TSMU Participates at Strengthening Academic Integrity in Ukraine Project

Ternopil State Medical University is one of ten Ukrainian universities participating in the Strengthening Academic Integrity in Ukraine Project (SAIUP). This project is implemented by the American Councils for International Education in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and the US Embassy. Its significance is due to the new law “On education” that developed the background for university autonomy and the relevant secondary legislations allowed universities to implement academic, financial and personnel independence. This is the best time to combine the establishment of university autonomy with the development of academic integrity in Ukrainian universities.

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 The following universities also take part at the project: Lutsk National Technical University, Donetsk National University, Ternopil National Economic University, Izmail State Humanitarian University, Sumy State University, National University of Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhya National University, Institute of International Relations of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Odessa I.I.Mechnikov National University.

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The coordinator of the Strengthening Academic Integrity in Ukraine Project (SAIUP) Taras Tymochko, Advisor for Culture of the US Embassy in Ukraine Conrad Turner, project assistant Yana Chapailo, project expert Yulia Solodko on March 23 visited Ternopil State Medical University and met with the Rector of TSMU Professor Mykhailo Korda, the Vice-Rector for Science and Education Professor Arkadii Shulhai, the Vice-Rector for Research Professor Ivan Klishch and university teachers and students.

The guests got acquainted with the achievements of TSMU in strengthening academic integrity, such as implementation of dissertation check for plagiarism, fruitful work of the Center for Independent Students Testing etc.

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“We are honored to work with the medical university for the first time. The Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine recommended your university as one of the leading universities in the field of medical education. Our organization American Councils in Ukraine has significant experience in successful implementation of a number of important educational projects, especially for the program Flex, Open World and implementation and management of external testing in Ukraine. There are a lot of developments in technical support of education reform. Ukraine observes the way we develop the integrity model at 10 universities. Commitment to academic integrity will promote for students to build a successful career in the future, to compete in the international labor market, and it will increase the universities rating and prestige. Soon the relevant rules and penalties for non-virtue will be implied into legislation. At first we want to deliver maximum information to youth”, Taras Tymochko said.

Conrad Turner noted that the issue of academic integrity has become quite urgent recently. He stressed that for highly intellectual Ukrainian nation this problem can be solved very efficiently, but it needs time. The project is intended for students, who submit their applications, will have an opportunity to implement the developed at their universities academic integrity strategy.

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The lecture for the students was held in the assembly hall of the administrative building of TSMU. The facilitators of the project emphasized a lot the importance of academic integrity adherence for the future development of Ukraine.

“Today, the world faces the diplomas inflation. Employers pay less attention to a university degree and more to experience and skills. You should improve as much as possible during studying, gain knowledge and develop practical skills to find a decent job and build a successful career. Every minute of your training is extremely valuable, and each test passed independently in compliance with academic integrity promotes to your professional success”, Taras Tymochko addressed the students.

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He also said that in many countries there is also the problem of academic honesty. However, in most of these countries there are special mechanisms of protection, and in some there are no such rules, unfortunately in Ukraine too. But today there is a chance to joint efforts of universities administration, teachers and students to form a system of academic integrity, to work out the rules for its implementation.

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During the lecture, students filled in a questionnaire, by which the coordinators will study the situation regarding the integrity compliance by students.

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The guests were very positive about TSMU and Ternopil. They wanted to come back here again. “The city has an academic atmosphere because there are many universities and students here. I believe that we will reach the stated objectives”, Conrad Turner summed up.

Press Service of Ternopil State Medical University