The Estonian Research Council hosted the Ukrainian higher education and science delegation in Brussels

11-14 July, the higher education and science delegation of Ukraine visited Brussels. Delegation consisted of representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and the rectors of several Ukrainian universities, including Mariupol State University, Mykolaiv Admiral Makarov State Shipbuilding University, Taras Shevchenko Kyiv State University, Chernihiv Polytechnic State University and Sumy State University.

On 11 July, the representation of the Estonian Research Council in Brussels hosted the seminar “Ukrainian education, science and innovation during martial law”, where almost 40 people participated.

In the first part of the seminar, “European networks and support for Ukraine”, an overview was given of how various networks, associations, organisations and the European Union as a whole have supported education and science in Ukraine and what opportunities there are for the future support. Presentations were made by Ülle Must (Education and Youth Board of Estonia), Allan Padar (Estonian Research Council), Silvia Bojinova and Georgiana Plesu (European Commission), Ragnhild Solvi Berg (IGLO Education Working Group), Lidia Borrell-Damián (Science Europe) and Kaarli H. Eichhorn (American Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Law firm Jones Day).

In the second part of the seminar, the representatives of Ukrainian delegation gave an overview of the situation in Ukraine’s educational and scientific landscape of Ukraine, also what kind of support they need the most to support the post-war reconstruction work. It was pointed out that the emigration of researchers and students and the destruction of scientific infrastructure are major concerns. More or less, most the universities have been damaged in the war, Mariupol and Mykolaiv the most. Since research infrastructure aid only arrives after the war, universities are currently trying to cope with their own resources and restore the most needed buildings. The need to improve the level of e-learning courses was emphasized, because a large part of the teaching is done remotely. It was also emphasized the need for continued cooperation and maintaining direct contacts, as well as providing continuous training opportunities for the employees of Ukrainian higher education institutions.

The day was closed by the Estonian Ambassador to Belgium, Artur Kink and the Ukrainian Ambassador to Belgium, Natalia Anoshina. In their heartfelt speech, both of them pointed out the necessity of supporting Ukraine and cooperation.

During three days, the Ukrainian delegation visited the DLR Project Management Agency in Brussels, the Brussels Offices of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), the Directorates-General for Research and Innovation, and Education, Youth, Sports and Culture of the European Commission, the COST Association and the College of Europe in Brugge.

The visit was initiated by the Education and Youth Board of Estonia, led by Ülle Must, and co-organized by colleagues from Estonian Research Council. The visit was made possible thanks to the development aid project of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia “Stairway to excellence: supporting an effective and reliable higher education system in Ukraine”.


Kristel Oitmaa
The representative of the Estonian Research Council in Brussels