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The Charter of Ukrainian Universities

We, presidents, rectors and vice-rectors and vice-presidents of universities, scientific institutions and non-profit organizations that function in the sphere of higher education assembled at Yalta, Ukraine, on 11-14 June 2009 and signed this Charter. We were motivated by our recognition of the need for a strategy of sustainable development for our institutions. People of all nations recognize the role of universities as key drivers of sustainable development. We believe our institutions cannot achieve their full potential, nor make their greatest contributions, unless each institution’s autonomy is acknowledged and academic freedom. We adopt and solemnly proclaim main principles of an activity:

1. One of the principal universities’ scientific problems is the development of theory and technology for changing into sustainable society that means ecological, economical and social secure development.  Interdisciplinary research is key to education for sustainable development of society, so connections will be strengthened among natural, economic, political and social sciences.

2. Each university should define its own mission, taking into account current and future needs of the community and accepting higher education’s responsibility as an enabler of sustainable development. Universities play key roles in economic and social development, improvement of living standards, and in building national and international harmony and peace based on human rights, democracy, tolerance and respect.

3. Academic freedom should be supported and kept by all possible legitimate means. Academic freedom is the individual and organizational freedom to pursue academic activity within a framework of ethical rules established by the academic community and international practice, without overt external pressure:
- free choice of the methods and condense of education by each  lecturer;
- free access to information and possibility to communicate freely with colleagues worldwide;
- create freely independent scientific centers;
- absence of juridical deposition for problematical results in conditions not lesion to other members of society.

4. Make everything possible for ensuring university autonomy as a form of academic freedom’s establishment and achievement. Academic freedom is the capacity to settle the questions without  external interference by state or other social groups, make independent decisions concerning internal organization and management, allocation of financial resources and profit generation, administration and the establishment of its own strategy in the spheres of education, research, teaching, and related activities.

5. Universities call upon the government to acknowledge the principles of university autonomy that support their various missions, including:

  • Academic autonomy (educational curricula, programs and research);
  • Financial autonomy (allocation of budget/funds as a total sum);
  • Organizational autonomy (organizational structure of universities);
  • Personnel policy autonomy (hiring, discharge,  salary and promotion).

 

Because of their unique ability to analyze social, cultural, economic and political situations from an interdisciplinary perspective, universities have a special responsibility to warn society about negative trends. In particular, universities must monitor the progress of sustainable development, the growth of intercultural dialogue and the formation of world culture.

On behalf of the university leaders whose signatures are below, undertake a solemn obligation to exert all efforts to insure that every university and all organizations develop policies that conform to Magna Charta Universitatum and this Charter of Ukrainian Universities. This Declaration is the unanimous, and freely proclaimed, will of the undersigned.

Yalta, Ukraine, 12 June 2009