National Workshops
In the first year of the project national workshops were organised in each partner country: Workshop Moldova – 29 May 2013, Chisinau; Workshop Armenia – 6 March 2014, Yerevan and Workshop Ukraine – 6 November 2013, Kiev

Workshop Ukraine – 6 November 2013, Kiev

The Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv hosted a national seminar in the framework of “Fostering Sustainable and Autonomous Higher Education Systems in the Eastern Neighbouring Area” Tempus Project on October, 6, 2013. The Eastern European National University is one of the Ukrainian domestic partners of this project together with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, Rectors’ Union, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Donetsk National University, Illia Mechnykov Odessa National University. The European Universities’ Association ( EUA) is the main coordinator of the project.

The seminar was opened by Leonid Hubers’kyi, Rector of theTaras Shevchenko National University. He welcomed all the seminar participants and thanked Thomas Estermann, head of EUA Department of management, autonomy and funding, for a thorough study of academic, organizational, financial and personnel autonomy of Ukrainian universities. Specialists from abroad were also invited to take part in the seminar. Among them were E. Fraysmut, Chairman of the Department of Higher Education in Austria, Peter Mederli, Advisor of the Minister of Education, Research, Science of Slovakia, Xavier Puente Shode, Chief Financial Officer of the Carlos III University in Madrid, Spain, Peter-Jan Aartsen, corporate Controller of the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands). The workshop also discussed the challenges of education, the necessity of the educational community to discuss the law on higher education and the understanding of the university as an entity, not just as a budget institution.

At the end of the workshop, the participants decided to adapt the experience of financial, personnel, academic and institutional economy of the leading European universities for its implementation in Ukrainian universities with due account of their specific.

Each workshop will result in the development of concrete road maps for autonomy and funding reforms at national level.

Training Seminars
In the second year of the project three training seminars were organised at partner universities in the EU with particular expertise in the field.

Training Seminar Financial Management – Helsinki 30 April 2014
On 30 April 2014, the first Training Seminar as part of the ATHENA project has been held at the University of Helsinki, Finland.

At the event we were welcomed by the delegates from the partner universities, ministries of higher education and the national rectors’ conferences in Armenia, Moldova, and Ukraine, alongside representatives from the host partner universities, the University of Helsinki and Haaga‐Helia University of Applied Sciences. The aim of the event was building capacity by disseminating examples of good practice in the field of financial management. Practitioners from two host partner universities presented their experiences in this field, with the aim of enabling delegates from Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine to promote good financial management in their own institutions. The main topics at the seminar: funding the university from external and internal allocation mechanisms; organization of financial services at the University of Helsinki; internal budget process and practice; corporate planning services were discussed.

Training Seminar Autonomy and Governance – Coimbra 3-4 November 2014
The delegation from Lesya Ukrainka Eastern European National University headed by Rector Ihor Kotsan took part in second ATHENA training seminar on university autonomy and governance in the framework of the Tempus programme. The seminar was held at the University of Coimbra and the Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra in Portugal on 3-4 November 2014. The Ukrainian participants together with other representatives of the ATHENA consortium partners including Ukrainian Council of Rectors, Taras Shevchenko  National University of Kyiv, Donetsk National University, I. Mechnikov Odessa National University, Universities of Moldova and Armenia heard presentations from a range of senior figures in Portuguese higher education. Among the key-note speakers were J. Silva, University of Coimbra Rector, J. Pedrosa, former Minister of Education, and J. Palmeiro, high-profile external board member.

Rector J. Silva who opened the seminar, focused on the main tendencies in the development of his University, the issues of its sustainability, financial and academic autonomy. Among other priority topics he highlighted in his speech were the issues of student admission system, supervisory board outside member selection criteria, etc.

J. Pedrosa, former Education Minister of Portugal, discussed the implementation of governance and autonomy reforms, of which Portuguese universities have extensive experience, the issues of involving the external funds aiming to finance scientific research in the Universities of Portugal.

T. Estermann, European University Association (EUA) expert and Director of ATHENA Governance, Funding & Public Policy Development, emphasized the importance of designing and introducing the University autonomy road map into the structures of the Ukrainian, Moldovan, and Armenian higher education institutions with due account of the respective countries’ economic and social environment.

Ihor Kotsan, Rector of Lesya Ukrainka Eastern European National University, actively participated in the EUA – Ukraine bilateral meeting. He drew attention of the audience to the current need of developing ‘society of intellectuals’ in Ukraine, since, in his opinion, this is the only way to create a ‘truly educated elite’ in the country. From this standpoint, the Ukrainian intellectual elite will boost the strategy of the Ukrainian University being attractive in Europe and globally. The Eastern European University in this sense is promoting the idea even by its name. The newly adopted Law of Ukraine On Higher Education, as the speaker noted in his review of its articles, opens broad horizons for strengthening the Ukrainian universities’ autonomy that is closely related to their responsibility and independence.  He further voiced his willingness to host other ATHENA fora, supported the idea of publishing a collective monograph co-authored by all ATHENA project representatives.  Finally, Ihor Kotsan expressed his University’s readiness to foster partneship cooperation between EENU and EUA for mutual benefit.

At the end of the seminar, the participants had a good opportunity to enjoy a guided walking campus tour of the old University of Coimbra which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Training Seminar Human Resources Development – Amsterdam 10-11 February 2015

ATHENA Benchmarking Forum
On 12-13 May 2015 all project actors gathered in a regional event to discuss the progress made towards greater autonomy and sustainable funding for universities as well as to benchmark the achievements of the three partner countries. The event brought together the relevant stakeholders also from outside of the partnership.

ATHENA Dissemination Event
On 13 May 2015 Yerevan State University hosted a special dissemination event opened to all ATHENA partners as well as interested stakeholders outside of the partnership.