring countries. In Eastern Europe, Ukraine has the largest number of EUA members and is a good example of concrete collaboration across Europe and of typical EUA activities in the Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood Countries.
As a Ukrainian delegation of ministers is visiting Brussels on 19 December 2016, it is essential to remember the importance of universities in civil society dialogue and in developing understanding across the continent. EUA has facilitated this dialogue through numerous activities, including the SPHERE project, which brings together higher education reform experts from 27 countries in the European Neighbourhood. These experts met recently in Lviv, Ukraine to discuss common standards and guidelines for quality assurance.
EUA recently contributed to the modernisation of higher education in Ukraine in the context of the ATHENA project, which has been promoting inclusive approaches to university autonomy and enhancing both institutional and financial capacities of universities. The project fed into important reform developments and allowed the sector and the Ukrainian Ministry of Education and Science to design national roadmaps and action plans towards improved university governance. Committed to fostering a sustainable dialogue of stakeholders, EUA actively engaged university sector representatives, universities, ministries, as well as student organisations and other partners in nation-wide activities to collaborate on the further implementation of reforms.
Ukrainian universities also contribute to the UNI-SET project on the role of universities in energy research and education.
These activities are bringing researchers and university leadership together across political divisions and facilitate understanding between institutions and people.
EUA will continue to support university collaboration within the neighbourhood, contributing to civil society dialogue and true people-to-people contact between all of Europe’s countries.