25 October 2019

On 23rd-24th of October the large-scale event “International Days@SumDU” took place at Sumy State University. Its main goal was to promote internationalization and engage the broader community to international cooperation opportunities. Students and staff members participated in presentations of international programmes, trainings and open lectures on academic mobility, project management, partnerships, cross-cultural environment and many other aspects of internationalization in higher education. The event was attended by SumDU reliable partners, representatives of offices of international programmes as well as diplomatic missions. The guests from universities in Ireland, Germany, Poland, Nigeria, National Erasmus+ Office, American Councils and British Council have greatly contributed to the event being among lecturers and coaches.

At the ceremonial opening, Rector of SumDU Prof. Anatoliy Vasylyev emphasized that internationalization of all activities has become a part of the university philosophy. He expressed his gratitude and awarded staff and students who actively develop international partnerships.

The Ambassador of Nigeria in Ukraine Mr. Martin S. Adamu distinguished the development of the university in terms of internationalization: “I’ve talked to Nigerian students and realized that the university is open to foreign students. SumDU is moving in the direction of education internationalization, it also gives an example to other universities how to work with foreign students, carry-out activities of international level”.

SumDU partners from Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Ireland – David Quin, EU projects Coordinator, Professor of Cinematography and Creative Technology and Elena Somoza, Head of the International Office led workshops on maintenance of international partnerships as well as on internationalization at home where they have shared valuable expertise and have given tips from the EU perspective. Describing our partnership David Quin mentioned: “We are now actively cooperating with Sumy within the Erasmus+ programme. If we need partners in Ukraine, the first university we go to would be SumDU. In 2018, we received a joint project under the EU Erasmus+ programme. It is dedicated to the exchange of and students. The project focus is on modern technologies for electronic support to teaching and learning. We are expecting two Ukrainian students to come to our university next year. We cooperate within European projects and this is a very difficult task. SumDU is a reliable partner not only from the point of view of fulfilling the aims regarding the university, but also from the point of view of the ethics of cooperation and the quality level of fulfillment of the tasks that the European Higher Education Area requires”.

SumDU partner in Wroclaw University of Technology – Prof. Mariusz Mazurkiewicz pointed out that cooperation with SumDU began about ten years ago with participation in the EU Tempus Programme and continued with building a quality assurance system for higher education within a joint project QUAERE of Erasmus+ Capacity Building programme. “As a partner, I am very pleased to be present at SumDU, which is considered to be one of the best in Ukraine and well-known around the globe; therefore, I hope that the cooperation will continue, we are going to have plenty of joint projects in the future”. Prof. Mazurkiewicz moderated a workshop for training university staff on the development of project applications for participation in international grant programmes.

Speaking about international cooperation, Director of the National Erasmus+ Office Svitlana Shytikova drew audience’s attention to the fact that international project implementers – both teachers and students – are the “soft” diplomats of Ukraine around the world. “Their attitude towards their country, their learning, their responsibility for their actions, their results – are being carefully analyzed and because of this everyone in other countries of the world get to know us. SumDU has been extremely active in the Tempus and Erasmus Mundus programmes. As a part of the Jean Monnet programme, the University implements 4 projects dedicated to study of European values, European experience and their adaptation to the Ukrainian economy. The projects on capacity building in higher education are being implemented as well, aimed at modernization of study programmes, establishment of quality assurance system, professional development of staff, improvement of infrastructure with new centres and laboratories”.

During two days of the event more than 400 teachers and students of SumDU have participated in activities aimed to develop skills for successful international cooperation as well as to add to the university international profile.