VCU announces three-year partnership with Ukrainian college – VCU News
KSE is consistently ranked as one of the best higher education institutions in Central and Eastern Europe, offering degree programs in public policy and governance, economics and management. (Kyiv School of Economics)
The Virginia Commonwealth University and the Kyiv School of Economics in Ukraine have signed a memorandum of understanding which confirms the intention of the institutions to develop collaborative activities in different academic or research fields.
“Partnerships with universities around the world have always been an essential part of VCU’s internationalization strategy,” said Jill Blondin, Ph.D., executive director of the Global Education Office. “Establishing this partnership with KSE has special significance, especially given the current challenges facing Ukraine.”
Judy Twigg, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Political Science at the College of Humanities and who initiated VCU’s contact with KSE, said the partnership demonstrates VCU’s solidarity with Ukraine.
“We look forward to turning this partnership into something very real. For now, we can identify ways to interact with KSE colleagues and support displaced Ukrainian students and scholars as Ukraine faces Russian aggression,” Twigg said. “After the war ends, we can explore opportunities for our students, faculty and staff to go to Ukraine and for Ukrainian partners to come here, as we explore education abroad, research and other initiatives.”
Going forward, the partnership could include anything from team-taught courses and guest lectures to collaborative research between faculty and student exchanges, Twigg said.
“KSE faculty are engaged in many… avenues of scientific research that I think would interest scholars here at VCU and vice versa,” she said. KSE is consistently ranked as one of the best higher education institutions in Central and Eastern Europe, offering degree programs in public policy and governance, economics and management.
Twigg, who is also a senior fellow at the Global Health Policy Center and the Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies,
said she had always been impressed by the caliber and sophistication of university partners in Kyiv. His last trip there was in 2019.
“Ukraine, and in particular Kyiv, has dynamic, creative and innovative young thinkers and institutions,” Twigg said. “It is exciting to take steps to expand VCU’s ties there and initiate an academic partnership that can benefit people in both our societies, especially as a free and democratic Ukraine rebuilds after the war. “
Twigg said she was proud of how quickly VCU worked to draft and sign the memorandum. The university joins several others in the United States that have signed similar agreements with KSE, including Northwestern University and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
“Hats off to the Global Education Office which manages international university partnerships for VCU, to Jason Arnold, the Chair of the Department of Political Science, and to the Office of the College Dean and Office of the Provost, for recognizing the importance of getting this memorandum of understanding signed as soon as possible, so that we can show our support for our Ukrainian partners… with a Ukraine literally under attack and fighting for its survival.
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