Two Steps: Internationalization in Practice – Sweden, Ukraine, Belarus

Sweden - Belarus

Sweden - Ukraine

Project period January - December 2019.

The Coordinating Secretariat of BUP at Uppsala University has received a special grant from the Swedish Institute to develop a program aimed at strengthening internationalization and cooperation with the countries of the Eastern Partnership (EaP), in the case of BUP with Belarus and Ukraine. We hope that such initiative will support our member universities in Belarus and Ukraine to establish contact and cooperation with the Swedish universities as well as strengthen Swedish universities' competence and interest to these almost neighbouring countries. Based on 28 years of experience in collaboration within BUP, we see that there is no developed contact, communication and continuous cooperation with international offices at each member university for the BUP program. We believe that in order to create the best conditions for successful internationalization work, the cooperation between the respective universities international offices needs to be strengthened.

The heads of international offices/vice rectors on international cooperation/Erasmus coordinators or persons occupying similar positions, were invited to apply to participate in the project.

The Goals of the Project are:

  • to create better conditions for collaboration. One of the requirements for this is to develop knowledge on the respective countries 'and universities' prerequisites for internationalization.
     
  • to identify and map the real needs of the respective BUP member universities in Ukraine, Belarus and Sweden regarding international cooperation
     
  • to establish a network of officials at international offices at the BUP member universities. Within this project the focus is Ukraine, Belarus and Sweden. In the nearest future BUP aims to reach the same target group at the other member universities in all 12 BUP countries.
     
  • to foster university's participation in international networks and partnerships that add value and can generate external funding.

The project includes two steps - two meetings.

In the end of May 2019 the first meeting was held hosted by Uppsala University.  Around 50 representatives from the universities in Ukraine, Belarus and Sweden gathered in Uppsala. For them it was a chance to gain knowledge about the conditions for internationalization work in the three different countries, as well as an opportunity to initiate concrete projects/activities that in the long term can lead to more extensive collaborations. The participants were able to meet and discuss how concrete steps towards internationalization can look like, as well as establish network for further cooperation.

In December 2019, after several months since the first meeting, the enthusiastic group of international officers, Erasmus coordinators and even interested researches from Belarus, Ukraine and Sweden met again, this time for working at actual projects and project applications. During Step two, the work was focused on a project as a form of internationalization. Participants were offered a one-day workshop on project applications, initiation and writing. They were given opportunity to develop and practically work in groups at the concrete proposals that had been initiated within the program.

After some days of hard work six project proposals were developed as the results of the project.  And the most pleasant is that two of the partnerships that have arisen during the project submitted application to Erasmus+. We wish success to all our project partners and to the applicants of  ”Internationalization at Home: On the Way to Inclusive and Comprehensive Internationalization, IntHome” and “EU best practices of business and education for sustainable development of the Eastern Partnership countries (SUSTAIN)” and hope they will receive fundings!

Although the project  “Two steps: Internationalization in practice – Sweden, Ukraine, Belarus” has also come to the end, we do hope that after the two steps that we took together, many more steps will be taken by the partners towards internationalization.

The Baltic University Programme Secretariat is grateful to the Swedish Institute for the grant and possibilities to enhance cooperation and internationalization.

If you have further questions, please contact a project coordinator Lyudmyla Babak.

Swedish Institute