University of Lethbridge to strengthen research, partnerships in Ukraine

University of Lethbridge Vice-President (Research) Dan Weeks is participating in a mission that includes Canadian University Presidents, Vice-Presidents and Deans that will formalize linkages between Canada and Ukraine, and their post-secondary sectors.

The mission, which takes place from Feb. 11 to Feb. 14, includes universities in all regions of Canada and aims to increase higher education co-operation, increase student recruitment and two-way student exchanges, position higher education collaboration for possible funding and sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ukrainian Rectors and the CBIE.

Canada's Ambassador to Ukraine, His Excellency Troy Lulashnyk, will launch the mission during a seminar hosted by the Union of Rectors of Higher Educational Institutions of Ukraine.

During a series of workshops at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Weeks will moderate a discussion between members of the Canadian delegation and Ukrainian universities to determine future areas of academic and research collaboration.

"The international relevance of the research conducted at the University of Lethbridge increases every day," says Weeks. "This is due to individual efforts and interests of our researchers, but also as a result of the increasing importance the University is placing on creating and nurturing international partnerships. Ukraine provides key opportunities for Canadian universities."

Current linkages the U of L has with Ukraine include the work of Dr. Olga Kovalchuk, who has been involved in the detailed analysis of the genetic consequences of the Chernobyl accident. Also, last year Fine Arts Faculty member Taras Polataiko's exhibition, Sleeping Beauty, at the National Art Museum in Kyiv, Ukraine, generated worldwide media interest. The U of L attracts students from about 90 different countries worldwide and is currently home to both undergraduate and graduate students from Ukraine.

Several Memoranda of Understanding will be signed during the mission, including an overarching agreement between CBIE and the Union of Rectors of Higher Educational Institutions of Ukraine.

Expanding the internationalization of the U of L is a key strategic direction identified in the 2009-13 strategic plan. U of L President Mike Mahon reiterated that message in an open letter to the University community released last year, entitled the University of Lethbridge – Alberta's Destination University.

CBIE's news release regarding the Ukraine mission can be found at