European cooperation for developing Ukraine’s education system continues, defying military action
Nearly 30 specialists from Ukrainian universities and educational institutions will take part in face-to-face continuing education courses organised by the University of Tartu in July and August 2022 within the Erasmus+ MultiEd project. They will get deeper acquainted with course and material development strategies, higher education system of Estonia, approaches to multilingualism in education, and e-learning. During the courses, the participants will design materials and strategies to boost the capacity of the Ukrainian universities. Several participants set out for Estonia directly from the war and pre-war zones in Ukraine.
MultiEd is an Erasmus+ project launched in 2019. Its aim is to help eight Ukrainian universities, the TESOL association of teachers, and the Ministry of Education to reform teacher training curricula, diversify language teaching with new methods and approaches, and develop multilingual education recommendations for Ukraine. As part of the project, bachelor’s and master’s programmes for foreign language teachers have been developed and are successfully running at the Ukrainian partner universities.
The implementation of the project’s objectives has been strongly affected by the global coronavirus pandemic but, above all, by Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, which began in February this year. Despite all the possible odds and adversities, even the most challenging projects can progress. And MultiEd is a good example of it.
“After several months of virtually absent progress in MultiEd, we decided to bring our Ukrainian partners to Estonia to learn, work and develop the project outputs as well as give them an opportunity to mentally relax far from shooting and experience emotional and psychological well-being outside of the epicentre of aggression,” said Oleksandra Golovko, project manager of Narva College of the University of Tartu.
The participants will come from the universities located in Zaporizhzhia (Zaporizhzhia National University), Mykolaiv (Mykolaiv National University), Cherkasy (Cherkasy National University), Poltava (Poltava National Pedagogical University), Kharkiv (Kharkiv National University), Bakhmut (Horlivka Institute of Foreign Languages), Ternopil (Ternopil National Pedagogical University), Ivano-Frankivsk (Precarpathia National University), Kryvyi Rih (TESOL), and Kyiv (Ministry of Education).
Some participants will travel directly from the frontline of the South and East of Ukraine. The colleagues from the Horlivka Institute of Foreign Languages, relocated from Horlivka to Bakhmut in 2014 due to the occupation of the Donbas region, suffered their second relocation in February 2022. Its teachers and students had to flee from the heavily shelled town as Bakhmut has been one of the epicentres of war action since the large-scale invasion began.
“Hosting our partners and offering them opportunities is the smallest thing we as an Estonian university and the lead project partner can do to support our Ukrainian colleagues and long-standing partners in their fight for European identity, values, and democracy. The whole world is united to provide Ukraine with different kinds of military and humanitarian support. Here at Narva College we want to support Ukraine by providing the help we have. We are open to sharing our intangibles – knowledge, skills, and experiences in multilingual and digital education – to help the partner universities recover and move forward faster after the ultimate victory of Ukraine,” said Kristjan Klauks, MultiEd project coordinator, project manager of Narva College of the University of Tartu.
The participants will take part in the continuing education courses offered by the University of Tartu, including “Semiotics of Culture”, “Multilingualism and Beyond”, and “e-Course Development”. The project coordinator is Narva College of the University of Tartu.
The MultiEd project is co-funded by Erasmus+, the European Union’s programme to support education, training, youth, and sport.