Ottawa Model Ukraine
Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Program (CUPP) alumni planned a series of
conferences to create a newer model of Ukraine
and its governance.
conferences brought together academics, diplomats, journalists and politicians
as well as CUPP alumni to address areas of culture, economy, education,
elections, history, politics and current events in Ukraine.
The first Model Ukraine Conference took place at the Elliott School of
International Affairs at George
in February, 2010, and dealt with the issues of human rights, history, culture,
law and politics of Ukraine.
second Model Ukraine Conference “The Politics of Education and Elections in Ukraine”
took place at the University
on November 12-13, 2010.
Speakers from Germany,
met to address the issues of education, elections, Ukrainian language and
Ottawa Conference was opened by Dominique Arel, the holder of the Chair of the
Ukrainian Studies at the University
Opening remarks were made by HE Ambassador of Ukraine to Canada Ihor Ostash and
CUPP Director Ihor Bardyn. HE Ambassador of Canada to Ukraine G. Daniel Caron
delivered the keynote address in which he outlined the difficulties in the
areas of business and governance in contemporary Ukraine.
He also spoke about the future of Canada-Ukraine relations; negotiations of the
Free Trade Agreement, the newly announced Youth Mobility Agreement for travel
and vice versa, as well as the recent visit of Prime Minister Harper to Ukraine
and his statements concerning democracy, human rights and freedom of speech in Ukraine.
first session of the Ottawa Conference dealt with education in Ukraine, and the
speakers were Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine Prof. Iryna
Zaytseva, Dr. Phylisse D. Mitchell from the University of Richmond, who
lectured in Ukraine for two years in 2008-2010, and Inna Viriasova from the
University of Western Ontario. Iryna Zaytseva reviewed the recent resolutions
of the government on education issues and announced that the new law which is
in the process of being drafted would grant greater autonomy to the
universities in the areas of program planning and appointments. The Deputy
Minister also stated that many of the components of the Bologna
system of education would be implemented in Ukraine.
Iryna Zaytseva held the opinion that regions should have the opportunity to set
language priorities implemented by local governments. The Deputy Minister
stated: “I want to stress that the State Language [Ukrainian] is under no
pressure and the necessity [question] of state language is under no debate in Ukraine.”
Mitchell was critical of Ukraine’s
authorities for the changes in the educational system which appeared to be
reverting back to the practices of the Soviet Union and
the failure to implement the Bologna
system standards in Ukraine.
alumnus Inna Viriasova spoke about the incompatibility or non-acceptance of
foreign degrees in Ukraine
due to bureaucratic policies and the quality of higher education in Ukraine.
the second session, Roman Tashlitskyy of Ostroh
was of the opinion that Ukrainian higher education needs serious reforms in
order to survive. He was critical of the government’s priorities which focused
on spending money on sports facilities ahead of education.
alumnus Pavlo Shopin of the University
spoke on whether Ukrainian universities need autonomy. He reviewed the
constituent elements of the concept of autonomy and defined it through
dialectical unity with accountability. He concluded by saying that university
autonomy is as necessary as democracy in the public sphere for Ukraine.
Memetova, a student at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy,
criticized the admission system at Ukrainian universities. Memetova proposed to
combine in the admission process both aptitude and achievement tests,
considering personal achievements and interests of the applicants, their
motivation to pursue particular degrees, carrier goals, etc. She also stressed
that Ukrainian education is in deep crisis and there is an urgent need of
reformation of the education system as a whole.
participants discussed the issues of language and identity in Ukraine
during the third session. Oksana Tyshchenko-Monastyrska of the Potebnya
Institute of Linguistics in Kyiv delivered an address about the Crimean Tatar
language as an indicator of the existence of an ethno-cultural group in Ukraine.
alumnus Andriy Olenyuk of Georgetown University Law Centre characterized the
constitutional framework for language policy in Ukraine.
Olenyuk stressed that Ukraine’s
Constitution provides for one Official State Language in the country, which is
Klyuchar, Muskie Fellow at the University
advocated the implementation of a plurivocal approach to Ukrainian history.
Such methodology would train Ukrainian students to think critically, analyze Ukrainian
history and reach their own understanding and interpretation of the historical
facts and not the one learned from the school books approved by the government.
The discussants of the Conference concluded that such an approach (known in
Western academia as the "Socratic Method"), where students are taught
to think critically and illuminate ideas, should be implemented not only with
regard to history, but other academic disciplines and areas.
fourth session of the Conference dealt with the issues of elections and
democracy in Ukraine.
Protsyk, Senior Research Assistant at the European Centre for Minority Issues, Germany,
predicament in the context of global problems and came to the conclusion that Ukraine
does not need regionalization but rather has every reason to introduce policies
towards national integration.
Kovalchuk, a Ph.D. student at the University
analyzed the evolution of the electoral system in Ukraine
and concluded that it needs to be reformed to reflect the contemporary
situation in Ukraine.
Yaryna Kobel of the University
in her speech addressed the problems of democratic governance in Ukraine
in light of European and global principles.
Kuhner, a columnist at The Washington Times, stood up to Russia
and Russian leaders’ attacks on Ukraine
and its independence. He stressed that Ukrainians need to protect their
identity and the integrity of their country. He quoted Churchill saying that
‘freedom is never free’ and challenged young Ukrainians to choose between the
Western/democratic or pro-Russian/autocratic path of development.
third Model Ukraine Conference is planned for Kyiv in the Fall of 2011. Program
Director Ihor Bardyn announced the possibility of holding another conference in
the cycle of Model Ukraine Conferences, possibly in Western
Europe. In 2011, CUPP Alumni expect to prepare a Model
Ukraine proposal based on conferences already held and present it to the
Government of Ukraine.
Pankiv graduated from the University
with an MA in Law (2009) and Boston
of Law (2010). He was the Coordinator for 2010 CUPP.
alumni, speakers and guests at the Ottawa Model Ukraine
Conference. Seated centre-right, CUPP
Director Ihor Bardyn