Belarus - Ukraine - Moldova
"The greatest strength of CEP is its image as an organization of people who unselfishly try to create in Ukraine a new community of people with a market and democratic mentality."— Sergiy Yakubovsky, Eastern Scholar Alumnus, Odessa State University
The current political and economic developments in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova increasingly attract closer attention of organizations whose mandate is promoting democratic reform, open society and individual freedoms in the post-communist countries. Civic Education Project, as an organization working in the midst of generating and shaping the future leadership of the region, is actively contributing to this cause.
Started in 1992, CEP Ukraine is one of the oldest CEP programs. It later merged with the Moldova (in 1996) and Belarus (1997) programs to form the largest and one of the most active groups of fellows in CEP. Over these years, CEP supported almost 300Visiting Faculty Fellows (VFFs - formerly known as Visiting Lecturers) and Local Faculty Fellows (LFFs - formerly known as Eastern Scholars) and taught over 15,000 students in these countries. The network of CEP fellows and alumni in the West NIS region presents a great diversity of academic and cultural backgrounds with affiliations to institutions of higher learning in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Hungary, Italy, Denmark, Poland, Belgium, the United Sates, Canada, Mexico, South Korea, and others. The diversity of teaching areas reflects the needs and interests of local institutional partners and students in developing potential in teaching and learning.
CEP Belarus-Ukraine-Moldova (CEP BUM) pioneered many programs and activities that, over the years, have become a tradition CEP-wide. These include national and regional Student Conferences, Local Fellow Roundtables, and Simulation Events. Currently, CEP BUM is piloting a number of new projects, including a Teaching Assistants Program, Winter Schools in Teaching Methodology for Junior Social Scientists and a Distance Learning Project. CEP BUM has established teaching materials collections, resource and advising centers, student unions, and student papers, and currently is an active partner in establishing an Association of Active Learning in Belarus.
CEP BUM is one of the largest single CEP programs, and it utilizes the potential of its size - an expanded student and faculty alumni network, and the momentum gained by effective teaching and outreach activities of the past years - by continuing to work in the three strategic directions of higher education reform in West NIS. These directions are: faculty development, teaching and student involvement, and strengthening institutional bases for sustaining reform efforts. In addition to teaching and research, CEP Fellows organize academic conferences and political debates. They work with local faculty and administration on creating and implementing new courses, methods and materials of instruction. CEP Fellows have established student unions, libraries, resource centers, and promoted campus activism, the spirit of open dialogue and cooperation on all levels of academia and community.
CEP's faculty development activities focus on local junior faculty by helping them to improve the contents and quality of teaching. The issue of "brain drain" is addressed through the acquisition and development of modern teaching methodology and materials and by further involving these young academics in CEP's regional and international networks of scholars.
The Junior Faculty Development Workshops, held annually, focus on contemporary methods of teaching and research in social sciences (Active Learning, Case Study, Brain Storm, Role-Play, use of Internet in teaching and research). Usual participation is roughly 50 university faculty from the region, observing classes and student events conducted using modern methodologies and technologies of teaching and learning, and discussing their effectiveness and applicability within the framework of existing academic institutions and programs in the region.
"Without any exaggeration, my best working experience are the years with CEP. This organization gives an opportunity not to dream about the changes, but to actually change life today, working in the most future oriented field B Education. All the talented and committed people working for CEP share the same values of freedom, independence, professionalism and responsibility. I believe that we are one team, not due to a chance, but because we think the same way." — Elena Kovaleva, Eastern Scholar Alumna, Donetsk State Technical University
Over the course of the 2000-01 academic year, the CEP BUM Program carried out a series of seven Winter Schools at universities across the region. Working in discipline groups, CEP Local and Visiting Fellows organized these events in order to promote curriculum and teaching development among young faculty and graduate students. The Winter Schools lasted from 3-5 days each and included presentations, workshops and discussions that promoted exchange among scholars in the fields of economics, international relations, environmental journalism, law, political science and sociology.
Teaching Practicums at the Ternopil Academy of National Economy (Ukraine) and European Humanities University (Minsk, Belarus) started two other CEP pilot projects. Winter Schools in Teaching Methodology and Contemporary Issues for Junior Faculty and Teaching Assistants Program are aimed at providing fundamental training in course design, teaching methodology, creation and use of innovative materials, methods and technologies for teaching, research and students' extracurricular work.
Numerous publications of manuals on teaching methodology, testing and evaluation techniques, reading packets in local languages will find many uses among the local faculty and students.
CEP's student activities are called to promote independent learning, critical thinking and active participation in academic and community life.
Eleven student teams coached by CEP fellows participated in the Ukrainian National Student Election Debate Forum, held jointly with Kharkiv National University one week before the presidential elections in Ukraine. The students, representing various regions of Ukraine, demonstrated a variety of opinions and approaches in debating the topics of presidential power and how it impacts the political, economic, social and legal situations in Ukraine. The students also participated in a presidential election campaign simulation.
Thirty-five students from fifteen Ukrainian universities participated in the Financial Policy-Making Workshop in Odessa, Ukraine. In the form of a debate, the event allowed the students to explore the effects of current financial policy of Ukrainian government and, through a simulation game of "ideal government," offered their solutions to the most acute problems of external and internal debt, inflation, investment and their social implications.
A highlight of the year for all CEP Eurasian programs was the Regional Student Conference, "Recreating Civic Culture: Integrity and Diversity in Global Transformation". Through a highly competitive selection process the conference invited eighty students from thirty-five institutions of higher education in Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, Lithuania, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. The four-day conference featured fourteen panel discussions on the issues pertaining to cultural diversity, democratic values, economic, legal and social policy-making, and the transformation of the Eurasia region. In addition to panel discussions, the conference participants attended a Career Fair, which provided them with information on academic and professional opportunities and practical workshops on application writing, job-hunting and interviewing skills. Students were also introduced to services available from international educational exchange organizations and employment agencies. The Site Visits sponsored by a number of international organizations active in Belarus, provided students with the opportunity to meet the representatives, receive first-hand information about the United Nations, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and their policies toward and activities in the Eurasian region. A group of students also visited an independent daycare and rehabilitation center for disabled children. The conference concluded with a Debate entitled "Reviving Democratic Culture: Citizens' Choices in the Process of Transformation." This regional conference was an example of successful cooperation among many participants, including several major universities, international organizations and NGOs and opened doors for future cooperation with many of them.
To provide more students with the opportunity to meet their counterparts from other universities and countries, CEP conducted a number of smaller-scale student conferences. These city conferences in Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk (Ukraine), and national conferences in Chisinau (Moldova) and Minsk (Belarus) stressed practice research, writing and presentation skills and participation in meaningful dialogues about the issues facing societies in their countries and the region. In addition to these, over twenty students participated in other regional conferences organized by the Civic Education Project in Russia, Central Asia, Caucasus, Baltic States and Bulgaria.
CEP Weeks are becoming a traditional form of group outreach to non-CEP institutions. A typical CEP Week at Invisible College in Chisinau (Moldova) featured guest lectures by CEP fellows in Political Science, International Relations, Sociology and Psychology, role game discussing issues of European integration, teaching methodology workshop for faculty. Guest lecture exchange is especially active and effective between Visiting Faculty Fellows and Local Faculty Fellows, whose students benefit from both local and international perspectives on the issues covered in their courses. Such examples include guest lecture series at Grodna and Viciebsk State Universities (Belarus), Law School at Moldova State University, Ternopil Academy of National Economy, Kolomya College of Business and Law, Kharkiv State Academy of Municipal Economy, Kharkiv Humanities Institute (Ukraine) and many others.
A Look into the Future
In cooperation with local institutions, CEP sees its role in facilitating academic exchange, creating institutional partnerships, strengthening local resource base, implementing sustainable qualitative change in approaches to teaching, research and student involvement.
In Ukraine, CEP is actively collaborating with the International Renaissance Foundation on launching the Open Society Institute Megaproject. In the academic year 2000-2001, CEP fellows worked closely as experts and advisors with Centers for Advanced Research and Teaching in History, Political Science, European Studies, Sociology and Educational Development. Through this cooperation, the centers, established at universities throughout Ukraine, benefited in areas of curriculum, faculty, and materials collections development, student events and other activities to enhance the effectiveness of higher education reform in the region.
In partnership with the International Institute of Linguistics and Law (IILL) and Office of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Embassy in Ukraine, CEP established a Moot Court Resource Center in Kyiv, the only one of its kind in Ukraine. The Resource Center, built in the form of a court room, is equipped with computers with on-line access, software, electronic and printed resource materials on various areas of Ukrainian, US, European and International Law and legal writing. It also has TV and video equipment operated by the students of the Journalism department at IILL. The Center is used by the students in preparation for moot court competitions, classes, exercising legal research and writing and for a variety of public activities.
Through the OSI's Network Library Program grant, effective collaboration with Sabre-Svitlo Foundation and a number of individual and institutional donations solicited by CEP fellows and alumni, CEP donated over four thousand copies of instruction materials (textbooks, reading packets, videos, software, etc.) to its partner departments.
An expanding network of Eastern Scholar/Local Fellow alumni is becoming an active component of CEP activities in the region. In addition to actively participating in all CEP activities, the alumni continue old and generate new projects independently and in partnership with current fellows. Such projects include the annual city student conference in Dnipropetrovsk (Ukraine), workshops on sociological research methodology for mass media and social workers in Minsk (Belarus), NATO expansion debate in Donetsk (Ukraine), and activities on strengthening the teaching resource base at various institutions.CEP BUM
Belarusian Links Page
Embassy of the Republic of Belarus, Washington, DC
The US Embassy, Minsk, Belarus
UK Travel Advice on Belarus
US Consular Information Sheet on Belarus
UK Travel Advice on Ukraine
US Consular Information Sheet on Ukraine
US Embassy, Kiev, Ukraine
Moldova Links Page
UK Travel Advice on Moldova
US Consular Information Sheet on Moldova
Belarus State University
Belarus State Pedagogical University (site is in Russian only)
European Humanities University
Grodno State University
International Institute of Social and Labor Relations
Viciebsk Institute of Modern Knowledge
Donetsk State Technical University
Dnipropetrovsk State University
International Institute of Linguistics and Law
Kharkov National Law Academy
Kharkov National University
Kharkov State University
Kyiv National University
L'viv State University
National Institute of International Relations
National University of Kiev-Mohyla Academy
Odesa State University
Ternopil Academy of National Economy
The University of Ostroh Academy
Zaporizhzhya State University
International Independent University of Moldova