• ATHENA Project

    Fostering Sustainable and Autonomous
    Higher Education Systems
    in the Eastern Neighbouring Area

  • Focus

    University autonomy and funding reforms
    in Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine

  • Objectives

    Transfer of good practice
    Promotion of inclusive approaches
    Capacity building in university management


Analyses and roadmaps as well as HRM Toolkit are now available

The English versions of the ATHENA analyses and policy roadmaps of all three partner countries as well as the Human Resources Management (HRM) Toolkit have been finalised and can be downloaded under the material's section here.

The analyses and roadmaps are the outcome of a joint effort of the partner countries' delegations including partner universities, national rectors' conferences and the responsible ministries as well as EUA. The analysis based on the methodology of EUA's autonomy scorecard enriched with contextual information gathered in bilateral meetings between EUA and the partner countries' delegations shows the state of play of university autonomy at the beginning of the ATHENA project and also reflects the development over the past three years. The analysis is complemented by a policy roadmap including an action plan indicating the remaining challenges and proposing concrete steps to address those as well as the level of priority and feasibility for each. The exercise has helped to structure the dialogue between the Ministry and the universities in the three systems and shall also help to continue this in the future to facilitate further reforms and implementation.

Time for special thanks

While the ATHENA project is not quite over yet, with dissemination events planned by the different partners and project administration to be completed, the meetings of 15-17 September 2015 made for the the last occasion for the consortium to meet in plenary.

Therefore, the EUA team would like to take this opportunity to give its thanks to a number of special people who made the ATHENA journey such an unforgettable experience.

Many things in the project were made possible by the determination and reactiveness of three key people, the National Coordinators, who helped EUA coordinate action in Moldova, Ukraine and Armenia. These are of course Olesea Sirbu, Tatyana Trubchaninova and Menua Soghomonyan. They are to be particularly thanked, among many other tasks, for the hours they spent coordinating the project administration as well as the input of delegations to the analysis and the local organisation of project events.

Each national delegation in the project benefited from the commitment of highly engaged people, who contributed to the analysis of university autonomy in their country, and helped disseminate the project outcomes.

Change through exchange – ATHENA final event discusses role of universities in the Eastern Partnership

On 15 September, EUA organised the ATHENA project final event on “Fostering university autonomy in the Eastern neighbourhood” in Brussels. The event gathered 80 participants from ATHENA partner universities, Ministries and Missions of Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine to the European Union as well as representatives from the EU institutions and other Brussels-based stakeholders.

On this occasion, Thomas Estermann, Director for Governance, Funding and Public Policy Development at EUA, presented the outcomes of the project that comes to its end in January 2016. He highlighted the importance of a dialogue between public authorities and the universities to pave the way towards more sustainable and autonomous university systems in the partner countries. Armen Ashotyan, Minister of Education and Science of Armenia, explained how the Ministry uses the policy roadmap and action plan developed throughout the project as a tool for reform and continuous discussions with the sector, also after the project ends.

  • Yerevan State University
  • Gavar State University
  • State Engineering University of Armenia
  • State Universities Rectors Council of Armenia
  • Ministry of Education and Science of Armenia
  • Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova
  • Cahul State University
  • Free International University of Moldova
  • National Council of Rectors of Moldova
  • Ministry of Education of Moldova
  • Taras Shevchenko National University of Kiev
  • Donetsk National University
  • Odessa National University
  • Lesya Ukrainka Eastern European National University
  • Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine
  • University of Coimbra
  • Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra
  • University of Helsinki
  • Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences
  • University of Amsterdam
  • European University Association