Students and Graduates2024-05-09T13:04:10-04:00

Bozhena Zakaliuzhna

Project manager at the Centre for Cultural Management, Lviv, Ukraine

“For me the Ukrainian Catholic University was the ideal place to test myself out: all the conditions are here to discover your talents and realize your possibilities. It’s a very unique laboratory in which to ‘know thyself.’ But, above all, the university is people who accept you, who are close by and don’t walk away in difficult times. There is a certainty that remains for the future that you can be yourself everywhere.”

Olena Matskiv

Matskiv graduated from UCU’s Faculty of Philosophy and Theology in 2003.

“I recall my fellow students and teachers, and the particular atmosphere that reigned at UCU, with great love and warmth. Because it’s difficult to call the Ukrainian Catholic University simply ‘an educational institution.’ The usual student’s formula “I sat at my desk, took a test, and then forgot everything” did not work there. Why? In my opinion, because at UCU the educational process cannot be separated from the process of forming the personality, making one’s faith solid, and deepening one’s spiritual life.”

Roman Zaviyskyy

A 1999 graduate, Zaviyskyy now teaches at UCU and in July 2011 became the first Ukrainian citizen to defend a doctorate in theology at Oxford University.

The advisor for Zaviyskyy’s dissertation was Prof. George Pattison of Oxford and the independent reader was the archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams. The defense of the dissertation was held in Lambeth Palace, the official London residence of the head of the Church of England.

Zaviyskyy was born and grew up in Lviv, where he earned an engineering degree. After graduating from the Lviv Theological Academy (now UCU) in 1999, Zaviyskyy earned a master’s degree and licentiate at the Catholic University of Leuven (formerly known as Louvain) in Belgium. He then taught theology at UCU and in 2005 started doctoral studies at Oxford. He also taught at UCU’s branch in London.

Vasil Stefaniv

Graduate who returned to teach at UCU

“Small universities are better because the students get more attention. Now as a teacher, I understand that this is also a benefit for the teacher.

“If you study at UCU, in five years you’ll become a professional in the area you choose. You’ll only be able to appreciate all the benefits of the university a few years after you finish.

“But when you’re working, you’ll understand and appreciate the choice you made as you work with your colleagues.”

Vasil Stefaniv was one of the first history students to graduate from the Ukrainian Catholic University, in 2007. He then went for a graduate degree at Lviv Polytechnic. He is now working on his dissertation and also teaching at UCU.

“Because of my situation, I wasn’t able to pay for tuition, but I was a good student, so I received a scholarship. I also worked in the library. Many of my peers worked in various areas of the university, for example, at the summer school. Finances were not a problem.

“I was able to study foreign languages very well at UCU. In our first year, we had English classes every day. It was difficult, but in a year we were already able to communicate fluently and read in English. We also had a Polish course. A fairly good grounding in Latin and Greek is important for those who want to be professionals in history, and also for theologians,” said Stefaniv.

Oleksandra Vakula

“UCU provided the basics, the fundamentals for graduate studies. In particular, it gave us the tools, like languages, Latin, Greek, English. We were very well-prepared when we came to Rome…

“When I studied at the Augustinianum, we three UCU graduates were the only women… Today in Rome few are surprised to see female faces at theological faculties (by the way, among them are many Ukrainian women from UCU).”

Volodymyr Khitsyak

Public relations expert for MTS-Ukraine, Western Territory Board

Khitsyak graduated from UCU’s Faculty of Philosophy and Theology in 2004. He worked as a journalist for leading publications of Lviv and was the editor of “Makler,” a real estate periodical. Since 2009 he has worked for MTS-Ukraine, Ukrainian Mobile Communications, UMC.

“I can say that this academic discipline [theology] constantly influences my life. In addition to a wealth of knowledge, UCU gave me a formed worldview, a system for conceptualization, the ability to analyze, to look for non-standard approaches. Furthermore, as I communicate with many UCU graduates, in particular those who have realized themselves in other fields – in addition to philosophy, theology, or history – I know that they are truly able to constantly break stereotypes, to be the best among their peers who have corresponding diplomas or work experience. My direct supervisor has great respect for an UCU diploma and, when he presents me at business meetings, he always mentions my education.”

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