On October 21st, the American Councils for International Education held a press conference to present its new project “Academic Integrity and Quality Initiative” (Academic IQ).  The launch of this project was preceded by American Councils’ successful administration of the Strengthening Academic Integrity in Ukraine Project – SAIUP (2016-2019) and the Seeding Academic Integrity in Secondary Schools Project – SAISS 92017-2019). The Academic IQ project aims to institutionalize the principles of academic integrity in secondary and higher education systems in Ukraine.

Participants of the press-conference:

  • Andriy Vitrenko – Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine
  • Serhiy Kvit – Head of the National Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance,
  • Scott Whitmore – Assistant Cultural Affairs Attache, US Embassy in Ukraine,
  • Yarema Bachynsky – Director in Ukraine, American Councils for International Education,
  • Yana Chapailo – Coordinator of Academic Integrity and Quality Initiative (Academic IQ), American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS

Under the first component of the project, the American Councils will work with internal education quality assurance centers / their structural counterparts. “Having spent a lot of time on business trips, in communication with students and academic staff, pupils and teachers, as well having researched the current state of academic integrity in higher education institutions and focus group research with parents and teachers, it became clear that it is impossible to build an educational environment which adheres to academic integrity principles if the education quality assurance practices contradict the principles of academic integrity, ” Yana Chapailo, Academic IQ project manager said at the conference.

Withing Component One of the project, American Councils will cooperate with 60 internal education quality assurance centers / their structural counterparts.  The American Councils will provide them with tools for internal institutional analysis and necessary technical support. “Having received these data, university teams will learn to analyze it and draw conclusions that relate specifically to their institution of higher education, their students and teachers,” said Yana Chapailo.

“It is essential that higher education institutions are encouraged to create their own policies in the field of academic integrity, their own documents, codes of conduct, academic writing courses etc. All of these are much more important for the development of a culture of academic integrity than punishment for violations, “ said Serhii Kvit, Head of the National Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education.

Within Component Two, the American Councils will work towards developing a unified systemic approach to implementing legislative initiatives and requirements for academic integrity in universities. The American Councils in cooperation with consultants from the International Center for Academic Integrity, as well as other international and Ukrainian experts, will provide support and training to the Ethics Committee of the National Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education and the Accreditation Committee for the purpose of building their capacity and expertise in academic integrity.

Within Component Three, the American Councils will work with teaching and research staff to help them integrate academic integrity into educational programs. For this purpose, the American Councils will create a special online course for them.

As part of the project, the American Councils will also continue to work with the secondary education sector. American Councils will provide teachers with additional tools, advice on teaching methods, and methodologies to promote academic integrity. Also, in cooperation with the State Service of Education Quality of Ukraine, the American Councils will work on the academic integrity component as an institutional audit criterion, supplement the Alphabet for Principals with academic integrity criterion, and add it as a tool for State Service of Education Quality of Ukraine experts.

It is worth mentioning that October 21st marks International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating. Ukraine has joined the celebration for the first time this year. Following the consolidation of academic integrity principles at the legislative level, academic culture has begun to improve – slowly, but systematically.

“We have an ambitious and very responsible goal – to help improve the quality of education in Ukraine. The American Councils have extensive and successful experience in implementing technical support projects for education reform in Ukraine. Therefore, I am convinced that together with partners and the educational community, we will be able to achieve this goal, “said Yana Chapailo.

The “Academic Integrity and Quality Initiative” Project is being implemented with the assistance of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, as well as with the support of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and the National Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education.