Four senior leaders from Swansea’s partner university in Ukraine are visiting Wales to help strengthen collaboration between the two institutions in research, teaching and creating opportunities for students.
The group are from Petro Mohyla Black Sea National University (PMBSNU), which is in the region of Mykolaiv, a major port city of around 470,000 people in southern Ukraine.
Swansea University’s partnership agreement with PMBSNU was launched in November 2022. It has already led to opportunities for groups of PMBSNU students to spend a semester studying in Swansea.
The group’s visit and the partnership in general reflect the Vice-Chancellor’s statement, issued at the time of the invasion by Russian forces in February 2022, which underlines that the University “stands with the people of Ukraine in defence of their sovereignty, independence, and democratic freedoms.”
The visitors to Swansea University from PMBSNU are:
- Dr Alina Iovcheva, Associate Professor of History and co-ordinator of the PMBSNU Twinning Program
- Dr Marharyta Lymar, Senior academic in the Department of English Translation, Coordinator of American Studies
- Dr Olga Yaremchuk, Director of the Medical Institute at PMBSNU, Coordinator of the Medical Area
- DSc Olena Mitryasova, Professor of the Ecology Department of the PMBSNU, Coordinator of the Ecology and Water Security Area
During their visit, the group are meeting the Vice Chancellor and the University’s Council, its governing body, along with the team responsible for developing international partnerships.
They are speaking about their experience of teaching in wartime, at a seminar on 19 July. They also attended a conference being held by the Swansea Academy of Learning and Teaching. They are also taking part in the University’s graduation ceremonies, as these coincide with their visit.
As well as leaders at their institution, the visitors are also research experts in their own fields. They are therefore also meeting with Swansea counterparts in areas such as ecology, history, law, cybersecurity and medicine.
PMBSNU is a state higher educational institution governed by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine. With around 5000 students, it traces its origins back to 1996 and became a national level university in 2016.
It has faculties in law, political sciences, computer science, journalism, physical education and sport, economic sciences and philology, along with medical, education and public administration institutes. It makes wide use of Western educational technologies and its working languages are Ukrainian and English.
Like Swansea, PMBSNU places strong emphasis on international links. It already has partnerships with universities in Canada, China and the USA, and in all corners of Europe, from Cadiz in southern Spain to Bodo in northern Norway. PMBSNU also takes part in a wide range of international exchange programs including Erasmus and the Fulbright scholarships, and more than 200 overseas staff have given lectures at the university.
Professor Paul Boyle, Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University, said:
“At Swansea University, we are proud of our enduring commitment to embracing partnership and collaboration across countries, disciplines and sectors.
“In these most challenging of times for our colleagues at Petro Mohyla Black Sea National University, we are delighted to welcome their delegation to our campus.
The visit presented an opportunity for us to celebrate our ongoing partnership, which supports our institutions’ mutual belief that academic collaboration which transcends national borders is critical to our shared future.”