Shaping European educational futures: Insights from Ukrainian professors joining “CIVICA for Ukraine”


The “CIVICA for Ukraine” project, aimed at fostering collaboration and synergies among five Ukrainian universities and the CIVICA alliance, successfully implemented nine activities throughout 2023.

Participating in this initiative were Halyna Makhova and Oksana Sydorenko, two distinguished Ukrainian professors at the forefront of economic education and research. Bringing with her over two decades of expertise, Halyna Makhova, an Associate Professor at the Kyiv School of Economics, specialises in courses such as Microeconomics, Entrepreneurship, and Management Accounting. On the other hand, Oksana Sydorenko, a Professor at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and a Doctor of Economic Sciences, boasts an extensive background in teaching and research, with a focus on management, research methodology, and market infrastructure.

Exploring Global Educational Practices: The CIVICA Connection

Both professors enthusiastically shared their experiences within the “CIVICA for Ukraine” project. During her visit to the SGH Warsaw School of Economics, Halyna Makhova immersed herself in European educational practices and expressed her admiration, stating, "The international activities of the SGH International Centre are truly impressive. The university's participation in PIM, CEMS, dual-degree, and exchange programmes provides a wide range of opportunities for students and researchers. During the visit, we discussed possibilities for exchange and dual-degree collaborations with our university." Equally excited, Prof. Sydorenko focused on the organizational dynamics of international activities at the SGH Warsaw School of Economics, unraveling the intricacies of planning educational processes at various academic levels.

Both professors acknowledged the invaluable role played by CIVICA in promoting collaboration not only within Europe but also globally. Prof. Sydorenko shared, "As part of the 'CIVICA for Ukraine' project, I gained invaluable experience in the functioning of the organisational structures of the international activities of universities in cooperation with the CIVICA alliance. Many meetings with representatives of responsible departments, students, attending lectures, conferences, etc., were dynamic, interesting, and informative."

Bridging the Gap: Education and Research Hand in Hand

A recurring theme from both interviews was the intersection of education and research. Prof. Makhova, deeply invested in research projects, expressed her desire to explore collaborative processes beyond the scope of educational programmes. Prof. Sydorenko echoed this sentiment, stressing that “education without research is blind”, highlighting the symbiotic relationship between teaching and research. Additionally, she aspired to understand the intricacies of establishing effective collaborations between universities and businesses, recognising the importance of bridging the gap between theory and practice.

Future Visions for “CIVICA for Ukraine”: A United Call for Collaboration

Looking forward, both professors expressed a collective vision for the evolution of the “CIVICA for Ukraine” project. Prof. Makhova proposed the establishment of Ukrainian Studies under CIVICA, fostering knowledge dissemination about Ukraine in Europe. Both professors envisioned a comprehensive collaboration between the newly formed alliance of Ukrainian Universities and its European counterpart, aiming for mutual interest and benefit.

In their collective narrative, Professors Halyna Makhova and Oksana Syderenko exemplify the transformative power of international collaborations. Their experiences within the CIVICA alliance not only underscore the importance of aligning Ukrainian education with global practices but also emphasise the symbiotic relationship between education and research. As Ukraine strides towards a European future, the collaborative spirit cultivated within initiatives like CIVICA serves as a guiding light, uniting diverse academic landscapes in a harmonious symphony of progress and innovation.

CIVICA for Ukraine” was funded by the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA) within the programme "Solidarity with Ukraine – European Universities" and coordinated by the SGH Warsaw School of Economics.

Article written by Alessia Manco (CIVICA communication manager)

Photo credits: Halyna Makhova (Kyiv School of Economics) | SGH Warsaw School of Economics

Ukrainian representatives at the CIVICA Student Association Forum in Warsaw with Ambassadors, students and researchers.