Lviv Polytechnic National University (LPNU), founded in 1816, is the largest university in Ukraine. It consists of 18 institutes, including 106 academic departments, educates about 34,000 students, 600 Ph.D. students. The educational process is provided by a faculty of almost 2,200 staff members, 280 of whom are full professors (holding Sc.D. degree) and over 1,200 associate professors (holding Ph.D. degree). Since 1961 LPNU has trained international students. At the beginning of 2022, the university had more than 300 international students from 20 countries. ECTS is broadly used to facilitate exchange programmes.
University’s educational and scientific achievements in various fields of science are based on the synergy of engineering, natural, economic, and socio-humanitarian schools. The fundamental principles that define the ideology of modern Lviv Polytechnic are high professionalism, academic freedom, institutional autonomy, innovation in research and teaching, trust, respect, and justice. LPNU is leading in Ukraine in the implementation of a new educational paradigm – student-centered education and a competency-based approach in the development and realization of educational programs. University has implemented an internal Quality Assurance system and received the certificate ISO 9001:2015.
LPNU’s participation in this project will be mainly represented by the Institute of the Humanities and Social Sciences, particularly the Department of Social Communication and Information Activities and the Department of Sociology and Social Work. The team has experience working on various international projects under Erasmus+, Horizon 2020, and other programmes.
The Ukrainian HE system has been facing severe problems caused by the Russian invasion in the east of Ukraine since 2014. At that time, the concept of “displaced higher education institutions” emerged as since the beginning of hostilities in the Donbas region, 18 HEIs have been moved from the temporarily ceased territories. The displaced HEIs managed to resume the educational process and now educate over 40,000 students and employ about 3,500 academic staff. However, most of these universities struggle with infrastructure, funding, and human resource problems. LPNU collaborates with many of them and tries to provide help. Particularly, LPNU is coordinating a capacity-building Erasmus+ project called “Open Practices, Transparency and Integrity for Modern Academia” (OPTIMA), which aims to bring Open Science to Ukraine, but at the same time focuses on engaging disadvantaged academic communities of displaced Ukrainian universities. Another example is the Educational center “Crimea-Ukraine,” which works in LPNU and supports people from the temporarily ceased Crimea entering the university. There is a simplified procedure for such prospective students’ admission and much other support available.
The university has its seat in Lviv, a relatively safe place since the Russian invasion on February 24, 2022. The city has become a location where thousands of people (including students and academic staff) gather to seek peace and safety. The academic community of Lviv Polytechnic has had lots of experience in providing help to refugees and displaced persons since 2014. From the first days of the current war, the university established a Center of Humanitarian Aid to Internally Displaced Persons and the Army, collecting food and necessities for people in need. Also, starting from March 14, 2022, students from Ukrainian HEIs, located in the area of hostilities, where educational services are temporarily suspended, can continue their education in Lviv Polytechnic.
The value of LPNU is its experience in working with internally displaced persons, including students and academic staff, since 2014. LPNU as a major university is the main destination for a considerable part of displaced students, many of which will continue their education in LPNU. In particular, as part of the project, LPNU will assist partners as a HEI willing to get more engaged in developing refugee-oriented capacity building and knowledge (WP2) ; focus on the innovative and sustainable ways to support internally displaced persons in Ukraine (WP3). LPNU will lead activities which are connected to the Ukrainian HEI’s response to the humanitarian and social crisis afflicting Ukraine due to the war (WP4) and activities related to the experience of Ukrainian higher education institutions and post-war resilience measures to take (WP5).