Hybrid press conference marks official launch of “DigiUni” project

10/09/2023 | by Eva Laurie | Cologne Digital Education Erasmus KNU

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (KNU) takes the helm as project lead for the groundbreaking Erasmus+ project “DigiUni”. The initiative, in collaboration with the University of Cologne as the German project partner and coordinator of the European University Alliance EUniWell, aims to fortify the digital environment for higher education in Ukraine.

A picture of four students interacting at the KNU.

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (KNU) celebrates a significant milestone as it kicks off the four-year Erasmus+ project “DigiUni”. The ambitious initiative, conducted in collaboration with the University of Cologne as one of the German project partners, is poised to revolutionise the digital landscape of higher education in Ukraine.  A hybrid press conference, marking the official launch of “DigiUni”, will take place at KNU on 11 October 2023. Along with representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, and the National Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance, all members of the project consortium are invited. EUniWell Chief Development Officer Professor Beatrix Busse will take part as leading representative of the University of Cologne.

KNU secured €5 million in funding from the European Union for “DigiUni” back in August. This funding will now be utilised to create a high-performance digital platform for Ukrainian universities, especially benefiting students who have had to leave their country or are internally displaced. The project will ensure uninterrupted education for students enrolled in Ukrainian higher education institutions, providing them with digital learning resources, online teaching techniques, and adapted learning content. “We are delighted and honoured to receive this funding to strengthen the digital education environment in Ukraine,” says Professor Volodymyr Bugrov, Rector of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. “This opportunity will allow us to foster innovation and improve access to quality education for students in our country, supporting sustainable recovery, growth and development.”

EUniWell, the European University for Well-Being, of which KNU has been a member since August 2022, played a pivotal role in forging the connection between Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv and the University of Cologne as partners for the successful Erasmus+ application. “We are proud to witness this new collaboration between our member institutions for the advancement of education and well-being. DigiUni reflects our commitment to fostering international partnerships and impactful projects,” says Professor Beatrix Busse, Chief Development Officer of EUniWell. “Through initiatives like this, we aim to enhance educational access and quality, ultimately contributing to the overall well-being of individuals and communities.”

The coordination of DigiUni by Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv involves higher education institutions and stakeholders from six EU Member States (Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Poland, and Spain) along with 15 other Ukrainian partners. The project includes national universities, the Ministries of Education and Science, and Digital Transformation of Ukraine, the National Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance, and associations representing the IT sector and students. “The DigiUni project is pivotal for innovating Ukraine’s digital education landscape. Particularly in light of the challenges posed by the full-scale invasion of Ukrainian territory, our focus on establishing the DigiPlatform aims to bolster higher education resilience in Ukraine. We take immense pride in this extensive collaboration between Ukrainian and European partners, alongside Ukrainian national authorities, which underscores our commitment to achieving compelling policy-driven outcomes,” remarks Professor Kseniia Smyrnova, Vice-Rector for International Cooperation at KNU and principal coordinator of DigiUni.

The successful selection of DigiUni is part of the Erasmus+ Capacity Building for Higher Education action, which supports the modernisation and quality enhancement of higher education worldwide. Through this initiative, projects like DigiUni promote international cooperation, improve education systems, and contribute to global growth and prosperity. Additionally, the project aims to empower students and educators with essential digital skills, aligning with the European Commission’s priorities of the Green Deal and Digital Transformation initiatives.

Commenting on the successful application, Dr Graham Harrison, Managing Director of EUniWell, emphasises: “Our focus on well-being is driven by the need to address challenges facing our youth and society. Through initiatives like this one, we can make a meaningful impact on European citizens’ quality of life.”

About EUniWell:

EUniWell, the European University for Well-Being, is one of the 50 European University Alliances selected for funding by the European Commission. Comprising eleven leading universities, including KNU, and supported by over 100 associated partners, EUniWell aims to understand, improve, measure, and rebalance well-being on regional, European, and global levels. With a focus on research, education, and civic engagement, EUniWell seeks to address societal challenges and promote sustainable developments centred around well-being.

About Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (KNU):

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (KNU) is one of Ukraine’s leading universities, committed to providing excellence in education, research, and innovation. With a rich history dating back to 1834, KNU has consistently ranked among the top universities in the region and aims to empower students with the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in an increasingly digital and interconnected world.


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