The Future of Ukrainian Education

Two world wars drove many to America as did years of Soviet domination, yet, as the history unfolds Ukrainian-Americans remained fiercely committed to their Motherland. These days, Ukrainians on the streets of Chicago and Philadelphia, New York and Detroit are enjoying the early flush of their Motherland’s independence from afar, and raising money for the National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy (NUKMA) to educate the next generation of Ukraine’s leaders.

In less than ten years, the Academy graduated 4,147 students with undergraduate or graduate degrees, many now employed with Western companies doing business in Ukraine and government agencies. With stringent admission criteria, instruction in both Ukrainian and English is offered in 16 disciplines, taught by more than 100 professors and over 500 instructors, and 25 research centers and laboratories, the Academy enjoys a place of prominence in Kyiv. Many students receive grants and study at American and Canadian universities after graduation, as well, connecting the international Ukrainian diaspora.

The Academy’s American partner, the Kyiv Mohyla Foundation of America, has collected approximately 1.3 million dollars for the benefit of the university since 2001. A goal of $1 million dollars has been set for 2007 to support an endowment fund in order to provide NUKMA with a secure future, as well as for uses specifically designated by donors, such as library collections, scholarships, and academic departments. The Foundation also hopes to provide seed money for the Electronic Library of Ukraine.

A central partner in the Orange Revolution, the Kyiv Mohyla Academy remains committed to the fostering of democratic ideals, including respect for human rights. University leadership, students and faculty spent many days on the Maidan. The Academy continues to enjoy the political support of such American political heavyweights as former U. S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, as well as successfully fostering several joint programs with American universities, paving the way for an international connection long into the country’s future.