On May 27, 2021 a session of Board of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine took place. Director of the Ukrainian State Center for International Education Olena Shapovalova presented areas of work on the education of foreigners in Ukraine.
“In the process of improving higher education, it is important, in particular, to minimize corruption risks when foreigners submit their documents for admission to educational institutions in Ukraine. Thus, we are working to create a single interdepartmental system for the recruitment of foreign students to Ukrainian HEIs. Promotion of Ukrainian education is one of important foundations for development of the state and formation of competitive human capital,” – Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine Serhiy Shkarlet said.
Director of the Ukrainian State Center for International Education Olena Shapovalova presented statistical data on the education of foreigners in Ukraine. According to the data, as of 01.01.2021, 76 548 foreign students from 155 countries are studying in Ukraine. Most students are coming from India, Morocco, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Nigeria, China, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Uzbekistan.
Most popular specialties chosen by foreign students are medical ones (more than 50%) and also management, secondary education, law, architecture and construction, economics, banking, finance and insurance.
Director of the Ukrainian State Center for International Education Olena Shapovalova pointed out that due to the COVID-19 pandemic and termination of inviting foreign citizens for study or training according to the order of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine almost for 5 months, there was a slight decrease in the number of foreign students in Ukraine. However, owing to the support of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and the people’s deputies, amendments were made to the MES Order №1541, according to which the terms of admission were extended until December 15, 2020 and April 15, 2021, and the possibility of distance learning for foreigners was returned.
“It is pleasant to note the positive dynamics of increasing the number of foreigners studying in Ukrainian HEIs since 2011. This testifies to the proper reputation of Ukrainian higher education abroad. After all, according to results of the research, foreigners choose Ukraine for quality of education, cost of education and recognition of the diplomas at their home countries”, – Olena Shapovalova said.
She also emphasized that in order to maintain such positive dynamics and increase it, there is a necessity to take important successive steps.
In particular, in pursuance of Decree of the President of Ukraine №210 / 2020 “On Improving Higher Education in Ukraine”, an Action Plan approved by the Government of Ukraine on April 21, 2021 was developed to promote opportunities for higher education in Ukraine for foreign students.
It included a historic visit of a delegation of Ukrainian educators led by Minister Serhiy Shkarlet to Tajikistan, and the Ukrainian Forum of International Education, the largest event on international education in Ukraine. In addition, work is underway to introduce a single interdepartmental system for recruiting foreigners, and a pilot project is being prepared to organize distance recruitment for citizens of People’s Republic of China.
Among the proposals for attracting foreigners to study in Ukraine there were amendments to regulations governing the timing of entry of foreigners, expanding the international treaty base to ensure a mutually beneficial partnership in education, preparation of the Plan of International Events.
“I am confident that owing to the coordinated work of key stakeholders, we will be able to achieve our goals. After all, education of foreign students leads to positive image of Ukraine and investments in the economy of our country!” – Olena Shapovalova summarized.