On January 18, 2016 Sumy State University has hosted the presentation of the monograph written by affiliated researcher of UCRS Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies (Sweden), senior researcher of Institute of Higher Education of the National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine, member of the Fulbright Association, Doctor of Philosophical Sciences Sergiy Kurbatov.

The event has been held as an open seminar, bringing together students, academics and staff of SSU.The monograph is called ‘Phenomenon of University in the Context of Temporal and Spatial Challenges’. The question at hand is idea and mission of university. According to the scientist Sergiy Kurbatov, the fact that Sumy State University has gone from a regional higher educational institution to the prestigious world-class university, getting three stars in the QS Rankings in a relatively short period of time, is evidently in our favor.

The university rankings have made another major topic of the seminar. The interesting story of Sergiy Kurbatov has been based on such aspects as ratings measuring the academic space, the conditions of their origin, international experience and practice, and the main indicators. Having turned into an active dialogue with the seminar audience the constructive story has cleared up a lot of questions: ratings contribute to the formation of values of research culture and internationalism in university’s environment. Also, well-defined identification of measurable parameters of university activities influences the progressive reformation of university as a social institution. The focus on ratings and indicators of their performance allows to improve the image of university in national educational space significantly. Sergiy Kurbatov has said that Sumy State University is known not only in Ukraine but also abroad. He claims that there remains no room for complacency under these circumstances. The scientist advises to keep on working in order to make sure that the connection of idea and mission isn’t lost while getting the leading positions in the East European academic space.

The seminar audience has been eager to know about the most important thing on which a modern teacher should focus in order to improve educational performance and academic reputation of university. Sergiy Kurbatov says that first and foremost the attention should be paid to a foreign language, because the knowledge of it is a key to global academic community. Secondly, modern teachers should publish their works in scientific journals, and get records in various educational bases, taking leading positions.

Sergiy Kurbatov has also been asked to give an advice on the further successful development of Sumy State University. He believes that the mission of university under modern conditions is represented by a certain valuable consensus among university staff, students, and post-graduates concerning certain ideas. Mission itself is not a complete concept. It’s not possible to predict success in advance: there should be people with certain values seeing themselves as a part of university. The students of Sumy State University are not forced to do anything. There’s the academic space that promotes associates to achieve common goals successfully. SSU is definitely one of the Top 10 Ukrainian universities, and according to some indicators – even one of 5. That means that SSU is on track. In accordance with the scientist’s hypothesis, SSU has developed an adequate understanding of university’s mission. But once again Sergiy Kurbatov makes an emphasis on the significance of humanitarian areas of activities that are necessary for strengthening SSU leadership.

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