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    BRAMA News and Community Press

    BRAMA, December 21, 2011, 9:00 AM ET

    Press release

    Ukraine Takes Major First Step in PhD Certification
    EU Commissioner Presents Diploma at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy

    image Professor Mychailo Wynnyckyj, director of the NaUKMA PhD Program; Androulla Vassiliou, EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth; Dr. Hanna Bielenka, PhD diploma recipient

    Kyiv, Ukraine, December 20, 2011 — After opening the conference "Tempus and Erasmus Mundus: Opportunities for the Eastern Partnership", held in Kyiv on 5 December 2011, Mrs. AndroullaVassiliou, EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth visited National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy to meet students, staff and alumni and take part in the first PhD certification and hooding ceremony.

    Ms. Vassiliou expressed her strong support for the integration of Ukraine's educational sector into the European model. "In the firm belief that investment in education, training and creativity is essential for the prosperity of future generations … the European Commission adopted … the programs, Erasmus for All and Creative Europe. These programs are the right tools to help us respond to the challenges we face", said Ms. Vassiliou.

    image Jose Manuel Pinto Teixeira, Head of EU Delegation to Ukraine; Androulla Vassiliou, EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth; Serhiy Kvit, President of National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy; Mychailo Wynnyckyj, Director of the NaUKMA PhD Program

    EU Commissioner A. Vassiliou met with faculty and students who are engaged in the implementation of European and other international projects Tempus, Erasmus Mundus and Jean Monnet. NaUKMA has been the recipient of 15 grants implementing such programs.

    Ms. Vassiliou bestowed the first PhD degree of western equivalency in Ukraine to Hanna Bielenka, who completed her PhD degree in finance. Dr. Bielenka's research and dissertation was titled, "Mathematical Methods of Estimating the Financial Stability of the Ukrainian Banking Sector".

    Dr. Hanna Bielenka was born in Zaporizhzhya where she completed her undergraduate degree in economic cybernetics at Zaporizhzhya National University. She attained her master's degree in economics at National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy – Economics Education and Research Consortium (EERC). She has been the winner of the All-Ukrainian Student Olympiads in Economic Cybernetics (I, II, III places in mathematics, informatics, and English). In 2011 Dr. Bielenka also defended her "Candidate of Science (KandydatNauk)" degree in economics. She is the author of numerous research articles published in international journals.

    European Integration and International Standards

    image Androulla Vassiliou, EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth; Jose Manuel Pinto Teixeira, Head of EU Delegation to Ukraine

    The fact that the EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism, Sport, Media and Youth presided over the ceremony is significant and ironic, because even though the Kyiv-Mohyla PhD degree is recognized by the EU as it conforms to the principles of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), under existing government rules it is not yet recognized by Ukraine's Ministry of Education. European recognition of this academic achievement should become a powerful impetus to Ukraine to finally begin implementation of its long-promised reforms in education toward European integration and international standards.

    Kyiv-Mohyla Academy's PhD program, officially established in 2008, is the first program of western orientation and curriculum in Ukraine. The program is a revolutionary step for Ukraine's higher education system, representing a radical departure from the legacy of the Soviet-era system that still persists in Ukraine.

    Unlike the traditional Soviet era "aspirantura", which is highly regulated by the Ministry of Education's Higher Attestatation Council ("VAK"), the Kyiv-Mohyla Doctoral School's PhD programs represent an embodiment of the principle of university autonomy, which is fundamental to the western system of higher education. The Doctoral School and its PhD programs are envisioned as models for the enactment of fundamental reforms within Ukraine's higher education system.

    image Androulla Vassiliou, EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth; Serhiy Kvit, President of National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy

    The Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Doctoral School currently offers eight structured PhD programs:

    Public Health Administration (Kyiv-Mohyla School of Public Health); Mass Communications (Kyiv-Mohyla School of Journalism jointly with the Department of Sociology); Finance (Department of Finance and Kyiv-Mohyla Business School), Philosophy and Literature (Departments of Philosophy and Literature jointly), Biology and Biodiversity (a joint program of the Department of Ecology and the Institute of Botany of the National Academy of Sciences). In addition, Social Work and Social Policy (a joint program of the Kyiv-Mohyla School of Social Work and Ljubljana University, Slovenia); History of Central-Eastern Europe (a joint program of the Department of History and Ukrainian Catholic University); Social Transformations (a joint program of the Departments of Sociology and Political Sciences in cooperation with the Department of Central and East European Studies, University of Glasgow, Scotland).

    Each doctoral program was established with extensive international partner cooperation with U.K., French, Norwegian, Canadian, American, Spanish, and Dutch academics serving as program experts, research supervisors, and potential dissertation examiners.

    The director of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy's Doctoral School is Dr. Mychailo Wynnyckyj (PhD in economic sociology of post-Soviet transition, Cambridge University). Oversight of the implementation of the Doctoral School model is the responsibility of Professor Volodymyr Morenets (Vice President for Research and Academic Affairs, Chair of the Department of Literature).

    Despite initial EU grants, funds are continuously required for the Doctoral School's infrastructure, student stipends, travel grants, faculty mobility, journals, books and research materials.

    For more information about the Kyiv Mohyla Academy's Doctoral School, see: In the United States, tax deductible donations to the new PhD program can be directed to Kyiv Mohyla Foundation, P.O. Box 46009, Chicago, IL 60646-0009 or at For more information, see:

    Marta Farion
    Kyiv-Mohyla Foundation of America

    Copyright © 1997-2011 BRAMA, Inc. All rights reserved.
    The images and information contained in BRAMA News and BRAMA Press reports may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of BRAMA and/or author/photographer. The views and opinions of authors expressed on do not necessarily state or reflect the views of Brama - Gateway Ukraine or its officers, directors or associates.

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