UCU-2025 Strategy of Globalization and International Solidarity
Catholic represents the meaning of universal. Consistently, the international academic environment is natural and “native” to any Catholic university. UCU perceives internationalization as an organic tool for developing educational and scientific programs, an essential component of improving their quality, a means of forming the University brand, self-reflection, and self-assessment in the global academic field. UCU seeks to build quality and deep relationships with international partners that become the basis for friendship and solidarity and possibly for empathy in human and society’s service. Today it is not enough to be global; it is necessary to put this globality at the common good’s service. Ensuring this goal is the task of UCU’s strategy of internationalization.
UCU as an International Campus
It is an academic space that encompasses a set of policies, events, and activities of the University to develop and deepen internationalization. UCU’s international campus is built its global values on the following main pillars: internationalization at home, international academic/educational activities, international academic mobility and exchange programs, international research, international academic and cultural projection, and digitalization of internationalization processes.
Internationalization at home integrates international and intercultural dimensions, the formal and informal part of UCU’s educational programs. UCU’s international academic activities aim to design and disseminate foreign language curricula, courses, internships, and research for the international student and faculty community. These activities also include a full range of institutional services and support measures for foreign nationals on campus (creating a friendly environment for the international faculty and students on UCU campus). UCU’s international academic mobility and exchange programs result from the careful elaboration of a wide range of academic exchange/internship agreements for students, faculty, researchers, and University staff with the world’s leading universities and research institutions. International research is a tool for UCU to reach the global level in research work and international solidarity in the scientific search of a scientist and a student in the universal service of the truth about people, the world, and God. To fully develop UCU’s potential, promote the Ukrainian experience globally, and establish effective communication in the international environment, the international academic and cultural projection constructs UCU’s continued presence and recognition globally educational space. Digitalized internationalization processes describe the culture of innovation development and creativity at UCU. These processes increase the range and quality of educational opportunities, teaching activities, and inter-institutional cooperation, taking into account current technological development trends.
Key objectives of the strategy:
The concept of a “University that serves” should become one of the main target goals for UCU in the coordinate system of various global goals. Service manifested in multiple forms of international student volunteering, teachers’ use of service-learning and experiential learning approaches in their disciplines, especially in the Worldview core program. The WorldView Core program strengthens UCU services by opening up opportunities for service and volunteering for foreigners, particularly in the UCU community and the local community. Specific attention should be paid to the profound social and academic integration of international students among Ukrainian-speaking students through mixed groups, joint activities, ministry, and internships, which requires the development of student initiatives and student clubs outside UCU.
Academic development and international solidarity. The “from global to local” approach should become one of the methods to the academic process organization in internationalization, which involves preparing students for the global labor market and life in the worldwide world. It is necessary to adjust the curricula of all educational programs to global goals, such as the Catholic Church’s Social Doctrine, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, addressing global threats, and so on. Initiate the formation of learning tasks for students within their disciplines to address global challenges, including at the local level, and the explanation of local initiatives through the prism of global goals. A necessary precondition is to increase the English-language menu and other foreign languages, partially translate UCU’s services and communications into bilingual formats in Ukrainian and English and encourage students to write dissertations in English and other foreign languages. It is also necessary to expand interaction with foreign partners, which is vital for international students and teachers to learn about the local specifics of responding to global challenges (e.g., study and research tours, joint disciplines, collaborative research, comparative approaches, etc.)
Reaching out: UCU as the creator of trends and promotion of Ukraine in the world. UCU should act as Ukraine’s ambassador to the world through active cultural diplomacy, international research, international academic exchanges and internships, international research teams, leading world scientific conferences, and student competitions / Olympiads.
UCU students reflect on the past, present, and future of the Ukrainian diaspora, Ukrainians abroad, Ukraine’s image globally, writing dissertations, and research. UCU students and their projects represent Ukraine and win prizes at prestigious industry international competitions / Olympiads/conferences. UCU is strengthening the practice of global student internships for various social projects and international cultural student exchanges. Graduates of educational programs should become an interface of communication between the worldwide world, Ukraine, and UCU. To this end, the University builds and maintains the loyalty of graduates working abroad or international companies/organizations through the Alumni Association.
UCU faculty members participate in a global scientific debate that seeks to address today’s challenges by engaging in partnership projects with leading universities. UCU is a leading European center for studying the history and modernity of Kyivan Christianity and the dissemination of Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky’s legacy around the world. UCU is a top European center for ecumenical studies, cooperation and dialogue, and the study of ethical issues related to man’s holistic development in the digital age. UCU has the image of an attractive and unique educational environment in Ukraine among international students for international academic mobility programs and short-term international programs (summer schools, study, and research visits, internships, etc.).
Global partnerships. UCU contributes to developing the new Ukraine through a vast network of bilateral and multilateral international partnerships, focusing on cooperation within the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU), the European Federation of Catholic Universities (FUCE), as well as.
Partnership and cooperation base themself on a careful planning process that aligns with UCU’s overall mission and priorities, such as Catholic education in the 21st century, service-learning, ethics and technology, ethics and social development, and teaching skills, internationalization of research, international education, etc. UCU develops value, in-depth and strategic partnerships with Catholic universities, through which it attracts foreign teachers and experts to UCU. UCU is deeply integrated into the European space of international education, developing partnerships with the best educational institutions in North America while exploring ways to build partnerships with universities in Latin America, Asia, and Africa (primarily Catholic). UCU is more actively involved in membership in international professional associations through institutional and individual participation (particularly on a competitive basis), which will improve the professional development of employees.
Internationalization through digitalization. UCU is a catalyst for global social and academic debates arising from the changes associated with technological progress and humanity’s digitalization. UCU has developed a digital environment that accompanies educational and organizational processes that contribute to technical, organization, and academic internationalization.
The digital design of internationalization helps UCU’s IT infrastructure to integrate with international academic partners to support shared learning resources, teaching, research, and the administration of international academic collaboration. The digital design in internationalization improves the Department of International Academic Relations’ internal administrative system’s quality and efficiency. UCU actively uses modern information systems, tools, and the latest educational technologies to manage international academic mobility; structural and scientific cooperation projects with international academic partners, servicing foreign guests’ stay at the University, etc.
Academic digitalization creates more opportunities for individual learning trajectory through the introduction of digital teaching formats such as:
- E-pedagogy (e-pedagogy) with the involvement of international academic partners.
- International virtual exchange and virtual mobility projects (including Erasmus + Virtual).
- Combining virtual and physical mobility.
Additionally, academic digitalization develops courses using collaborative online international learning (COIL). Creation of English-language educational offers in the UCU Open online learning system, which can be used by the wider international community; creation of English-language educational offers in cooperation with all-Ukrainian and global educational platforms offering mass open online courses (MOOC), such as Prometeus, EdEra, Coursera, etc. UCU implements and actively uses mechanisms for recognizing learning outcomes obtained in non-formal and informal education while studying in Ukraine or abroad.