Kharkiv National Agrarian University named after V. V. Dokuchayev (KhNAU)

Project Title: Development of the University’s Comprehensive Internationalisation Competence

Submitted by: Prof. Andriy Popov, Vice-rector for International Affairs, Kharkiv National Agrarian University named after V. V. Dokuchayev (KhNAU)

City: Kharkiv

This project was implemented within the Training Course “Management of Internationalisation and German-Ukrainian Academic Cooperation 2020-2021”, led by the Leibniz University Hannover (LUH), funded by the DAAD (Germany), 2020-2021

Project Goal(s) and SMART Objective(s):

Specific: The main goal is to analyse factor affecting the environment for comprehensive internationalisation and to clarify the university’s objectives for internationalisation.

Measurable: This goal will be measurable by the establishment of the new structure of the unit responsible for internationalisation. The strategic approach and environment affecting the university internationalisation will be defined by surveying academic staff and students and by analysing the survey results. We can measure progress by the number of working groups (people) who will need to be formed for developing internationalisation. The joining of the international associations, entry into international rankings, developing the English University website is another measurement that will be determined in a sub-goal of this overarching goal. Develop the Internationalisation Strategy of the University.

Achievable: This is a reasonable timeline for this goal, and University has the resources and expertise to develop comprehensive internationalisation competence. Although this goal might be ambitious, we can move this to the top of our priority list.

Relevant: The comprehensive internationalisation competence will help with mutual development of academic and research intellectual knowledge and stronger University brand standing on the national and international level.

Time-bound: The time limitation for this goal is from February 2020 to September 2021


  • The new position of vice-rector for international affairs is established 
  • The new structure of International Office is established
  • The University profile is added to the English Wikipedia
  • The University profile is added to the List of agricultural universities and colleges
  • The university became a member of Magna Charta Universitatum, European University Association and Visegrad University Association (September 2021).
  • The University is participating (for the first time) in U-Multirank 2021 (the results will be announced in September 2021).
  • A Ukrainian website structure of displaying information on the international activities of the University has been improved and made more transparent 
  • The official English names of the University, faculties and departments is approved by the Academic Council.
  • An English University website has been launched (draft version); the updated version is going to be launched in the beginning of October 2021.
  • Two questionnaires on the internationalisation of the university were developed separately for academic staff (25 questions) and students (22 questions).
  • The survey on the internationalisation of the university was conducted in the period October 2020 – March 2021.
  • The survey results on the internationalisation of the university were reported at the Academic Council Meeting and distributed among the participants.
  • Six working groups (18 people) were created at the faculties.
  • The communication channels between working groups, heads of the departments and International Office are established.

Challenges and Support

What were the main challenges of your project and how did you manage to overcome them?

  • New staff for International Office – not solved
  • Low Motivation of academic staff and students – explanatory work and different meetings were carried out
  • The lack of international expertise by staff – involvement of interested staff in the implementation of this and other projects
  • Slow English Site-Building – template development for the structural unit, assistance with filling the template, monitoring

Lessons Learnt: What are your lessons learnt and recommendations you would like to share?

What was done well? What can be improved? What could be recommended?
Project manager is very flexible

Quick benefits (improving the visibility of the university)

Communication between the working group

Development of questionnaires and surveys on internationalisation and capacity

Determining the current state and potential for internationalisation

Assistance and exchange of experience from universities

Improvement of internationalisation awareness

New professional connections

The detailed follow-up plan for Internationalisation

Accelerate development of the Internationalisation Strategy

Improve the structure of the units responsible for internationalisation

Communication between the University units and working groups

Increase University funding for internationalisation

Hire the support staff for internationalising

The motivation for students and staff

Apply for international funding/project/program


The objectives of the project must be of high quality, realistic and measurable

It is necessary to predict all possible risks that could lead to non-fulfilment of project objectives

Formally create a project team before its implementation

More status meetings

More dissemination of information about the project implementation

Introduce a system of informing about the status of projects not only participants of the project but also other interested parties

Analyse effects of changes and prioritise


Outlook and Sustainability: What happens to the project after the end of the course (are there any follow-up projects? What are you going to do to ensure the sustainability of the project results?)

There is an idea to create a consortium on internationalisation together with Ukrainian universities-participants of this training programme. I am going to participate in grant calls to consolidate and strengthen the obtained results by creating the monitoring and evaluation system on internationalisation in the University.