SGH Warsaw School of Economics, along with CIVICA partner universities, is implementing the “CIVICA for Ukraine” project as part of the NAWA initiative "Solidarity with Ukraine"


On 20 December 2022, a ceremony took place at the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA) in Warsaw to sign a contract for a project aimed at supporting Ukrainian universities. The project is being led by SGH Warsaw School of Economics and involves all CIVICA partner universities and five Ukrainian universities. The project will be implemented from January to December 2023, with a budget of nearly 1 million PLN (213 000 EUR).

The signing ceremony was attended by Tomasz Rzymkowski, Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Government Plenipotentiary for Development and Internationalisation of Education and Science, as well as Dawid Kostecki, PhD, Director of NAWA.

Deputy Minister Rzymkowski emphasized that the NAWA’s Solidarity with Ukraine programme is primarily focused on preserving the intellectual potential of Ukrainian society for the future reconstruction of the country following the war, and on supporting Ukraine’s higher education sector within Europe.

Professor Kostecki, PhD, emphasized that the programme aims to serve as a bridge between East and West, providing a framework for cooperation that will help in the recovery and development of intellectual capital by offering an opportunity to learn about best practices in the operation of Polish and European universities.

On behalf of SGH, the agreement with NAWA was signed by Professor Jacek Prokop, PhD, Vice Rector for International Relations.

The main objective of the “CIVICA for Ukraine” project is to develop and strengthen cooperation and dialogue between the CIVICA alliance, of which SGH is a member, and the academic communities of selected Ukrainian universities, particularly in the social sciences, humanities, management, and public policy. The project tasks align with activities to be carried out by the CIVICA alliance in 2023, and are in line with both CIVICA's 'Renewed Mission Statement – Vision for 2030” and the mission of SGH.

The project includes a variety of activities such as students, doctoral candidates, faculty and staff exchanges from Ukrainian universities, as well as conferences, study visits, internships, summer schools, seminars, workshops, and more.

The project has been prepared by a team from SGH consisting of Ms. Katarzyna Kacperczyk, Director of the International Centre, dr Iryna Degtyarova, Rector’s Representative for cooperation with Ukrainian higher education institutions, and Ms. Renata Kamińska, Senior Specialist at SGH International Centre. Project activities have been developed in close cooperation with CIVICA partner universities.

SGH Warsaw School of Economics will cooperate with CIVICA partners and five Ukrainian universities: Kyiv National Economic University named after Vadym Hetman (KNEU), Vasyl’ Stus Donetsk National University (DonNU), Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv (UKU), National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (NaUKMA) and Kyiv School of Economics (KSE) – in the implementation of the “CIVICA for Ukraine” project.

Jacek Prokop:
The ‘CIVICA for Ukraine’ project, which will be implemented at SGH for the next year, is part of the broader context of SGH’s and CIVICA’s support for partner universities in Ukraine.

The planned activities cover a range of areas of operation for Ukrainian universities. Additionally, the project allows for an unprecedented level of cooperation between universities from the European Union, which are part of the CIVICA European University alliance, and Ukrainian partners. This cooperation will not only enable the establishment of valuable research and teaching connections, but will also help Ukrainian universities to implement the standards necessary for Ukraine’s integration into the EU.

Katarzyna Kacperczyk:
Activities planned under the project include a range of initiatives and events for researchers, lecturers, doctoral candidates, and students from Ukrainian universities. We also provide opportunities for exchange of experiences and cooperation at the level of university leadership. Specifically, we plan to organize the CIVICA-Ukraine leadership meeting, have Ukrainian students participate in the annual CIVICA FuturEU competition, host the CIVICA Ambassadors Forum on the recovery and modernization of Ukraine, have Ukrainian students participate in the CIVICA European Week within CIVICA Engage Track, have Ukrainian PhDs participate in the CIVICA Research Doctoral Conference, and have representatives of student organizations participate in the CIVICA Student Association Forum. In addition, as part of the project, Ukrainian scholars will have a chance to participate in study visits to CIVICA partner universities, participate in a debate: ‘CIVICA Tour d’ Europe’, and attend in the CIVICA Inclusiveness Workshop.

Iryna Degtyarova:
This initiative implements proposals for cooperation with Ukrainian universities made in solidarity by the 41 alliances of European Universities, including CIVICA, contained in the ‘Joint Statement from the 41 Alliances in Support to Ukraine’, specifically the creation of a mechanism to allow meaningful participation of representatives of the Ukrainian academic community in the activities carried out by the consortia. Poland’s NAWA was the first agency to establish this mechanism and will serve as an inspiration to others. I am confident that this will provide Ukrainian universities with significant development opportunities in the context of future EU integration, as well as support for Ukrainian students, PhDs, and university staff. We look forward to implementing this project in partnership with excellent partners, both in Ukraine and in the CIVICA alliance.

About the NAWA’s Solidarity with Ukraine Programme

NAWA’s ‘Solidarity with Ukraine’ programme, which ran until September of this year, provided Ukrainian refugees with the opportunity to continue their studies, work on their doctoral dissertations, or pursue any other form of education at Polish universities and institutes. On the NAWA’s website, we can read that the suspension of teaching and other problems faced by universities in Ukraine have resulted in limited opportunities to carry out activities related to the mission of universities.

In light of new challenges and needs, the Ministry of Education and Science has expanded the programme to include the possibility of financial support for universities that are part of alliances of European Universities and will undertake cooperation with a partner university or universities from Ukraine. The supported activities should be complementary and synergistic to those undertaken by Polish universities within the framework of the alliances to which they belong.

Written by Iryna Dehtiarowa and Katarzyna Kacperczyk (SGH Warsaw School of Economics). 

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