On October 30, 2017, the meeting on the Erasmus + KA2 project 586281-EPP-1-2017-1-EE-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP “Rethinking Regional Studies: The Baltic-Black Sea Connection” was held at the Faculty of International Relations of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the partner universities of the project, namely University of Tartu (Estonia), which is the project coordinator, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (Poland), Lund University (Sweden), Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania), Ivan Franko National University of Lviv (national coordinator), Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Odessa I.I.Mechnikov National University and Mariupol State University.

The participants of the meeting were greeted by the Vice-Rector for Research, Corresponding Member of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Professor Roman Gladyshevskii, who told the foreign guests about the history of Lviv University and noted that the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv is one of the best universities in Ukraine. Mr. Gladyshevskii emphasized that the project would strengthen the relations between Ukraine and other participating countries and will be useful for Ukrainian education and science.

“We are pleased that Lviv University is the national coordinator of the project and I am convinced that the participants of today’s meeting will be able to work efficiently and discuss all practical aspects of its implementation,” said Roman Gladyshevskii.

The Dean of the Faculty of International Relations, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine, Professor Markiyan Malskyy, spoke about the structure of the faculty, emphasizing that the Faculty of International Relations was founded 25 years ago and it has become one of the best diplomatic training institutions in Ukraine. In addition, the Dean stressed that the faculty scholars closely cooperate with leading scientific institutions in the world, which allows them to successfully absorb international experience and improve the quality of education.

Subsequently, the participants of the event held a meeting, during which they were trying to outline the steps of the project implementation.

The event’s organizers point out that the main goal of the project “Rethinking Regional Studies: The Baltic-Black Sea Connection” is to contribute to the development of higher education in Ukraine and to help universities meet the highest educational standards. In addition, the project aims to internationalize and develop regional cooperation between universities by satisfying their needs for comprehensive knowledge in the field of international relations and regional research. This will develop the potential of higher education in non-EU countries and integrate Ukrainian partners into the EU educational system.

The two-year Master’s program for studying the Baltic and Black Sea regions, which will be introduced at the Faculty of International Relations of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, as well as the modules that will be implemented at other Ukrainian partner universities will provide students with the opportunity to gain interdisciplinary learning experience.

The program will aim at both Ukrainian and foreign students whose academic interests or practical activities are closely linked to the Baltic and / or Black Sea regions. The introduction of the Master’s program and modules in higher education institutions of Ukraine will promote further cooperation of higher educational establishments in Ukraine. First of all, it will help them to connect with partner universities in Europe, attract foreign students and conduct comprehensive research in the whole region, exploring its historical, political, economic and cultural development. Moreover, the participants of the program will be able to research national and international cooperation among the countries of the region and the prospects of the region in the context of European integration and regional cooperation.