The German Federal Minister of Education and Research, Johanna Wanka, emphasized the good relations with Ukraine and acknowleged the first successful steps of the country towards an intergration into the Euroepan Research and Higher Education Area. She also stressed that the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is willing to support Ukraine in its efforts to reform and restructure the Ukrainian research and higher education landscape.
'We understand that it is extremely important to establish stability in Ukraine. Then the country will be in a position to implement policy reforms. Obviously, after the annexation of Crimea and the beginning of the armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine there was a need to invest more in security and defense, and, accordingly, education and science have less money. Although German scientists today widely maintain contacts with Ukraine, I call on them, and on the German scientific institutions to enhance the extent of their cooperation with Ukraine where possible', said Johanna Wanka.
The German minister welcomed her Ukrainian counterpart Liliya Hrynevych in Berlin. The Ukrainian Minister of Education and Science came into office only recently and the trip to Germany was her first official visit to an EU Member State. Liliya Hrynevych expressed her gratitude for the German support and noted that peace is a key condition for the development of all sectors of society, especially in education and science.
Both ministers jointly opened the conference 'German-Ukrainian Dialogue: Prospects for Education and Science', which brought together respresentatives of the political and science communities of both countries. Their aim was to present plans for a reform of the Ukrainian education and science system, which is supported by the German federal ministry and German reserach institutions, as well as to analyse the potential for future cooperations.
Germany already supports Ukrainian-German research projects in a wide range of scientific fields and fosters the exchange of students and scientists. A recent call for project proposals from 15 April 2016 to 3 June 2016 was open to scientific organisations, research groups, universities, research institutions and SMEs of both countries.