On March 12th until 16th 2018, the Alumni Network Ukraine-Germany held its first Alumni Conference at Ivan-Franko-National-University of Lviv (IFNUL). In this lovely town, with its inspiring literary heritage, rich architecture and Vienna-style coffeehouse culture, participants from all across Ukraine and Germany had the opportunity to learn more about Big Data, German literature and funding for cooperation.
As cooperation between Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg (JMU) and IFNUL already started in 2014, Prof. Dr. Alfred Forchel, president of JMU and speaker of the network, together with Prof. Dr. Volodymyr Melnyk, rector of IFNUL and Dr. Wolodymyr Sulym, Dean of the Faculty of Foreign Languages of IFNUL, warmly welcomed Ukrainian alumni of German universities and research institutions to a week of continuing education for alumni and the opportunity to exchange experiences.
During her certified workshop on project management JMU vice-president Prof. Dr. Andrea Szczesny gave highly entertaining insights on successful and less successful large-scale projects. Presentations of various experts from IFNUL, Ukrainian Catholic University Lviv and JMU provided, amongst others, information on funding opportunities for projects and stays with German research and higher education institutions as well as perceptions on opportunities and challenges of our digitalized age. A certified continuing education session in the field of German studies and literature was accompanied by speeches from JMU vice-president, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Riedel, on the significance of cultural heritage and the role of the humanities, and head of the Ukrainian Germanists and German teachers association, Prof. Dr. Alla Paslawska, on the cultural traces of German settlers in Western Ukraine. Another highlight was the participation of representatives from Germany-based companies, EKU Kontakt and ESG group, who invested time and effort to present their business models as well as working opportunities for Ukrainian alumni complemented by an excursion to EKU’s production site in Brody. All speeches, presentations and reports from alumni, inspired fruitful professional discussions and elaborations on further cooperation on, both, faculty and research project level.
As the Lviv conference was already met with great interest of a variety of Ukrainian and German stakeholders the foundation of a growing and thriving network has been laid!