International relations of Odessa I.I. Metchnikov National University within the independent Ukrainian State (1991-2015)





Beginning with first decades and during the whole period of our University existence the international collaboration was always considered as the integral tool of educational and scientific development. Such a collaboration has never been influenced by fashion or modern Western scientific streams. It always had the only one approach, which couldn’t be imagined without the impact of the world scientific thought.
It should be remembered the negative historical experience of Chinese Empire self-isolation, which had led to the centuries of lagging in the field of science and industry, for the isolation in the scientific and education spheres excludes such an important factor of the economical development as science.
The collaboration in scientific and educational fields always occupied the prominent place in the Odessa University. It required the gradual formation and development of the organizational and administrative forms for the coordination of such international activity.
The first structural forms of the international activity coordination were known since the middle of the XX century, when the USSR started to welcome foreign students and postgraduates. In order to organize such a work the special dean’s office for the foreign citizens was created. The development of other collaboration forms lead to the creation of new departments such as the International Links Department, which is called the International Relations Office nowadays, and it is the structural part of International Cooperation Administration founded in 1993. International Links Department during previous years was headed by the Soviet Army retired officers TYUPIN Semen Ivanovich, IVANOVSKIY Eduard Ivanovich, PUSIN Konstantin Kalistratovich . They conducted the Department activity in accordance with the demands of that period. 
Since Ukraine gained its independence the new forms of scientific collaboration became necessary as the cooperation became more open both among the educational institutions and between the separate experts. The coordination of an institutional international activity by Ministry officials became less decisive. The new structural division within the Odessa University was created in 1992 in order to realize the new kinds of collaboration. Since then and nowadays it was called the International Scientific Cooperation Section. It takes the principal part of activity in organization and coordination of new scientific collaboration forms. Nowadays the International Scientific Cooperation Section has the strong ties with the International Relations Office. Both of them are headed by the Ph. D. (Phys&Math), Sen. Researcher Viktor S. GRINEVYCH.
Since 1992 the International Scientific Cooperation Section and the International Relations Office became the coordinators of new international collaboration forms. One can learn more information about these forms in the next parts of the historical overview.
The international collaboration of the ONU scientific departments led it to the worldwide acknowledgement within the academic community. Intensive scientific contacts were realized due to the assistance of foreign experts were invited to the University for conducting common scientific researches, lecturing for students, young experts and for discussions of the cooperation in scientific field.
Since Ukraine gained its independence in 1991 the international community was interested in more intensified collaboration with Ukraine and Ukrainian different institutions, including the Higher Education institutions. The real facts demonstrate the results of this process which include the sharp increase of mutual meetings, Odessa State University experts trips to the foreign countries for participation in different scientific events together with foreign experts visits to the Odessa State University. This activity was conducted both in the scopes of the newly arranged agreements and the international funds scholarships, which became easily accessible for Ukrainian citizens. Fulbright Fund scholarship, Muskie Fund scholarship (the USA), German agencies of academic exchange DAAD etc. are among them. 
During 1992-2014 Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University was visited by the foreign experts from several countries: Bulgaria, Italy, Netherlands, Syria, the USA, France, Federal Republic of Germany, Australia, Great Britain, Canada, Poland, Venezuela, Switzerland, Brazil, Greece, Ireland, Belgium, Norway, Israel, Croatia, Egypt, Finland etc. 
At the same period a new form of educational collaboration appeared in our University such as the invitation of foreign native speakers for teaching at the Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology, Faculty of Philology, Institute of Social Sciences. The great variety of foreign languages was taught. Among them: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew, Greek, Turkish, Japan, Chinese etc.
Annually at the New Year Eve foreign lecturers were invited by the Rector for informal communication. Different methodical, organizational proposals and all everyday issues were discussed there aiming to improvement of the educational process (see photo 1).
The international cooperation of Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University developed in rather intensive way in different geographical and professional directions.
The USA educational and scientific institutions were interested in collaboration with Odessa University. During the mentioned period the University was for different purposes visited by:
The First Secretary of the USA Embassy John BROWN,
Attaché on the cultural issues of the USA Embassy James STUARD, 
The First Secretary of the USA Embassy on the cultural, educational and media issues Mary CRUGER,
The USA Ambassador Mr. William PAYFER,
Attachés on the cultural issues of the USA Embassy Susan CLIARY,
and Andrew POLE.
In the October, 2008 Merilyn PAYFER, the CRDF representative, took the active part in the organization of the Salzburg Global Seminar on the basis of Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University which attracted many foreign business professionals.
In the April 2010 the USA Embassy in Ukraine delegation headed by Attaché on the cultural issues Susan CLIARY visited Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University. They were met by the Rector Valentin A. SMYNTYNA, also by the lecturers and students of the Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology. In the frames of this visit the Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology students visited the performance based on Mark TWEN works with the Ken RICHTER as an actor. 
One of the most efficient directions of cooperation was the experts exchange in the scopes of the USA State Department Programs such as Muskie and Fulbright etc. The Fulbright Fund representatives visited ONU annually for their programs presentations. 
As a result the English language professor Noel HEERMANA and Ph.D. (Economics) Elinor HATSHORN (the USA) visited Odessa within these programs in 1993. These experts worked at the relative faculties. They also attended secondary schools due to the University assistance. The American Side sent us experts in the professional fields necessary for the Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University.
In 1994-1995 the specialists in economics and logistics Mike KETKHEN and David MENAKHEM visited Odessa University. They cooperated with the University economists and also delivered several lectures for students.
In 1996 Professor Katherine DWAYR worked at the Faculty of Economics of the Odessa I.I. Mechnikov State University as a lecturer. The Odessa University always provided the proper conditions for the USA experts’ professional work; the special courses were organized for children who arrived with them. These courses were teaching in accordance with the USA colleges’ educational programs, e.g. in Math, Physics etc. Also some Fulbright Program students were provided with Ukrainian language courses. The Fulbright Exchange Program also included the Odessa University experts’ visits to the USA institutions. Geography Professor Yuriy D. SHUISKIY and Political Sciences Professor Igor N. KOVAL (nowadays Igor N. KOVAL occupies the post of the Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University Rector) were among them. 
The Harvard University graduate Volodymyr KLEYMAN and the Babel’s works researcher Rebecca STENTON arrived to the Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University also within the Fulbright facilities during next years.
In autumn 2009 the Fulbright Fund Scholarship holder and Birmingham South College History Faculty assistant Lo RENDALL worked at the Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University as probators. 
Fulbright Fund students Ruth FISHER-SMITH in the March-April, 2012 and Kingston city Road Island University Professor Nikolay PETRO in September 2012 – June 2013 worked at the Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University as researchers in different fields. 
In October 2009 the ONU Paleontological Museum professionals and Rutgers State University Anthropological Department assistant Robert SCOTT held common scientific research work.
Regularly since 1996 the specialists in French for foreigners worked at the French Philology department on the basis of agreement between the Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University and the Embassy of France in Ukraine. 
In 1991 lecturers of ONU French Philology department initiated the creation of public organization «Alliance Français» in Odessa. This organisation was acknowledged by the International Organization «Association of French Alliances» in 1993. Thus students and lecturers obtained possibility to meet with the writers, artists, actors, musicians and politicians, and other events organised by «Alliance Français».
Nowadays one of the heads and the teaching stuff of «Alliance Français» French language courses are the Odessa University French Philology department graduates.
In 1994 the representative of the Prime Minister of France, Mrs. MURAE, visited French Philology department and presented it dictionaries, fictions and manuals thus developing our collaboration.
From the left to the right: 
ONU Rector (2004), Prof. V.A. SMINTYNA;
Prorector of the University Paris-1, Prof. Christiane PRIGENT;
Prof. of the Sorbonne University M.A.SOLOGUB;
The ONU International Relations Office Head, Docent V.S. GRINEVYCH.
In April 2010 Mr. Francis KONT, the vice-rector for international collaboration with Eastern European countries of Paris University in Sorbonne visited French Philology department. On the basis of his initiative French Philology department Master, now lecturer, Katerina A. ZHUK worked in that University on probation during a month.
Mr. Jack PHOR - the Ambassador of France in Ukraine met French-learning RGF students on November 30, 2010.
On April 15, 2011 French Philology department students met Mr. Bernard EMON, director of North America Francophonie Research Center (Paris, Paris-ІV, Sorbonne). Mr. EMON delivered his lecture on «Francophonie and French literature of North America». He also answered numerous students’ questions on the topic.
The Embassy of France is enough interested in collaboration with Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University. Regular visits of diplomatic representatives support the issue. In November 2012 and December 2012 Attaché of the Embassy of France in Ukraine Virgini WILLSHANGE visited our University. In December, 2013 the Ambassador of France Alan REMY also attended Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University. During these meetings foreign diplomats were acquainted with the University activity and discussed the plans of further inter-universities collaboration.
The Center of Modern Greek Culture studies were established at the Romance-Germanic Faculty in March 2000. The Aristotle University in Thessaloniki gifted nearly 800 volumes of literature to the Center. 
The Embassy of Greece in Ukraine and the Center of Greek Culture recommended native speakers experts to our University for teaching the Modern Greek language at the Institute of Social Sciences. Nanushka PODKOVYROFF teaches Modern Greek language at the International relations department of Institute of Social Sciences and at the RGF Faculty more than 15 years.
Since 1998 the program “Odessa in Europe, Europe in Odessa” operates within TEMPUS-TASIS project, which includes also the collaboration with Athens National and Kapodistrian University. Andie CONTUDAKE, the lecturer of the said university, worked in Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University till 2000.
In different years the Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University was visited by the Consuls General of Greek Republic in Odessa Yerassimos DAVARIS (January, 2011), Antonius HAZIORGLU (December, 2013) and the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Vassilis PAPADOPULOS (March, 2014). They had discussions with students of the International relations department.
Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University has strong ties with Israeli Culture Center, which was established as representative of Embassy of Israel in Odessa in 1992. Due to them both special courses of Jewish studies were organized for Philosophy Faculty students and the common cultural events began at the University.
During the period mentioned the prominent professionals and scientists lectured for our students. Israeli scientist Issac KFIR and the Deputy of the Israeli Diplomatic Mission Shakhar ARIEL were among them. Mr. Shakhar ARIEL attended our University twice in 2006 and 2008.
Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University students took part at the exhibition “The outstanding Israeli citizens who originated from Odessa” in September 2009. The Jerusalem University Professor Olena RIMON delivered them her lecture “Cultural studies issues in the State Israel foundation process”.
Odessa University representatives often take active part in the ceremonial events, organized by the Israeli culture Center.
The First Secretary of the Embassy of Israel Mark DOVEV presented his project “Jewish and Israeli studies” in February, 2011 to the Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University. On this basis the Experts of Chaise Center in the Jerusalem University Semen GOLDIN (in 2011 and 2013), Uri HERSHOVICH (in 2012), Siryl ASLANOV (in 2013) delivered special courses for the Philosophy Faculty students. 
All the issues mentioned previously formed the strong basis to sign the Agreement on Collaboration between the Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University and Centre of Israeli culture, which is the structural part of the Embassy of Israel in Ukraine.
The next Director of the Center of Israeli culture Yulia DOR visited Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University and continued the tradition, lecturing in ONU (in December, 2012). She has also taken part in the event called “Israeli Days” (in April, 2013) and the “Memorial Day of the Catastrophe and Heroism”.
The newly appointed First Secretary of the Embassy of Israel in Ukraine Boleslav YATVETZKIY visited ONU continuing the tradition of mutual fruitful collaboration.
The traditional friendly ties between Ukraine and Bulgaria were realized as cooperation between ONU and Bulgarian institutions. In 2004 at the extraordinary session of the Scientific Council of the Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University Mr. Krasymir PREMYANOV – Bulgarian politician - was awarded the title of the Honorary Professor. Rector Valentine A. SMYNTYNA congratulated the prominent Bulgarian politician Mr. Krasymir PREMYANOV with acknowledgement of this activity.
Mr. SVINAROV (the Defense Minister of Bulgaria) rewarded the excellent Bulgarian philology students with the trip to Bulgaria during his visit to the ONU in April 11, 2004.
On May 26, 2007 the Saints Cyril and Methodius monument was unveiled on the territory of the University. The Vice-Prime-minister and the Minister of education of Bulgaria Mr. Daniel WIDCHEV participated in the event.
The lecturers and native speakers from Bulgaria worked at the Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University for over 15 years, providing the high level of students’ knowledge of Bulgarian language and better understanding of Bulgarian cultural, political and economical lifestyle. 
Our University is grateful to Zoya T. BARBOLOVA (in 1996, 2000-2002), Olena NALBANTOVA (in 2001-2006), Maria S. MYZHLEKOVA (in 1997-2001, 2007, 2009-2010), Lyublena M. ANISOVA (in 2000), Lyudmila I. MYNKOVA, Ivo B. PANCHEV (in 2012-2013).
Kalina V. GALUNOVA continued the tradition of Bulgarian lecturers working in the Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University as a teacher of Bulgarian language and literature in 2014. Her activity has the positive impact on the spreading of bilateral ties between Bulgaria and Ukraine and strengthening of international collaboration.
At the same period Welykoturnovo university Professor Davidov Angel ASSENOV (in 1992), Nevena DONCHEVA, and also teachers Lyuba Stoichkova DIMYTROVA (in 1997), Penka RADEVA (in 1998, 1999, 2001), Violetta RUSEVA (in 1999, 2002) visited the Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University as lecturers for Bulgarian Philology department students. With the assistance of docent Dymitr Vilchev PETROV-KENANOV in 2002 and lecturer Yelena Koleva NALBANTOVA in 2008 Bulgarian Philology department students had opportunity to learn “Literature ties between Bulgaria and Ukraine” special course.
Annually in May the Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University traditionally holds the Days of Slavic Writing System. Such prominent diplomatic persons of Bulgaria as Consul General of Republic of Bulgaria in Odessa Stoyan GORCHIVKIN (in 2012) and Vice-President of Republic of Bulgaria Margarita POPOVA participated in that ceremonial events.
The collaboration with Italian Higher Education Institutions has long history of developing before and also after Ukraine gained its state independence. Thereafter, the Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University conducts the efficient bilateral relations with 11 Italian universities, including the universities of Rome, Genoa, Casinoa, Bologna, Messinia, Venice, Florence etc. 
Due to the signed agreements the Poetic Collection of Dr. Corrado CALABRO poems was translated into Ukrainian and then published. Later he was elected as Honorary Doctor of our University. In 2009 the Director of Italian Culture Institute in Ukraine Mr. Nikola BALLONI was also elected as the Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University Honorary Professor at the ceremonial sitting of the ONU Scientific Council.
As the result of this activity the Giuseppe Garibaldi Center of the Italian History and Culture was established in ONU. All the necessary teaching methodical materials and technical equipment are available for the efficient work in the Center. The Ambassador of Italy in Ukraine Fabio FABBRY, the Italian Institute of Culture Director Mr. Nicola BALLONNI, Mrs. Anita GARIBALDI-JALLE, Genoa vice-mayor Sir Paolo PISARELLO visited the Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University for participating in the ceremonial events on the unveiling of the Center in September 2007.
The Italian native speakers gained the possibility to lecture in the ONU due to the agreement on the scientific-educational collaboration concluded by the Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University and Institute of Italian language and culture studies within the Embassy of Italy. Chechiliya HELLI, Rosana LUKKEZI, Nikoletta KONFORTI, Fabio MARKOTTO (since 2010) work in the ONU due to this agreement.
The collaborator of Free Community Institute Abel POLEZE lectured the “European Geopolitical” courses and “the History, Theory and the modern issues of the European integration” in the scopes of international project “Civic Education Project” 2003-2004.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the patronage of the President of Italian Republic organizes the “Weeks of Italian language in the world”, which are held annually in the Odessa University. Due to the Italian culture institute initiative, professors, scientists, public figures, including the Professor Anita Garibaldi and Art Critic Alessio BERGAMO, professors Marchello SILVESTRINI and Mauro BERNAKKI (Perugia University for foreigners), Clara Vadakkino RIGAMONTI and Maria BORDINI (Ferrara University), lecture and conduct seminars in the ONU. Professor BALLONY made personal contribution in joint Ukrainian-Italian events held in Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University, e.g. celebrations of the Italian Independence Day in ONU in May 2009.
The celebrations of the “Europe Days in Ukraine” were carried out in April 2010 and the Ambassador of the Italian Republic in Ukraine Petro Jovanni DONICHI visited our University for participating in the ceremony. 
Italian Giuseppe Garibaldi history and culture Center carried out the Days of Italian culture in Odessa annually in July. Respected diplomatic persons of Italy and Italian scientists from the Higher education institutions visited those events.
The collaboration with the Higher education institutions of Poland are also important part of the ONU international activity.
The Poland Seym Member Vlodzimezh ZIMOSHEVICH participated in the ceremonial session of the ONU Scientific Council in July 2005. He was conferred with the “Doctor Honoris Causa” degree of the Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University.
We welcomed a lot of delegations from the Lodz University and Warsaw University for collaboration development. The delegation including the Rector Professor Katazhina KHALAZIYSKA-MATZUKOV, Vice-Rector on international relations Professor Voitzeh TZYGELSKIY, and the Director of the Eastern European Researches Center Yan MALYTZKIY visited ONU thus initiating the cooperation. 
In 2007 the spouse of the President of Poland Mrs. Maria KACHINSKA visited Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University for acquaintance with our University activity (see photo 3).
Mrs. Mariya KACHINSKA visit to the ONU. 
In the middle:
Mrs. Mariya KACHINSKA;
ONU Rector (2007), Prof. V.A. SMINTYNA;
On the Rector’s left – Deputy of Odessa Mayor T. FEDIRKO.
In 2011 Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University held XIV session of the Ukrainian-Polish Expert Commission on the issues of the improvement of History and Geography textbooks content. The Consul General of Republic of Poland in Odessa Ioanna STZHELCHIK participated in the session mentioned.
The Consul of the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Odessa Adam ADAMCHYK participated in the Christmas celebrations in December 2011.
In May 2012 the delegation of Educational Fund “Perspectives” visited Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University for discussion with the University leadership and students. The delegation included the Fund President Valdemar SIVINSKY, Rector of the Kielce University of Technology Stanislav ADAMCHACK, coordinator Voitzeh MARVITZA.
The Polish lecturers as other native speakers work at the Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University, providing the high level of the language knowledge for students. Our students also can get acquainted with cultural, educational and economic aspects of life in Poland. Agneshka YASTZHEBSKA, and then Sonya DINARSKA, continued the tradition of Polish lecturers visiting the Odessa University which improves and strengthens the Polish-Ukrainian collaboration.
The Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University regularly invited highly-ranked persons, such as Consul General of the Republic of Poland Ioanna STZHELCHIK (September 2010, September 2011, September 2012, May 2013), Consul of the Consulate General Adam ADAMCHYUK (December 2011, May 2013), Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in Ukraine Henrick LITVYN (April 2014) for participation in the ONU cultural events, e.g. “Slavic Christmas” and Presentation of “Incunabula and rare publications in the University library” program, “the Poles in Odessa” etc.
The signing of the Memorandum on the mutual understanding with the one of the most ancient European Universities – the Krakov Jagiellonian University – formed the strong basis for the further collaboration between the higher education institutions of Poland and Ukraine. Our University delegation headed by the Rector prof. I.KOVAL was invited by the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Odessa and by the Rector of the Jagiellonian university, professor. W.NOWAK in December 2013 for the ceremonial event to Krakow. (see photo 4).
From right to left:
Rector of the Jagiellonian university, professor. W.NOWAK;
ONU Rector (2013), Prof. I.M.KOVAL;
Consular General of Poland in Odessa I. STZHELCHIK;
The ONU International Relations Office head, Docent V.S. GRINEVYCH.
This agreement provides the wide range of collaboration activity, including the Polish and Ukrainian Studies.
The important scientific results were obtained within the number of Agreements concluded with the leading scientific institutions of the People’s Republic of China.
The collaboration of Ukrainian and Chinese educational institutions has the traditional character. It is originated since the time of PRC establishment in 1949. The Chinese-Ukrainian Collaboration never stopped, but dependently on the international situation and interior circumstances in our countries had the more or less intensive character. The new stage began at 1991, after the PRC had acknowledged the independence of Ukraine and the diplomatic relations were established. At the same time the direct relations were established between Higher Education institutions of Ukraine and PRC.
The Agreement about scientific cooperation was concluded in 1991 between Odessa State University and East-China Normal University (Shanhai). This Agreement working program had foreseen the cooperation both of two partner departments: General and Marine Geology (OSU) and Physical Geography (ECPU) in the field of ecological issues of sea coast protection.
The prominent scientists took part in that project. Professor V. SHUISKIY, Professor A. SVETLICHNIY, Prof. I. GOGOLEV from OSU side, and Director of Institute, Prof. Chen DZHI-VU, Prof. Chen IONG-VANG (PRC) and others. The joint China-Ukrainian Company Ltd. “Dalyan” was established in 1995 for the production of the Advanced Electric Current Source of repeated use. The responsible person from the OSU side was the Head of the Scientific-Research Laboratory, F.V. MAKORDEY, Ph.D. Senior Researcher. The electric current sources, designed and produced in OSU were jointly tested which proved the perspectiveness of those devices.
Qingdao city (the PRC) and Odessa are twin cities since 29 April, 1993. Qingdao is one of the biggest resorts of China, situated on the Qingdao mountain slope at the southern part of Qaodun Peninsula on the Yellow Sea coast.
In 2007 the Tianjin University Delegation headed by the President of the University Council on the general issues Mrs. Zhang ZHIGANG visited the Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University for bilateral collaboration plans realization.
In September 2008, the delegation of the Qiushi University of Technology (Qingdao city, the PRC) visited ONU for signing the Agreement on Collaboration. The delegation included the Rector, Professor Lin SIBAO, Vice-Rector Syuy KHU and Director of the foreign relations department docent Huan ZHYAZHYUN. This agreement provides the mutual training for bachelors on the number of specialties and Chinese students studying in ONU. The basis for mutual collaborations was developed during the ONU delegation visit to the PRC in 2007. 
At the meeting with Qingdao University Rector, who represented the leading University in the region, the discussions touched not only the realization of several agreements signed before, but also the new joint projects planning.
The next step of the bilateral cooperation with the PRC was the establishing of the Chinese Culture and Linguistic Center as a structural subdivision of ONU and functioning since 14 December 2012 on the basis of the Confucius institute ideas. The Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Odessa U SYAOIN, Vice-Consul of the Consular General Yuy CHYUN’I, and Consul of the Consular General Syn YANVEI also participated in the ceremonial event.
The Confucius institute is the global net of the Chinese cultural and educational centres. They were established by the China State Committee for the Chinese culture and language spreading abroad. Nowadays there are more than 120 Confucius institutes in 50 countries. They are aimed to strengthen the friendship and mutual understanding between China and foreign countries by spreading the information about the cultural, language, economical, and social aspects of life in China. The important aspects of the Confucius institutes activity are organization of the Chinese language and culture courses for testing and training and providing different competitions etc.
On the assistance of the Teachers department of the PRC committee HANBAN and the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Odessa the native speakers, teachers of Chinese among them Chin ZYUN and Syue WEIMIN worked at the ONU.
The wide range of collaboration issues existed with the Turkish educational and scientific institutions during the described period of Ukrainian history. The documents on mutual trade, economic and cultural cooperation were signed by the Presidents of Ukraine and Turkey in November 1996. It was the positive contribution to the bilateral relations improvement in the educational field.
The Center of Turkish Culture was established in ONU in 2004. The Consul General Yashar PINAR participated in this event and was one of those who actively promoted the existence and activity of the Centre. 
ONU supports and actively participates in such ceremonial events of Republic of Turkey as “Youth and Sport Day”, Days of Turkish culture. In this attitude of mutual collaboration the University welcomed the official Turkish representatives: the Consul General of the Republic of Turkey Murat TAMER (in February 2011), the Consul General of the Republic of Turkey Huseyn ERGANY (in August 2011 and March 2012), Nur SAGMAN (2014 and 2015) and other diplomats.
At that period of time Odessa University supported a lot of bilateral contacts with different Turkish HEI, among them were Trabzon Karadeniz Technical University and Antalia Akdeniz classical university. The said universities regularly invited Odessa university amateur students to take part in the Youth Festivals which were traditional in Turkey during several decades. The Odessa University Folk Group, dancing collective “Avtograf”, ONU Choir Capella occupied the decent places in that Youth Festivals. The Turkish Ermioni Choir of 35 persons visited ONU in 2003.
Due to the efforts of Interministerial Commission on cultural issues of the Republic of Turkey and the Consulate General of the Republic of Turkey the teachers of Turkish, native speakers, were sent to the Institute of the Social Sciences. Among them in different years were Izmir University teacher Myunever TENEKEDZHY (1999-2002) , Ali Baykan ( 2002-2004), Nazmi YYLDYRYM ( 2004-2007 ), Cemal SAKALLI, Ahmet Sinan DEMYRSOY, Yusuf ALTYNYSHEK (2004-2005), Ozcan KEMAL (2006 ), Hayrettyn PARLAKYYLDYZ, Nyhan OZYYLDYRYM (2007-2010), Sinan CHITCHI (2007-2010), Zekeriya KARADAVUT (2007), Chahlayan ALMAZ ( 2010-2012 ), teachers Soner KORKMAZ and Dursun Ahmed ATADZHYK now are continuing the tradition of teaching the Turkish language.
At the same time the University leadership pays much attention to the social and humanitarian relations with the foreign partners. Our University concluded the Agreements with the Turkish Universities: Trabzon Black Sea University, Antalya Mediterranean Sea University, Istanbul universities: Mimar Sinan Istanbul University, Istanbul Classic University etc. These relationships included not only scientific and educational aspects, but also the cultural exchange.
The Odessa State (then National) University Dance Collective of the Students and employees gathered under the Cultural Center (director E.A. CHECHELNITZKIY, Merited Person in Ukrainian Culture) were invited to the Trabzon, Antalya and Istanbul Universities for numerous times. They worthily presented our University and our country abroad. (See photo 5). 
One can see our university group bright performance in the Turkish university campus, streets under the Ukrainian flag.
The art professionals of the OSU Cultural Center did much for the successful realization of this activity: art supervisor A.E. KOLESNIKOVA, art masters A.H. BOLOMSA, L.V. BORSHENKO and others. 
Such prominent professionals as Honoured Art Person of Ukraine, Professor A.P. SEREBRI and nowadays Y.D. PILCHEN made weighty contribution to the process of formation and development of Odessa University Choir, which demonstrated its ability in many countries.
University Choir was invited and also performed at the Universities of Hungary (Szeged), France (Paris), and Greece (Thessaloniki).
The specific amateur collective - the Club of Funny and Inventive members appeared in our university in previous 1980s years and have become the visiting card not only of our university, but our Odessa city. It was invited to many countries, visited the cities of Australia, the USA, Israel where people from the former USSR live now.
Mutual relations are developed between Odessa-city and more than 20 twin-cities worldwide. Regensburg (Germany) is among them. The unique scientific school of slavistics was formed in XX century in Regensburg, where ethno-cultural peculiarities of Odessa region nationalities were studied.
This conditioned a not ordinary interest of the Regensburg scientists to the development of the fruitful cooperation with Odessa University scientists. No small efforts were made by our University side to develop the collaboration with German institutions both in Ukraine and abroad. As a result of mutual interest and striving for the fruitful collaboration of our cities in general, and our universities in particular, the twin hood of our cities – Odessa and Regensburg was concluded. Consequently, the stable contacts were established between Odessa and Regensburg universities.
Odessa and Regensburg became the twin cities on November 4, 1990 due to the OSU and the Regensburg University initiatives.
Since that time many mutual events were organized and realized by professionals of these two universities. 
Professors Erwin WEDEL and Heinz KNEIP headed the process of lecturers/researchers and students exchange since 1990. The Regensburg University students studied at the OSU- ONU as probationers (including the five-month trainings), while the ONU “Germanists” probated in the Regensburg University in exchange. The researchers and professors of relative departments of both the universities fruitfully cooperated which resulted in numerous monographs and textbooks which were prepared and published at that period of time.
Among them the works of Prof. N.P KOVALENKO, Assoc. Prof. N.SHEVCHUK, Prof. V.ANIKIN, D-r A. MERTZ, Prof. Dr. Eckehart FOLKEL and others. Those years of collaboration showed that fruitful contacts are easily established between scientist’s irrespective official borders. This attitude was illustrated by the official visit from the Regensburg University in 1992.
The delegation of the Regensburg University which included the Rector, Professor H. ALTNER and the Director of the Institute of Slavistics Prof. E.WEDEL visited Odessa State University in October 1992. They were welcomed by that time OSU Rector, Professor I.P. ZELINSKY (see photo 6).
In the foreground:
Regensburg University Rector, Prof. H. ALTNER;
OSU Rector, Prof. I.P. ZELINSKY;
The Romance-Germanic Faculty Dean, Prof. L.M. GOLUBENKO.
Beginning with 1993 the “Society of the Regensburg University friends” headed by Dr. Johan FILBERT actively promoted the contacts between our universities having collected and gifted to OSU more than 18, 000 books. 
Dr. Johan FILBERT organized number of seminars on economics for the ONU economics-learning students at the Regensburg University in 1994-1999. 136 students and 14 lecturers of the ONU took part in those seminars.
Dr. Johan FILBERT also organized and financed the trip for the famous German economists to lecture in ONU in 1993-2000, where he, himself lectured on business and management issues.
The International Scientific Conference on the “History of the Black Sea Coast Germans and the Ukrainian-German ties” was held in Odessa in 2003, which was opened and welcomed by that time ONU Rector, Prof. V.SMYNTYNA. The ONU Historical Faculty professionals and the charity fund “Bavarian House” participated in this conference together with other organizations 
The new (since 1994) The Slavic Institute Director, Professor Walter KOSHMAL was heading the programs “Tandem” since 2000 to 2006. These programs provided the possibility for 15 couples (so called TANDEMS) from ONU and the Regensburg University students to learn language of the partner-country and to work on the chosen topics on current issues in educational, cultural and social spheres etc.
The Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University also cooperates with non-governmental institutions of Germany in different fields. German Academic Exchange Agency (DAAD) plays the important role in this process. It provides educational and research programs for students, young researchers and experts. 
Senior officials of the DAAD regional office responsible for Russia and Ukraine paid numerous visits to the Odessa University. They also highly estimated the level of mutual collaboration. DAAD regularly recommends the German language teachers to the ONU. They activity provides the high level of German Philology teachers’ training. Rainer SCHLICK, Tanya GRISHAMMER, Elke BREDEREK, Zigbert Klee (nowadays Kiev DAAD office head), Anette GEITHNER, Mary LANDSHUTER, and Michael REIKHELT worked in ONU in different years. Nowadays Lyeoni LUDWIG and Regina ULYEN work at the University Department of German Philology. The collaboration with DAAD is still developing in actively and has the prominent perspective.
The 25th Anniversary of the twin hood of our cities was solemnly celebrated in July 9-12, 2015 in Regensburg. The official delegation of Odessa, headed by the city Mayor, Gennadiy TRUKHANOV, was invited to this event where our University Rector, Prof. Igor KOVAL was a member of the delegation. During the personal meetings in the frames of these celebrations Prof. I. KOVAL and Prof. W. KOSHMAL (Institute of Slavistics Director) had discussed the perspectives of mutual work, which has to influence positively not only the educational development in our universities , but also deepen the bilateral relations between Ukraine and Germany in general. 
The Collaboration with the scientific-educational institutions of Romania was also fruitful. Thus, in December 2003 the ONU was visited by the delegation of the Babesh-Bolyai University, headed by the Rector, Prof. Andriy MARGO. The Consul General of Romania in Odessa Kornel GEORGIASH (see photo 7). 
Delegation of the Babesh-Bolyai University visit to ONU.
From left to right:
International Relations Office Head, Docent V.S. GRINEVYCH; Physical Faculty Dean G.G. CHEREMESYUK;  Consul General of Romania in Odessa K. GEORGIASH; ONU prorector on the international collaboration V.V. POPKOV; ONU Rector (2003), Prof. V.A. SMINTYYNA; Babesh-Bolyai University Professor A. MARGO; ONU Prorector V.I. IVANITZA; ISS Director, Prof. I.M. KOVAL (nowadays ONY Rector); ONU Prorector, Docent O.V. ZAPOROZHCHENKO.
The other perspective direction in international scientific and educational activity is collaboration with Romanian educational, scientific and cultural institutions. They began with the visit to ONU of the Lower Danube University delegation headed by the Dean of History, Philosophy and Theology Faculty, Professor Ivan YEVLAMPIY on April 4-7, 2012 due to the Agreement between the Odessa National University and Lower Danube University of Galati, Romania. This visit launched students’ further collaboration and the scientific researches of Lower Danube people history and culture. An agreement on the free courses lecturing since September 2012 for the history-department students was also concluded.
They also agreed to work out in the nearest future common for both faculties’ courses on the Lower Danube history. 
The Parties also agreed to establish the Ukrainian Center in Galati and Romanian Center in Odessa aimed to intensify the mutual contacts and strengthen scientific, cultural and educational activity. The definite contribution to the ethnic and historical issues of both countries was done by Professor Vyacheslav KUSHNIR, Odessa University History Faculty Dean. His album named “Collection of Low Danube Rushnyk (Towels) published by Galati Historical Museum, was presented at the ONU Scientific library. The exhibition of the Romanian towels was also held there. 
The Romanian delegation which included the Romanian national minorities’ representatives and Ethnic Relations Department representatives visited the ONU Historical Faculty and the ONU International Relations Administration on May 21, 2012. The results of the collaboration with the Romanian Higher Education Institutions and public organizations, including the Romanian Ukrainians Union, were discussed during this meeting. The members of the delegation got acquainted with the ethnic research plans of the Historical Faculty and its plans for Odessa region ethnic group’s traditional culture studies.
The Romanian Ethnic Minorities Union commission participation in such events had the main purpose to maintain the studying and popularization of the traditional culture of the Lower Danube ethnic groups. The practical results of these negotiations were the decision to welcome the ONU malty ethnic students’ delegation in the Romanian universities. 
The valuable interaction was established with other Danube Region partners - Austrian Higher Education institutions and the Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University. E.g. the Vienna University Paleontological museum researchers and the scientists from Quaternary Sciences Commission of the Austrian Academy of Sciences headed by Professor Rabeder HERNOTE made the mutual scientific research work at the ONU Paleontological museum. There is the largest collection of fossils found at the south part of the Eastern European Platform (Ukraine and Moldova) and exhibited in our museum. Also there are unique collections of fossilized flora and fauna, which couldn’t be found in any other paleontological museum in the whole world.
The collaboration with Austria Universities was also fruitful. Salzburg Global seminar and Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University organized and held International seminar headed by Olyn ROBINSON in our University on 31.03.2007- 05-04-2007. The key issue of the seminar was “Innovations and Enterprise support and development in Odessa: discussion, problems, and solutions”. This important event was followed by the world recognized meeting in 2008.
The previously mentioned nongovernmental Austrian organization - The Salzburg Global Seminar chose the Odessa Mechnikov university as a decent partner for the International Seminar “Fostering Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Odessa; Issues, Challenges and Solutions, October 1-5, 2008. That Seminar was held under the protection of the American CRDF, Odessa city and State Administration and gathered in Odessa the outstanding world professionals including the Japan Prime-Minister Assistant, M.AIZAVA (see photo 8). 
The Vienna University Rector, Prof. Dr. George WINKLER (that time President of European University Association) visited ONU in May 2008 for discussion of Bologna Process results implementation. The event gathered representatives from nearly all Ukrainian universities (see photo 9). 
Seminar of European University Association «Bologna Process results implementation».
In the middle:
ONU Rector (2008), Prof. V.A. SMINTYNA;
On his right - The Vienna University Rector, Prof. Dr. George WINKLER (that time President of European University Association.
It has become evident that the European university community considered Odessa city in general, and the Odessa Mechnikov University, in particular, as an actual template for the European level educational activity. This understanding was supported by a number of important visits to ONU. In 2004 the Minister of Education, Science and Culture of Austria, Elizabeth GERER visited our university and had many discussions concerning the education problems with Odessa State Administration officials and Odessa university leadership.
The Vice-Minister of education of Austria Wolfgang SHTELZMULLER visited our University on November 20, 2009. He was accompanied by the Secondary Education Department Deputy Head Astrid LUCASSER. They presented the educational project “Austrian School” in Ukraine.
Vienna University Professors Renate FAISTAUBER, Tyna WILKE and other experts participated in the ONU conferences in 2012-2013. In March 2013 Professor Henning SHLUS lectured for Institute of Social Sciences students. The topic of his lecture was “the Educational System of Austria and Public view”.
The important issue of our university international activity was and is cooperative links with the universities of former Soviet Union republics. 
The Klaipeda University (Lithuania) Vice-Rectors Vidyutis LAURENAS and Rimantas DIDZIOKAS visited ONU in June 2007 in order to discuss the common activity due previously adopted Working program. It has become the strong basis for the further collaboration with the Lithuanian institutions of higher education.
The Klaipeda University students and teachers visited ONU in 2008 to work jointly on the topic “Sea Environment Research and Protection”. 17 Lithuanian students and 4 teachers practiced in ONU next year.
The experts of the ONU Astronomical Observatory took part in the research within the common Lithuanian-Ukrainian Project in 2009-2010. They cooperated with the Institute of theoretical Physics and Astronomy experts from Vilnius University. Arunas KUCHINSKAS, Augustinas IVANAUSKAS, Vidas DOBROVOLSKIS were among them. 
The Ambassador on special missions of the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania Vytautas NAUDUZHAS met ONU Rector in May 2013. He also delivered his lecture on the Lithuanian Presidency in the European Union Council.
Vilnius University experts and experts from the Kaunas Vytautas Magnus University took part in the 6th Forum of young Jewish researchers from Russian and Eastern Europe in July 2013. Also they participated the conference “Social and Political transformations within the crisis society” held by Institute of Social Sciences in September 2013.
Collaboration with the Commonwealth of the Independent States higher education institutions became an important part of international collaboration. The experts group from the Moldova Academy of Sciences Geography institute collaborated with the Odessa I.I. Mechnikov University in caring out The International Field Symposium. It was held at the Engineering and Marine geology department in 1998. Shevchenko University delegation from Moldova headed by the Rector, Prof.Dr. Stepan I. BERIL visited ONU for discussion of further collaboration in the Ukrainian language and literature in March 2007.
The experts from the High Anthropological School of Chisinau (Moldova) headed by Professor M. RYUSEV , docent from the St.-Petersberg University M. VOLKOVA and Perm State University docent O.O. KAMENSKIH (Russia). – took part in the scientific seminar Eshatos: history of philosophy in the context of the idea of bounds” (September 2010). The latest event was the good example of malty national cooperation of former CIS republics. The CIS scientists take active part in the ONU Conferences. Experts from the Russian Scientific Research Institute of Fisheries and the Papanin Inland-Waters Biology Institute took part in the ІV International Conference “Current issues of the theoretical and practical ichthyology” in September 2011.
The group from the St.-Petersburg University which included 18 students and 3 teachers practiced at the Physical Geography and Land-utilization Department of the Faculty of Geology and Geography in 2004.
The Consul of the Consulate General of Russian Federation in Odessa Y. DIDENKO together with Moscow, Syktyvkar and Arkhangelsk Higher education institutions experts visited the conference “Second Scientific readings dedicated to the memory of Y.O. KARPENKO”, the world known Ukrainian philologist, (October 2011).
Mogilev State University of Nourishment experts A.S. SKAPTZOV, V.A. YUREVICH, V.N. TZAP participated in the 25 International Scientific Conference “Dispersion Systems” held by the ONU Scientific Research Labouratory.
ONU invited foreign specialists from the Kazakh K.I. SATPAYEV National University of Technology (Almaty) and from the Institute of Chemistry problems (Baku, Azerbaijan) for participating in the II International Conference “Modern resources-saving technologies: problems and perspectives” (October, 2012)
More than 100 scientists from different Higher Education Institutions of Russia, Belorussia, Moldova and Kazakhstan participated in the wide range of events, such as the presentation of program “Anciently printed and rare publications of the University library”, II International Conference “Modern resource-saving technologies: Problems and perspectives”, “Sensor electronics and microcircuit technologies”, “Russian studies and the present time”, “Memory and the monument culture within the democratic society”, “Social and political transformations within the crisis society”, G. Frolovsky philosophical readings, etc.
The Turkmenian Ambassador Nurberdi A. AMANMURADOV visited our University twice and lectured for ONU research workers and students in May 2011 and March 2013.
It should be mentioned that results of the ONU collaboration with the foreign experts is the important contribution to the state budget scientific themes and to other scientific research works of the ONU and one of the main aspects of our University work.
The important feature of the ONU is the educational and scientific succession. It means that the previous work and strategic plans are continued regardless the changes and transformations inside and outside the University. 
The University was always interested in the developing the existing relations and establishment new relationships concluding new agreements.
 The collaboration with scientific-educational institutions of Spain was also fruitful. The agreements with the Valencia Classic University and the Valencia University of Technology were concluded in 2007, realized and extended in 2011 (see photo 10).
From right to left:
ONU Rector (2013), Prof. I.M. KOVAL;
Prorector of Valencia Classic University  Olga Gil’ MEDRANO;
The International Relations Office head, Docent V.S. GRINEVYCH.
The area of searching of new prospective partners is not limited by European countries. It also includes South Eastern region and the African states (see photo 11).
Kenya Government delegation visit to ONU 04.06.2012.
The ONU International collaboration has not only glorious history, but also not less great perspectives.
ONU is not standing aside the processes of globalization and levelling of state and cultural boundaries. The ONU subdivisions activity doesn’t only respond to the current challenges, but also suggest their personal decision for the deepening of international cooperation. The interaction with foreign partners, in its turn, transforms our University into the leading multicultural center of Southern Ukraine.


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