A collaboration meeting took place on January 31, 2018 between the Ukrainian Embassy, Washington D.C. and VIU, Fairfax, VA.

At the meeting, George Dubynskyi, the Embassy of Ukraine to the USA First Secretary, and Official representative of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine; Victoria Fedorets, the Academic Coordinator for the School of Education; and Dr. Bilgin, the Dean of the School of Public and International Affairs, discussed the possibilities of the students or official representatives of Ukraine studying at Virginia International University. The 1+1 model of studies per the curriculum mapping, participation in the VIU’s Online Program, professional development courses tailored per the need of the professionals, etc. were the main topics of the discussion. The students would also be able to participate in the courses and utilize the tuition discount should the memorandum between the collaborating universities be signed.

Currently, per the Universitas Ranking (2017), which measures the higher education environment and how it contributes to economic and cultural development where the students would receive the high-quality experience and the ability to seek the quality education from overseas, Ukraine is ranked 35th overall, up from 42 in 2016, combining the ranks of 67 for Resources, 73 for Environment, 36 for Connectivity, and 24 for Output. Ukraine is second for government expenditure on higher education as a share of GDP (gross domestic product), which is 33.9 per the OESD and UnitedCities and Local Governments report (2016). Overall, the ranking has improved to 22nd, and its score is about that expected at its income level. In general, Ukraine keeps competitive advantages due to the big size of the domestic market (the 48th place) and the thorough education system, which provides easy access to all educational levels. So, in 2016 Ukraine occupied 34th place in higher education and training and 34th place for primary education (in 2017- 2018 – 35 and 43 places respectively). In addition, the situation of innovation level in 2017 improved to 61st place (54th place in 2015), according to the World Economic Forum ( 2017). So, Ukraine widens its access to western methods and new technologies, new ways of teaching (virtual learning environments, flipped classrooms, blended learning, etc.), internationalizing access to research, and participation in the European and worldwide fellowship venues (which is becoming more common nowadays and dramatically broadens the horizon of the students, faculty, and institute’s directors).

Victoria Fedorets also presented invitations to teachers of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and other Ukrainian universities to participate in the annual educational and practical conferences at VIU, which usually gather many participants from across the country and the globe.

Dr. Bilgin and Victoria assured the Embassy that the staff and faculty of VIU would do their best to make future students from Ukraine feel comfortable in Fairfax in order to get immense knowledge and a high quality education during their studies.