Kyiv, January 26, 2016. Ukrainian students studying at the displaced Donbas universities have been invited to participate in a ten-day program of exchanges with French universities. The program was organized by the French province Île-de-France, International Renaissance Foundation and the Union of Rectors in partnership with the French Embassy in Ukraine and the Embassy of Ukraine in France. “This project aims at establishing academic cooperation between Ukrainian and French universities, to promote greater involvement of students in university life, and greater academic mobility of students,” informed Anastasia Formicheva, executive director at the Ukraine Cosmopolitan Project Foundation, at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. As part of the project fifteen students from five universities and their rectors will head out to France on February 15 and will stay until February 28. The criteria for selection of candidates were knowledge of French and English, plans for their research works, and general candidate assessment during the interview.
The project is planning to give our students and rectors an up-close look at special aspects of European and French higher education system and at traditions of scientific research works. “This trip […] will better prepare the students for international studies next year,” said Ms. Formicheva. Besides, she added, familiarity with functioning of European universities and, in particular, their funding system can suggest university rectors new ideas for effective reform of higher education in Ukraine, as well as for the wider introduction of courses which have not yet been studied in Ukrainian universities. “Also, these meetings will contribute to the development of “double” Master’s programs and courses for students from universities displaced from the east of Ukraine who will participate in the exchange program and to broader dialogue between the scientific university communities of Ukraine and France,” said Anastasia Formicheva. The program participants will take part in the conferences at which they will discuss these issues and visit the European institutions.
Ms. Formicheva recalled that the project is “a continuation of the French government’s efforts aimed at supporting developing the higher education in Ukraine”. Two similar trips of French and Ukrainian delegations took place in November 2014 and July 2015.