On June 9, 2023, representatives of higher education institutions from Ukraine and their British partners gathered in the renowned city of Lviv for the International Conference “Internationalization as a Key to Sustainability and Recovery: The First Year of the Twinning Program.” The purpose of the conference was to summarize the first year of the Twinning project and discuss the program’s strategy for 2023-2024.
Over 60 higher education institutions from Ukraine and the United Kingdom took part in the event. Representatives from the State University of Infrastructure and Technologies (SUIT) also attended, including Vice-Rector for Research, Pavlo Skok, and Vice-Rector for Administrative, Social and Educative Work, Oleksandr Kulincheko.
The official opening of the event began with welcoming remarks from distinguished guests, including:
- Chair of the Association of Universities of the United Kingdom, Vivienne Stern
- Head of the Expert Group on Integration into the European Research Area at the Directorate of Science and Innovation Policy Implementation of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, Hryhorii Mozolevych
- Authorized Representative of the President’s Adviser to the President’s Fund for Education, Science and Sports, Olha Budnyk
- Chair of the Universities UK International, Jamie Arrowsmith
Charles Cormack, the Director of CCG (Cormack Consultancy Group), prepared a detailed report on the progress made during the project’s duration. He highlighted the awards received and the support provided by international partners, including not only the United Kingdom but also the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, and Ireland. He emphasized the achievements despite all the obstacles, such as the signing of over 60 long-term cooperation agreements, assistance to more than 30 Ukrainian universities in obtaining grant funding for joint Ukrainian-British research projects, engagement of over 12,000 Ukrainian students in free English language learning, and support provided to 20 universities in terms of material and technical assistance.
The conference was moderated by Gintaras Steponavicius from Cormack Consultancy Group (CCG).
The conference participants discussed successful examples of twinning between higher education institutions in the UK and Ukraine. They identified priorities, needs, future projects, and ways to enhance internal and international cooperation through brainstorming sessions and panel discussions.
The participants also had the opportunity to engage in informal networking sessions, where they could discuss ideas, share collaboration experiences, impressions from the conference, and provide more details about their university’s experience during challenging times. They had the chance to interact with representatives from Cormack Consultancy Group, including Aziz Bussoufiane, Gintaras Steponavicius, and Alexander Smirnov.
The partnership between higher education institutions in the UK and Ukraine within the Twinning initiative showcased the ability of Ukrainian universities to unite, collaborate effectively, and access new technologies, resources, and financial support for the preservation and reconstruction of their own universities.
Note: The Twinning Program is a model of cooperation between educational and scientific institutions coordinated by Cormack Consultancy Group and supported by the President’s Fund for Support of Education, Science, and Sports of Ukraine, with the support of Universities UK International. The initiative enables UK universities to support their Ukrainian counterparts in the field of educational and scientific collaboration.
The main goal of the Twinning Program is to preserve the integrity of the Ukrainian higher education system and help Ukrainian higher education institutions overcome the crisis by providing additional resources, skills, and powerful international experience. Twinning involves a long-term commitment (minimum of 5 years) between participating educational institutions to foster stable and mutually beneficial partnerships.
We sincerely thank the organizers of the conference for the opportunity to be inspired by examples and use good cases for the development of your university!