By Dr. Iryna Shalaginova
In view of the growing competitiveness of the universities for every new student as well as for research grants, the questions of internationalization become more and more important. Not only German universities but also their partners in Ukraine face similar problems in institutionalization of internationalization activities at their HEIs. In order to share relevant experiences and develop first suggestions on the improvement of internationalization at Ukrainian HEIs a four-hour workshop was organized in Kyiv on the 25th of October by the Information Centre of DAAD upon the initiative of the The German-Ukrainian Academic Society (DUAG)/ Ukrainian Academic International Network.
The workshop was conducted by Dr. Iryna Shalaginova, Head of the International Relations Office of the University Koblenz-Landau (Germany), member of the DUAG. 23 workshop participants from all over Ukraine have been given a critical view on the autonomy, financing and internationalization of German HEIs with practical examples from the University of Koblenz-Landau. After a short introduction to the history of autonomy the results of the latest study on the autonomy of German HEIs were presented. Dr. Shalaginova has introduced the indicators, which were used for the measurement of the autonomy, such as instruments influencing institutional structures, financing and quality assurance. In the following discussion and group work the workshop participants were able to apply those instruments in the analysis of their own institutions and compare them to the German system. In view of the ongoing reform of the Higher Education system in Ukraine, which aims at providing greater autonomy to the Ukrainian HEIs, participants were able to have a critical discussion of the planned reform measures and their possible influence on the institutions based on the experiences already made in Germany.
Information on the financing of German HEIs did not only provide necessary background knowledge on the institutionalization of internationalization in Germany but also showed negative effects caused by the current financing scheme and how those will be improved by the joint financing programme of the federal government and federal states, which will come into force in year 2021.
In the last part of the workshop participants were provided with the analysis of Internationalization of German HEIs: from internationalization frameworks on the European, national and university levels to the current place of Germany in the field of Internationalization compared to other European countries, to a practical example of financing and integration of internationalization processes at the University Koblenz-Landau. During the discussions and group work the workshop participants were able to share experiences from their own institutions on the same issues. Culmination of the workshop was a list of practical suggestions on how to improve internationalization at Ukrainian HEIs developed by the participants themselves.
The workshop was one of the first events in providing a deeper understanding and comparison of internationalization processes in Ukraine and Germany. Further events and activities are to come both in Germany and Ukraine next year.