Lviv Polytechnic National University takes it to a new level of the international educational and scientific cooperation

Press service of the Lviv Polytechnic
Юрій Рашкевич

At a recent meeting of the Academic Council of the National University "Lviv Polytechnic" there was a lively discussion of the University involvement in the international education programs. A presentationwasmadebythe vice-rector for scientific and pedagogical work and international relations professor YuriyRashkevych. The discussion was based mainly on the participation of educational and research institutions and departments in European Union programs Erazmus +. In this regard, the biggest interest was shown by the Institute of the Computer Science and Information Technologies, whose scientists have submitted seven project proposals, while others - 1-3 or none. The importance and relevance of the international educational cooperation, including the role of the British Council grants, was stressed by the head of the Center for International Education University IhorOleksiv. The Head of the Department of Energy Institute of electric machines and control systems professor VasilyTkachuk, shared almost 15 years of his experience in introducing double degree program of four universities - LvivPolytechnicNational University, Universities of the German city Giessen, Polish city Lodz and Estonian city Tallinn. As an example, every year 1-2 third year students go to Giessen on the one-year education Bachelor program with intensive practice, after which they continue studying at their university. German professorstake partin the senior thesis presentations. In return, the graduates receive a double degree - Ukrainian and German. Head of the Department of Administrative and Financial Management Institute of Administration and Postgraduate Education Professor NazarPodolchak shared his thoughts on enhancing the participation of Lviv PolytechnicNational University faculty in the international education cooperation program of the academic mobility on the basis of the information he received during the month of the internship at the Technical University of Lodz. Summingupthediscussion, the RectorofLvivPolytechnicNationalUniversity,ProfessorYuriBobalo,notedthatfrom thefirstSeptembersuch "honors" asnationaluniversity or self-governing research Universitywill be abolished. From now, this title will be obtained on a competitivebasis. AndoneofthemaincriteriaforobtainingthistitlewillbetheparticipationoftheUniversityintheinternationaleducationalprograms. We asked the vice-rector for scientific and pedagogical work and international relations professor YuriyRashkevych to comment on the discussion of this issue at the Academic Council of the University. - Yuriy Mykhailovych, could you, please, introduce the program Erazmus + to a wider range of interested people. Many years the name of the program Tempus was rigning out. Itis nowreplacedbythe comprehensive program Erazmus +, which has different subprogramms or so-called lines, including K-1, K-2 and so on. Line K-1 is an international academic mobility program. As for now, we already have 11 grants. Our Western partners and leading universities provided the funds to enable representatives of the Lviv Polytechnic National University (students, teachers) to go abroad for one semester to study, and researchers - to teach, participate in various scientific conferences and seminars. The top priority for us is the line K-2, named "Capacity Building". It is very expensive projects- up to one million euros. If the project involves 4-5 our universities, each costs 150 thousand Euros. From this sum, 30% is spent on equipment. This means that each department (and such projects almost always involve only departments) can purchase new modern equipment or devices for 50 thousand euros. As I understand, the level of participation of Lviv Polytechnic University in international education programs does not meet the Academic Council and the University Administration expectations. What hinders this important case? - There are problems that we cannot influence and there are our domestic problems, so-called "bottlenecks". I would begin with objective things. It becomes more and more difficult to find team leaders in foreign universities who would take on themselves the biggest part of the responsibility of the control of the grants’ implementation. He would receive the EU funds and distribute it amonguniversities, including Ukrainian. It is the responsibility and certain financial risks. Because the EuropeanCommission is similar to our CRO to some extent, which meticulously analyzes the appropriateness of certain expenses after the completion of the project. If the costs are not reasonable, the money will be withdrawn from the university that distributed them. In this regard, I appeal to the members of the Scientific Council to actively cooperate with foreign counterparts and persuade them to be leaders or so-called Grant-Holders. Now - about our internal problems. Writing a project proposal is a difficult and a long-term work. We do not have so many teachers and researchers who are qualified for this. Therefore we are planning (and this is reflected in the decision of the Academic Council) to launch the program of Building skills, some kind of courses where40-50 people from different institutions will be trained how to draw up project proposals for the program Erazmus +. One more of our "bottleneck" - is insufficient command of the language. It is better to complete the project proposals in English at once and not translate it from Ukrainian. And another problem – provision of information. By a decision of the Academic Council it is envisaged to continue to expand staff and students’ access to the information resources on various aspects of international scientific and educational cooperation, to provide updated content on the web site of the Lviv Polytechnic National University.