University without Walls: Experience of Berdyansk State Pedagogical University during the war


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This study presents the experience of managing Berdyansk State Pedagogical University in the first year of a full-scale war. The purpose is to analyze the impact of management decisions on the performance indicators of the university in the conditions of temporary occupation and relocation to a new place. The relocation of Berdyansk State Pedagogical University (BSPU) to a safer territory enabled the resumption of educational activities in May 2022, after 53 days of functioning under occupation by russian troops. University staff decreased by 13%, with 57% moving to Ukraine-controlled territories and 43% remaining in the occupied zone. In addition, the student contingent decreased by 15%. The university’s scientific activity during the war decreased for only 9% in publication activity, and funding for science in 2023 increased by 379% compared to 2021. The university continued its third mission of social cooperation by providing humanitarian and psychological assistance and documenting the testimonies of people affected by the occupation. The university community currently exists in a virtual format, with staff and students in different parts of Ukraine and the world. The university must look to the future and overcome existing problems, such as preserving academic potential and student contingent, restoring electronic systems, and continuing pedagogical education.

This study was funded by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine (grants 0121U10942 and 0123U100110).
We are grateful to the Armed Forces of Ukraine for providing the security necessary to conduct this analysis. This work would not have been possible without the perseverance and courage of the Ukrainian army.
We also thank the entire team of Berdyansk State Pedagogical University. Thanks to your perseverance, resilience, and unity, the university continues to operate for the development of Ukraine.

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    • Figure 1. BSPU staff
    • Figure 2. Contingent of university graduates
    • Figure 3. Respondents’ answers to the question “Choose the most relevant and effective response tools to new challenges on research activities during the war”
    • Figure 4. Respondents’ answers to the question “What steps of the scientific department do you consider appropriate for further “reboot” of research activities?”
    • Figure 5. Respondents’ answers to the question “How can you evaluate the effectiveness of scientific activity at the university at the end of 2022?”
    • Data curation
      Hanna Lopatina, Natalia Tsybuliak, Anastasia Popova, Ihor Bohdanov
    • Investigation
      Hanna Lopatina, Natalia Tsybuliak, Yana Suchikova
    • Writing – original draft
      Hanna Lopatina, Natalia Tsybuliak, Anastasia Popova, Yana Suchikova
    • Funding acquisition
      Anastasia Popova, Ihor Bohdanov, Yana Suchikova
    • Methodology
      Anastasia Popova, Yana Suchikova
    • Supervision
      Ihor Bohdanov
    • Writing – review & editing
      Ihor Bohdanov
    • Conceptualization
      Yana Suchikova
    • Formal Analysis
      Yana Suchikova
    • Project administration
      Yana Suchikova
    • Resources
      Yana Suchikova
    • Visualization
      Yana Suchikova