KNU delegation visits FAU: Future of KNU-FAU Alliance tops agenda

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Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg EELISA 23.05.2024 ©Giulia Iannicelli©Giulia Iannicelli

From 21 to 24 May 2024, a delegation from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv headed by Rector Prof. Volodymyr Bugrov and Vice-Rector for Education (International Affairs) Prof. Kseniia Smyrnova visited Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg. While the primary purpose of the visit was to participate in the EELISA Grand Meeting, significant attention was devoted to enhancing the KNU-FAU Alliance. Established in 2022, the Alliance aims to bolster Ukraine’s scientific potential and integrate Ukrainian research into European projects.

The following series of meetings were held within the framework of the KNU-FAU Alliance aimed at supporting and strengthening cooperation between universities and further developing bilateral partnership.

On 21 May 2024, a delegation from KNU visited the FAU Language Self-Study Centre and met with its head, Christian Hagen. The meeting discussed how the FAU Language Centre has been supporting Ukrainians seeking temporary protection in Germany and Ukrainian universities since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. At the same time, the two universities exchanged methods for teaching foreign languages.

The delegation also met with Prof. Dr. Heiner Bielefeldt, Head of the Chair for Human Rights and Human Rights Policy at the Institute for Political Science of the FAU. During the discussion, the parties exchanged experiences in teaching human rights-related disciplines and discussed possibilities for further cooperation.

During the meeting with the FAU PACT4Ukraine project team, the development of the KNU-FAU Alliance over the past two years was discussed in detail. The Alliance, which initially provided opportunities for close cooperation between FAU and 6 Ukrainian universities (with KNU acting as a hub), now has 14 Ukrainian partner universities.

The visit to the International Nuremberg Principles Academy was accompanied by a meeting with Prof. Dr. Christoph Safferling, Head of the Academy and Head of the Chair of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, International Criminal Law and Public International Law at the FAU. The Nuremberg Academy is already a partner of the KNU and FAU in the DAAD project “State Building in (Post)War Reality”, an important component of which is the annual KNU-FAU Summer School for students of the KNU, FAU and EELISA.

On 24 May 2024, Prof. Volodymyr Bugrov and Prof. Kseniia Smyrnova met with the President of the FAU, Prof. Dr Joachim Hornegger, to discuss opportunities for expanding cooperation between universities. The challenges faced by the higher education system were also an important topic of discussion.

The core meeting was a brainstorming session on the future and sustainability of the KNU-FAU Learning, Innovation, Science Alliance. Prof. Volodymyr Bugrov and Prof. Kseniia Smyrnova, together with Prof. Dr. Kathrin M. Möslein, Vice President Outreach at FAU, Sonia Hetzner, Head of the FAU Institute for Learning Innovation, and representatives of the FAU Strategic Projects Department, discussed existing opportunities that would facilitate the implementation of joint research projects and strengthen the Alliance’s activities. During the meeting, the KNU delegation stressed that against the backdrop of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine, Ukraine has faced realities that create a unique field for scientific research. Ukrainian scientists, particularly those from KNU, stand ready to engage in collaborative research across various disciplines and share their findings for the development of science. In response, Prof. Dr. Kathrin M. Möslein underscored the significance of cooperation with KNU for FAU, pledging continued efforts to foster bilateral collaboration. As a result of the discussion, it was decided to submit joint applications for certain calls.

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