With tensions in Ukraine rising and the country’s future remaining uncertain, CRDF Global has created a new, emergency fund to help aid and support the country’s struggling scientists and innovators. While Ukraine has an established system of science and higher education it has been severely affected by a lack of funding and security due to the current crisis. Accompanying the formal announcement of the The Emergency Fund for Ukraine’s Scientists and Innovators, Serhiy Kvit, Ukraine’s Minister of Education and Science, released a statement further explaining the situation in his country and outlining the significance of this new effort.
From the Office of Serhiy Kvit Minister of Education and Science, Ukraine 29 May 2015
On behalf of the Ministry of Education and Science I would like to thank CRDF Global for its continuous support and dedicated commitment to our cooperation. During these challenging times it is vital for Ukraine to reinforce viable partnerships, especially in the spheres of education, science and research that have long-lasting impact on the country’s development.
Ukraine enjoys having a vast and powerful system of higher education and science. The existing potential provides a great springboard for modernization and innovation of our economy and society at large. However, we face dramatic problems, caused by occupation of 7.8 percent of national territory. Among more than 1.2 million refugees from the occupied territories are more than hundred thousand scientists, university and school teachers, students. 26 universities and research institutes were relocated to government-controlled territory, however, all their facilities, laboratories, etc. remained in the occupied territory.
Despite this, the Ministry is currently implementing an all-encompassing higher education reform, which aims at strengthening a link between the universities, research and innovation by the means of providing autonomy and budget support to the HEIs. A new law “On Science” is yet to be adopted. The envisaged reform of science system will drastically transform the old rigid science structure and will initiate grant-driven approach to science, and the wide cooperation in science and technologies with our Western partners.
The cooperation with CRDF Global is a great asset to support and foster the mentioned reforms along their implementation path. We need more collaborative projects to inject innovative approaches into the Ukrainian education and science structures, and nurture linkages among scientific communities. The CRDF Global mission to promote peace and prosperity is as germane to the Ukrainian context as never before. At the time of war and destruction of industry in the occupied territories of Donbas, it is science, research and innovation that can not only reconcile people, but can also provide for gradual but steady recovery of the country. Therefore, we encourage CRDF Global to engage in more scientific projects, reform support programs and any other forms of bilateral cooperation that would boost the current efforts within the country.
Once again I am grateful for CRDF Global’s relentless engagement, and urge our both sides to further partnership advancement.
Serhiy Kvit, Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine