Expanding 'CIVICA for Ukraine': Strengthening ties among European Universities


CIVICA enhances support for Ukrainian academic institutions in a new phase of academic cooperation initiative.

In a significant move towards bolstering the academic community in Ukraine, the CIVICA alliance has officially launched the second phase of its "CIVICA for Ukraine" project and reaffirms its commitment to strengthening European academic collaboration and solidarity. This development follows the successful completion of the initiative's initial phase in 2023, recognised for its impactful and relevant support to Ukrainian universities, students, faculty, and staff amidst the war and ongoing challenges in the region.

The decision to enter a new phase of collaboration was made after discussions with the five Ukrainian partners and upon receiving unanimous endorsement from the CIVICA Steering Committee members, based on the positive outcomes of the first cycle of activities led by SGH Warsaw School of Economics and supported by the National Agency for Academic Exchange in Poland (NAWA).

Central to this renewed collaboration is the proposition extended to Ukrainian universities to partner with CIVICA, facilitating bilateral institutional dialogue. The Ukrainian institutions that will benefit from this enriched collaboration include the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE), Kyiv National Economic University (KNEU), National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy (NaUKMA), Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv (UCU), and Vasyl’ Stus Donetsk National University (Vasyl' Stus DonNU). The suite of activities planned for the 2024-2026 period underscores CIVICA's holistic approach to academic solidarity. This array includes a scheme for Ukrainian scholars visiting CIVICA institutions. Additionally, the initiative encompasses the CIVICA Global Forum, Inclusion Workshops, European Week (bachelor) and Honour Seminars (master); activities designed to enrich the academic experience, to foster dialogue on pressing global and regional issues, and to facilitate inclusive and diverse educational environments.

Iryna Degtyarova, SGH Rector’s Representative for cooperation with Ukrainian HEIs and coordinator of the SGH-NAWA Project, underlines: “CIVICA acting for and with Ukraine is about leadership, dialogue and reciprocity, solidarity and resilience. It is about belonging to the European academic community and supporting the European integration path of Ukraine by strengthening their capacity and potential as the best centres of social sciences in Ukraine and by implementing the best academic standards in Ukrainian universities. It is incredible that, being inspired by the CIVICA Alliance at the first CIVICA-Ukraine High-Level Meeting in March 2023 at SGH, KSE and UCU initiated the creation of the Alliance of Ukrainian Universities, showing the example of joint academic efforts for the better future of education and science in Ukraine.”

Aurélien Krejbich, the executive director of the CIVICA alliance, stated about the initiative's expansion: “The extension of the 'CIVICA for Ukraine' project into a second phase is a concrete outcome of our unwavering commitment to supporting Ukrainian universities and the European future of Ukraine during these trying times. By integrating Ukrainian institutions into our alliance’s activities, we aim to foster a stronger, more resilient academic community in the social sciences.”

This initiative not only signifies a deepening of academic solidarity with Ukrainian institutions but also reinforces the role of academic networks in addressing contemporary challenges through transnational collaboration and shared knowledge to support academic freedom and autonomy for universities.

Achievements from the first phase of CIVICA for Ukraine

The achievements of CIVICA for Ukraine in 2023 include the implementation of 9 activities, during which 117 mobility experiences for Ukrainian participants were organised (51 students and doctoral candidates, 66 academic and administrative staff), including 34 short staff and faculty visits. The Project's 2023 results encompass 5 reports: on the challenges and needs of Ukrainian universities; on the students’ vision for Ukraine's recovery; analysis of good practices in CIVICA universities as a summary of study visits; CIVICA and Ukraine Universities students associations database; and a report from the Observer track in FuturEU, as well as videos, speeches, essays, presentations, and publications by students and scholars at CIVICA events, along with numerous publications in SGH Warsaw School of Economics, CIVICA, and Ukrainian university media and social media under the hashtag #CIVICA4Ukraine.