Sunday, March 16, 2008

Kyiv-Mohyla Academy

Education comprises one of the most important facets of every society. Universities and academies throughout the world seek to teach and promote not only secular education but also the ideals and pride of the nation in which they reside. The Kyiv-Mohyla Academy is the oldest university in the Ukraine. It was founded in 1632 and boasts of many prominent intellectual and political Ukrainian graduates. It was re-opened in 1991 after the fall of the USSR and functions similar to the University of Michigan. While only 3000 students currently attend the university, they offer academics in a similar fashion to what we are provided. Various majors and minors are offered in the different graduate and undergraduate programs. Students receive credits upon completing each class and a variety of extracurricular activities are available. Admissions and academics are highly competitive and difficult, as this school continues on its legacy of educating intellectually elite students.

While the subjects, history, and activities available at the university are interesting, I really became interested in the years under communist rule. The university had to be re-organized and re-established following the fall of the USSR. The education system in Ukraine was in a state of transition during the late 80s and 90s. As trite and obvious as it is, it really is astounding as to how important education is on a democratic and free-thinking society. Educational systems have forever been the launchpad for great thinkers and societal advancement. Under communist rule, Ukrainians were prohibited from contemplating, experiencing, and advancing their pride, history, and Ukrainian values that are so obviously valued. I just ask everyone to take a moment and consider the fortune we all have in experiencing a "western" education and how different situations in the world would be if education was more freely accessible to the public (i.e. middle east/Africa).

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Does anyone know which European system is most similar to what Ukrainian institutions of higher education follow? The poster mentions some similarities between the U.S. and Ukraine system but these seem rather facile (e.g. the process of getting credit for classwork completed and concentrating in a particular field is kind of universal). Maybe a better way to ask the question is what does the Russian system look like? I mean, is it more similar to the French, German, or English system?