Eduard Mkrtchan, entrepreneur, economic expert, head of a charitable foundation
Regional educational hubs are a global trend in higher education. They are based on the synergy of local and international participants – universities, scientists, students…
The world's largest education-hubs - Qatar, UAE, Hong Kong. Everyone has their own development strategy. For example, the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Social Development pays all costs to international branches and its Hamada bin Khalifa University.
In the UAE, branches of world universities are provided with innovation infrastructure. Hong Kong focuses on scholarship programs and attracting talented students.
Of course, these examples are still unbearable for Ukraine. But there is an acceptable experience for us in the world. For example, the West HUB in Atyrau (Kazakhstan) merged the University of Oil and Gas, the State University and the Higher College of APEC PetroTechnic.
Their primary task is to form a program for the development of the region's oil and gas industry. The next step is to promote the global project - "Kazakhstan as an international educational hub."
This vector is promising for Ukraine and its regions. This improves the quality of education throughout the chain, from schools to universities. An important aspect is career guidance and selection of the strongest applicants.
Properly implemented, this idea stimulates socio-economic activity and development of the region. This task is especially relevant for Donetsk and Luhansk regions, close to the demarcation line. In this way, there are two areas relevant to the coming years: medicine and construction.
The first strategic line is important given the loss of a hospital in Donetsk and the construction of a new one in Kramatorsk. The second is inevitable, as the region will become the largest construction site in Eastern Europe after end of the occupation. Technical renovations and class specialists will be needed there for many years to come.
Betting on an educational hub, for example, in Kramatorsk will revive both strategic vectors. I see the research potential of two universities - DNMU and DonNACEA (Donbas National Academy of Civil Engineering and Architecture) as the foundation of the regional "node of knowledge". They moved to Kramatorsk from Donetsk and Makeyevka.
Each direction can become a basis for the arrangement of a regional cluster. In the first case - medical, with a university clinic on the basis of a multidisciplinary hospital, which will be built in Kramatorsk.
There are about 1,200 medical students in the city. A branch from Kropyvnytskyi, in particular, an international faculty, also moved here. This is a solid potential for growth.
It is important to establish communications in the triangle: region, medical institutions, university. This will motivate students and physicians to improve their skills, and in the long run - will provide a decent level of health care.
In addition, the course on the educational hub will direct local and regional authorities to create innovations for life. The student campus, residential complexes for teachers, buildings and laboratories for research are relevant for Kramatorsk.
These options will eventually become a unique competitive advantage for attracting talented entrants to the region, including foreign and promising teachers.
The second vector of the educational hub is construction. Its basis is the DonNACEA. About a thousand students study there. It includes Druzhkivka Civil Engineering College. If we join a specialized school, we get a chain of end-to-end education: vocational school-college-university. This corresponds to the format of a successful case in Atyrau.
Even today, there is a shortage of construction personnel in the region, given the low pace of construction. I face this personally, dealing with several investment projects. There is a lack of engineers, designers, skilled workers. When the active restoration of war-ravaged territories begins, it will be even more difficult.
The mission of the region and DonNACEA is to train personnel and develop technologies for the construction boom. Attract talents to the university and hone their professional facets. It is important to motivate students to grow in classrooms and research laboratories.
The key condition is the practical orientation of learning. With the obligatory inclusion of educational, industrial and undergraduate internships of students in partner companies, as well as - possible employment. This will improve the quality of education, strengthen the synergy of local communities, businesses and educational institutions.
The level of employment of graduates is a criterion for the effectiveness of any educational institution. At the stage of developing educational programs, it is important to calculate the staffing needs of the business. It is necessary to strengthen communication between universities and industries.
For the region, the presence of talented construction students is a unique opportunity to refresh the conservative reality. The participation of young architects in the design of public spaces of Donetsk and Luhansk regions will change the visual picture and accelerate the revival of territories.
Educational innovations will help attract quality labor to the market and create human resources for the system of self-government.
But the main thing is that we should not perceive the Donetsk region as hopeless. It is necessary to stop the leaching of young people and create motivations for the development of local communities.