Sumy State UniversitySumy State University has created a comprehensive model for academic success

Sumy State University has created a comprehensive model for academic success

Sumy State University building

Participating in the Times Higher Education Young University Rankings proved to be a turning point for Sumy State University. Now it is making bold plans to build on this success

Based in the city of Sumy in north-eastern Ukraine, Sumy State University (SumDU) is known as one of the leading universities in the country. It specialises in a wide range of disciplines, from STEM to business and medicine, and today, more than 12,000 students are enrolled, with 15 per cent of them coming from abroad. In 2020, the number of students at SumDU increased by 7 per cent despite the pandemic.

The university’s history dates back to 1948, when it was opened as part of Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute. It gained its independence as the Sumy Institute of Physics and Technology in 1990 and received its current name three years later.

In June 2020, SumDU was included in Times Higher Education’s Young University Rankings for the first time, a step that solidified the institution’s excellent reputation in global education.

“Entering such a prestigious ranking has definitely enhanced the sense of responsibility for the successful realisation of our plans,” says Anatoliy Vasylyev, honorary rector of SumDU. “One can enter a ranking, but one can also be relegated from it. This has boosted our motivation to continue improving the quality of our work.”

According to Professor Vasylyev, the university’s strategic development plan defines its educational model as “multidisciplinary, innovation oriented and with a competitive edge in global education and research”. In his view, the inclusion of SumDU in the Young University Rankings has confirmed the success of this model.

Inclusion in the rankings has encouraged more students to enrol at the university and has also contributed to the institution’s growing status among Ukraine’s young people as well as prospective foreign students. In this year’s survey of first-year students, the majority of respondents confirmed that their decision to enrol at SumDU had been influenced by its high rankings in Ukraine and internationally.

SumDU performed particularly well in the “industry income” and “international outlook” sections of the Young University Rankings. The university strives to provide its students and staff with the best environment for scientific research. About 1,000 academics are employed at the university, including postdoctoral researchers and professors across all departments. “In the period between 2014 and now, the number of orders for our research products by firms from the US, China, the UK and many others has increased more than sixfold,” says Professor Vasylyev, adding that “even during the pandemic, in 2020, our research funding grew by over 40 per cent from the year before”.

SumDU prides itself on having developed a flexible working system. Based on an internal ranking of departments and faculties, the university’s administration ensures the fair allocation of resources. Professor Vasylyev notes that the university’s development has been inspired by the innovative approaches to education and learning undertaken by leaders in the field: “Guided by the principle ‘from the best, to the best’, our benchmarking service is actively researching the best educational practices.”

Looking ahead, SumDU plans to comprehensively expand all areas of its work, including international cooperation. The university’s administration is hopeful that student engagement and enrolment numbers will increase in the coming years. “More young people are beginning to understand that a correct choice of a higher education institution has a strong impact on their professional future,” says Professor Vasylyev.

In his view, the university’s success in THE’s rankings will encourage more institutions across the country to strive for academic success. “We know that many universities are making use of our experience, and we are happy to share our knowledge with our colleagues.”

Find out more about SumDU.

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