On 15 June, Commissioner Schinas and Ukrainian Education Minister Lisovyi signed an arrangement on cooperation in education.
The arrangement allows, among other things, Ukraine to participate in the Working Groups of the EEA strategic framework and the Eurydice network. Ukraine can also take full advantage of the possibilities of the Erasmus+ programme, in particular eTwinning, and, in the upcoming year, also in the Capacity Building in Youth and Sport, thanks to the enlargement of this type of projects to the Eastern Partnership countries.
Long-term cooperation and mutual recognition of academic qualifications
In the document, the European Commission and the Ukrainian Ministry of Education recall the long-standing cooperation between the EU and Ukraine in the field of education, especially since the signing of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement in 2014. In the arrangement, the Commission reiterates its invitation to the Ukrainian Ministry of Education to take part in the Working Groups of the EEA strategic framework, which should enable Ukraine to align its legislation with the EU "acquis communautaires" in the field of education and facilitate the mutual recognition of academic qualifications. EU Member States should work together with Ukraine on this matter, the European Commission has already issued a Commission Recommendation on the recognition of qualifications for people fleeing Russia´s invasion of Ukraine and Guidelines on fast-track recognition of Ukrainian academic qualifications last year.
The Commission has also invited the Ukrainian Ministry of Education to join the Eurydice network to gain a better understanding of European education systems and their cooperation. Schinas also encouraged Ukraine to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the Erasmus+ programme, from enhanced cooperation between schools to the potential of online platforms such as eTwinning. In addition, Schinas announced that next year the possibility for Ukrainian organisations to participate in international cooperation projects under the Capacity Building in the field of Youth and Sport will be opened as of 2024.
Ministerial meetings on education and the EU support since the beginning of the war
In addition to the extension of the Youth and Sport Capacity Building and the promotion of mutual recognition of qualifications, the European Commission and the Ukrainian Ministry of Education plan to organise biannual ministerial meetings on education. The first one was held in Kiev on 15 June 2023, the second one is expected to take place in Brussels in autumn 2023.
From the beginning of the war until 30 April 2023, nearly 780,000 Ukrainian pupils and students were enrolled in the education systems of EU member states and four non-EU countries associated with the Schengen area. The Commission continues to support Member States in welcoming new pupils, including through the EU Education Solidarity Group for Ukraine, in which Member States' authorities exchange best practices and coordinate work at the EU level. The Commission also allowed maximum flexibility in the Erasmus+ programme to support young people and students from Ukraine already when the war began, including full and free access to the Erasmus+ online language support platform. Ongoing Erasmus+ projects were able to adapt their focus to support Ukraine and new applicants were invited to include activities related to the integration of Ukrainian refugees, the promotion of European values or the fight against disinformation and fake news in their project proposal. Opportunities were also opened for Ukraine in the area of mobility in education and training, which was previously already possible in the youth field.
Learn more in the Commission´s press release.