University of Calgary

Ukraine post-secondaries look to partner with University of Calgary

UToday HomeMarch 19, 2013

By Sarah McGinnis

Janaka Ruwanpura, vice-provost (international) from the University of Calgary (front row, second from right) took part in a mission to boost academic partnerships between Canada and the Ukraine.Janaka Ruwanpura, vice-provost (international) from the University of Calgary (front row, second from right) took part in a mission to boost academic partnerships between Canada and the Ukraine.A recent visit to the Ukraine has sparked a flurry of proposals from prestigious academic institutions to work with the University of Calgary on joint research projects, specialized classes and student exchanges.

Janaka Ruwanpura, vice-provost (international), was in the Ukraine Feb. 11-15 as part of a Canadian Bureau for International Education mission to boost academic partnerships between both countries.

“Calgary is a truly multinational city now. We have all kinds of multinational companies here. We have business partnerships with other foreign companies. How do we ensure that our University of Calgary graduates are ready for this new workplace?” Ruwanpura asked.

“When they go through their degree program at the University of Calgary, we want to give them an extra edge so they are ready to meet the demands of the global marketplace. International partnerships such as those being offered by Ukraine institutions can help us to provide that extra edge.”

Many universities in the Ukraine were already familiar with a variety of educational and economic opportunities in Alberta before Ruwanpura’s visit.  Some Ukraine educators have even come to Calgary to fundraise for their programs.

The University of Calgary has no formal partnerships with Ukraine academic institutions but that may change.

Since his return, Ruwanpura has been contacted by a series of prominent Ukraine post-secondary institutions who are all eager to engage the University of Calgary in their academic programs.

“We have committed to strengthening the diversity of our campus communities. These partnerships could be an excellent way to help enhance the cross-cultural competencies of our students, faculty and staff,” Ruwanpura said.

Ruwanpura is working with several deans to evaluate the requests and decide whether they might fit in with existing priorities.

The Ukraine proposals could form part of an ongoing effort to expand international research, staff and student mobility, and academic programming through the University of Calgary’s new International Strategic Plan.

 

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