A delegation from the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, headed by the president of the academy, Marie Louise Nosch, visited Ukrainian Catholic University.

The meeting was held on 5 April and was dedicated to discussing the development of scholarly research in Ukraine, with a focus on supporting young scholars and involving outside donors in innovative projects. Together with the president of the Danish Academy, visitors to UCU included: Birgitte Beck Pristed, an assistant professor and member of the Danish Young Academy from 2019 to 2024; Nadiya Pavlyk, a researcher on the project “To publish: Books for children in the Russian-Ukrainian War”; and Inga Kapustian, a postdoctoral researcher at the Hans Christian Andersen Center.

The delegation from the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters posing on UCU's campus

The delegation from the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, headed by the president of the academy, Marie Louise Nosch (2nd from right), together with UCU vice-rectors Sophia Opatska, Yaroslav Prytula, and Dmytro Sherengovsky

“We are here today to discuss how we can help Ukraine, first of all, Ukrainian scholarship,” stated Marie Louise Nosch during the visit. The President of the Danish Academy of Sciences noted how impressed she was that Ukrainian scholars in wartime continue their work and research and students study in conditions of war and during air alarms.

Yaroslav Prytula, UCU Senior Vice-Rector, explained that one of the priority themes of the meeting was the importance of knowledge for a country’s economic development: “We talked about the increase of support for Ukraine by outside donors, not only in military and humanitarian areas but also in the development of research and innovations, because these are drivers of economic progress.”

Sophia Opatska, Vice-Rector of Strategic Development of Ukrainian Catholic University, explained that, with the start of the full-scale invasion, the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences wanted to unite all Ukrainian scholars, regardless of their current location, both in Denmark and beyond: “One of the tasks of the visit is to become acquainted with the functioning of the educational system and compare the Ukrainian and the Danish, to find points of contact and, on the other hand, to direct the attention of international foundations to the development of knowledge in Ukraine and possibilities for cooperation and support.”

At the start of the full-scale war, Sophia Opatska was on internship at Aarhus University in Denmark. This was an opportunity for the vice-rector not only to be safe with her children but to do research with Danish colleagues, professors Winni Johansen and Adam Gordon, and interview Ukrainian entrepreneurs about their preparation for difficult situations and also their vision of the country’s future and business in Ukraine. In fall 2023, they published an article about the results of their research in “The Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management.”