The project "Equal opportunities for students with children of obtaining a profession at higher educational establishments" funded by the European Union and implemented by Sumy State University.

Basing on the relevant to the subject experience of the EU projects and project experience of the pilot implementation of the initiative "Family-friendly University", at Sumy State University we plan to introduce activities which will rise the problem of a balancing studying with family responsibilities of students with children, in order to ensure equal opportunities for students in keeping their right for education, self-fulfillment, family life, and health.


The objectives of the project:

1) Extending the existing initiative “Family-friendly University”, introducing innovative activities, improving existing kinds of activities, monitoring and analyzing the achieved results will be carried out in order to work out and to select the best ways of a balancing studying with family responsibilities of students with children;

2) Trainings for the university administrative staff in order to ensure equal opportunity to obtain a profession for students with children are supposed to try to overcome gender stereotypes, to learn new forms of flexible combination of studying with family responsibilities, to study the  approaches to organizing sustainable initiatives after the project’s termination;

3) Elaborating proposals for the state policies to keep the gender-equitable balance between study/work and family commitments at universities, organizations, institution, in order to bring them to the central authorities, and to use this proposals as a basis for the development of gender-sensitive policy in sphere of work/life balance. 

The key project participants are representatives of administrative staff the universities from each region of Ukraine, who has consented to conduct joint mutual initiatives with the project. Currently Sumy State University attempts to raise the awareness of the importance of implementation of gender-sensitive approaches at the universities and at workplaces through its own electronic resources, and to inform everyone about the achievements of the pilot implementation of university program "Studentskyi Leleka" (“The Student’s Stork”).

Short outline of outputs and results:

- As a result of the extending initiative "Family-friendly University” at Sumy State University, implementation of innovative work forms, monitoring results and analysis, Sumy State University  is going to get experience that will be the basis for the program development and practice of training for the university administrative staff of all the levels.

- As a result of the university administrative staff trainings, that concern the issue of equal opportunities of obtaining a profession for students with children, the awareness of the issue will be enhanced. That will allow  the implementation of the approaches friendly to the students with children at Ukrainian universities. Feedback from this target audience will serve as the additional material for outlining of the conclusions about the best practices and recommendations for state policy concerning “Balance between studying/work and family commitments”.

- As a result, central authorities will be provided with elaborated proposals aimed at gender-equitable balance between studying/work and family commitments in organizations and institutions. Provided proposals can be used as the basis for the development of gender-sensitive policy concerning combination of university or professional commitments with the family ones.

The project will be implemented within three years, taking into account the time required for getting experience from initiative at the experimental area of Sumy State University (at least for 1 year) and the time needed for the dissemination of this experience in around 27 regions in Ukraine. Since the project initiatives will be carried out at the universities, we must take into account the specifics of the academic load (periods of holidays and examinations). Due to that schedule of the project activities will be adjusted to the terms of academic process. Thus, the trainings will be held in between September-December and February-May, and the other events predetermined by the project will be carried out  throughout remaining time.

The project will run until 2015 and will cover universities from all regions of Ukraine.