Results of the first day of the international conference “State-building in the face of crisis: challenges and lessons learned”

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Photo: PACT4Ukraine Project

On 5 December 2023 the First International Conference „State-building in face of crisis: challenges and lessons learned” was launched at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg and via Zoom. It was organised by FAU PACT4Ukraine Project and DAAD Project “Science Diplomacy in Active Conflicts” in order to create a safe platform for networking and bringing together scientists, experts and postgraduate students from different European countries, as well as to have an opportunity to summarise both Projects´ activities and to survey the following way of development.

Not only representatives of the scientific community but also key external speakers took part in the first day of discussions. Thus, the opening speech was given by Peter Steger, a Partnership Officer at Erlangen City Council. In his speech, Peter Steger described how Erlangen supports Ukraine and cooperates with Brovary. It should be underlined that Erlangen has already sent humanitarian aid to Ukraine several times and helped the PACT4Ukraine project to deliver German-language books as humanitarian aid to Ukrainian partner universities. We really appreciate this great support.

The first panel discussion “State-building issues and democracy pillars” was opened by Tanja Ehrlein, Chair of Bamberg:UA, and Dennis Dechnik, Vice-Chair of Bamberg:UA. By the way, the NGO was founded in 2017 by Ukrainian students of the University of Bamberg. Today, Bamberg:UA is a prominent organisation with the following mission: to promote Ukrainian-German relations and support Ukraine, as well as to promote educational and cultural exchange between Germany and Ukraine. In the face of the full-scale russian invasion, the NGO constantly send humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

The panel also involved academics as speakers. Dr. Kateryna Tryma, a guest speaker from the University of Bayreuth, gave a presentation on “Historical memory and national identity as tools of hybrid warfare”. It was with a particular focus on the case study of the city of Mariupol. The next panelist was Dr. Maryna Reznichuk from Helmut Schmidt University, Germany, who gave a brief overview of her personal involvement in various democracy and state-building projects.

The second panel discussion “Higher education in times of multiple crisis” focused on the main objective of the Project – the functioning of higher education in times of war. During the session, representatives of the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) Dr. Nataliya Berbyuk Lindström and Nataliia Kononova gave a presentation on “Digital technology for advancing awareness and knowledge of human rights”, paying special attention to their cooperation with Ukrainian universities. Representing the Department of Applied IT, the speakers highlighted practical aspects of contributing to the promotion of awareness and knowledge of human rights in Ukraine by means of digital technology.

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Kaehler, who is trusted friend of Ukraine and constantly support the Project´s activities, then presented the topic “Higher education in times of multiple crises: a personal perspective”. Prof. Dr. Jüergen Kaehler has a long professional history of cooperation with Ukrainian universities such as Simon Kuznets Kharkiv National Economic University and Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Taking into account his personal experience, Prof. Kaehler paid attention to such issues as “styles of teaching”, teaching exchange, student exchange, joint research and publications, peculiarities of Ukrainian research writing, etc. The presented points gave rise to a great discussion as they covered many challenging issues that should be improved in order to make Ukrainian science more competitive.

The moderators of the Conference were the FAU PACT4Ukraine project team – Dr. Anastasiia Panchuk and Kateryna Futorianska.

The first day of the conference was rounded off by a cultural event – a charity concert “Classic against the war”, which was organised by abomentioned Bamberg:UA. All donations will be used to help Bamberg: UA to further support Ukraine and Ukrainian citizens.

Further information:
Dr. Anastasiia Panchuk, FAU PACT4Ukraine Project

Kateryna Futorianska, FAU PACT4Ukraine Project