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Luhansk Taras Shevchenko National University (Ukraine)
Luhansk Taras Shevchenko National University was first established as as teacher’s training institute in 1921. It was named after Taras Shevchenko in 1939, achieved the fourth level of accreditation in 1998, and became a national university in 2003. The University is located in the city of Luhansk and includes six institutes, eight faculties, and two colleges. It has ties with higher education institutions around the world, particularly in Europe. It has partnered with Franklin Pierce University in the United States to offer an MBA program. LTSNU prides itself on being one of the first Ukrainian universities to commit to the Balogna reforms called for by European higher education leaders. The University has been named Ukraine’s best higher education institution several years by Ukraine’s Ministry of Education and Science. Visit Luhansk National University’s website>>
LTSNU’s Engagement with the Community
One of the characteristics of LTSNU is its well-organized extracurricular activities which unite teachers, students and the local community. Community service activities are the responsibility of each institute and faculty of the university. For example, the Department of Social Pedagogy and Social Work oversees programs introducing Social Work students to community engagement and volunteer work. The Center of Social Service provides social, psychological and pedagogical trainings, thematic seminars, youth forums, workshops and master classes, and interactive education courses for social workers and community members. It also keeps students informed of volunteer opportunities through university groups and community groups. The Youth Training Center holds educational consultation courses for social workers and community members. The Center of Social Service and the Youth Training Center also work together on programs encouraging better governance at the local level. During the summer, University students also work at a summer camp that encourages youth volunteering.
Furthermore, the Cultural Club of the University unites different amateur groups of students focused on various art forms (pop music, folk and modern dance, dance, and theater) which perform at community events and help connect the University and its students with the local community.
The SMART Program was established in March 2007 by a group of 1st year students at the Faculty of Foreign Languages at LTSNU. The intention was to help children from orphan houses, to promote humanist ideas in the society and to share a pedagogical experience with the members of the Program, as all of them were future teachers. The Program is currently run by students. It is aimed at effective volunteer and active youth development by emphasizing the series of social problems that exist and finding positive ways out, improving pedagogical skills as an integral part of teacher’s work, catching students’ interest in social work, and enhancing the value of community engagement among young people in Ukraine.