Scientific trails of Sumy region (Sumy State University)

What are the Sumy region and the city of Sumy famous for? Perhaps for the inhabitants of this region, it will not be difficult to answer this question, because it was here that the paths of history converged into a single one. We all remember these lines from school:

“In Putivl grad in the morning-early, Yaroslavna sings and cries…” T.Shevchenko

Yes, this is a rehash from “Words about Igor’s Regiment”, which immediately takes us back to the times of Kyivan Rus, to the events of 1185, because according to legend, right here in Putivl, Yaroslavna was crying waiting for her husband – knyaz Igor from the military campaign against the Polovtsians. And what about the mention of glorious cossack Baturin city?!

However, the Sumy region is not only famous for its history, but also for its scientific achievements. And the undisputed leader in this regard is Sumy State University (SSU). So, let’s visit it too.

Today our interlocutor will be PhD in Economics, associate professor of the International Economic Relations Department, Institute of Business, Economics and Management, Sumy State University ( ) – Oksana Zamora.

–What is the “raisin” of your educational institution?

–Sumy State University is proud for several years in a row of its achievements, which are marked at the international level by world rankings. Thus, the indicators of educational, extracurricular, international and other activities of SSU are recognized as exceeding the world average. We are in the TOP-3 best in Ukraine and in the TOP-300 universities in the world in terms of socio-economic impact and are included in the catalogue of the best research universities in the world. Sumy State University is included in the ranking of young universities by Times Higher Education and currently SSU is the only representative of Ukraine in this category of ranking. SSU also became the first Ukrainian university to be included in the UI GreenMetric international environmental rating.

–What do you think about the AgriSciences UA platform for the scientific improvement of higher education institutions in Ukraine?

–Any platforms for cooperation and exchange of academic knowledge are a particularly valuable tool for the university. The same applies to networking opportunities. The creation of the AgriSciences Platform is my product of cooperation with Czech partners for five years in various forms and at different levels. It started with one university, and now there are 5 in the consortium, and we hope to expand the initiatives. Every year, we collect bit by bit feedbacks from participants in our events and ask colleagues about their needs, and then include them in subsequent projects. However, participation in such projects requires a lot of dedication and team involvement, so, unfortunately, not all universities agree to this or are capable of it.

– In your opinion, which important issues AgriSciences Platform helped your university in 2020?

– Actually, it is difficult for me to focus on the platform, because, as I have already mentioned, it is a product of many years of cooperation and synergy of interests with Czech partners. Therefore, even the participation of SSU like classical university in the agricultural project is not a surprise: after many years of communication on the development of agricultural science in Ukraine, we understood that the future lies in cross-discipline and involvement of all stakeholders. Agricultural science needs new blood, needs cooperation with scientists from classical universities, which carry a fresh and comprehensive vision, as well as the latest expertise in such modern topics as nanotechnology, IT and more. Therefore, participation in the project gives a lot to all parties: from the exchange of academic and scientific knowledge and experience to issues of ethics in research, the quality of the education system and internationalization.

– What is the estimated number of participants who took part in the events announced on this platform?

–Actually, from SSU, the number of participants together in all project events reaches about 900 people. Some of them, of course, took part in more than one event. However, it is worth noting that all events were held in English without translation (this year we moved away from our tradition of providing translation and this was a certain risk), but this didn’t affect the number of participants at all, in fact, it was much larger than “live” meetings. The online format has given even more opportunities to participate. And the saved records, I think, have increased this number, probably, twice.

–What are your thoughts on the development of cooperation in the research field?

–My opinions are rather conclusions from so many years of work as a local project coordinator in partnership with the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, because absolutely all the years this is their main message. Scientists should cooperate, the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and universities should change their rules and include in the economist’s assessment of scientific achievement an article published in an agricultural publication in partnership with an engineer, agronomist, etc. Moreover, as a grant expert, I would say that cross- and transdisciplinarity of research has been and is the engine of science in the world, has helped to make breakthrough decisions, and is, therefore, one of the criteria for grant funding by major donors.

– What do you expect from the AgriSciences Platform in the future?

– I expect a greater immersion of SSU in agricultural issues and an increase in the levels of partnership. All previous results show that we are doing everything right and moving in the right direction. We are grateful to the Czech side for many years of cooperation and look forward to its continuation and deepening. Well, and, of course, we expect the quarantine conditions to be eased in order to implement the planned mobility, which should help implement our further strategic plans.

It is impossible to disagree with these words, because no technical equipment can replace a lively discussion, so we wish us all health and a speedy opportunity to meet! Thank you Sumy State University for the provided information!

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