Rector of Mariupol State University Kostantyn Balabanov summed up the visit to the Hellenic Republic
From May 21st till May 27th, 2018, the delegation of Mariupol State University, including Rector, Professor Kostyantyn Balabanov, teachers of the faculties of foreign languages and Greek philology and translation visited the Hellenic Republic. The program of visit included a number of important meetings in the cities of Ioannina and Komotini, participation in the international conference "Innovative approaches in teaching foreign languages" and Days of Ukrainian language and culture.
The key destination of the visit was the University of Ioannina, which has been a partner of MSU since its establishment. After fruitful negotiations, Kostyantyn Balabanov and rector of the University of Ioannina, Professor Georgios Kapsalis, reached agreement on cooperation under the Erasmus + program funded by the European Union. This autumn the University of Ioannina is ready to accept 15 students and teachers of MSU for a 3-week language internship under the special program developed by the Center for the Study of the Hellenic Language and Culture "Stavros Niarchos". In total, over the years of fruitful cooperation, more than 250 students and teachers from the MSU have taken part in educational, scientific and cultural programs at the University of Ioannina.
Mariupol State University initiated a joint project to study the dialects of the Greeks of the Azov Sea. This proposal seemed interesting to the rector of the University of Ioannina, who defined the possible lines of research, and noted that projects aimed at protecting the interests of displaced persons and national minorities are actively supported by the European Union.
While visiting the research library of the University of Ioannina, which is considered to be one of the best in Europe, rector of Mariupol State University Kostyantyn Balabanov made arrangements with its director Georgios Zachos on cooperation between the libraries of the two universities. It is planned to organize the internship for students majoring in Information, Library and Archival Service at the premises of the Library of the University of Ioannina. In addition, Greek University will contribute to the replenishment of the fund of the research library of Mariupol State University.
While in Ioannina, rector of Mariupol State University, at the request of the mayor of Mariupol, Vadim Boichenko, negotiated with the mayor of the city of Thomas Bengas about the future town twinning of Ioannina and Mariupol. Thomas Bengas supported this proposal and expressed his interest in working with Mariupol in the humanitarian and business sector. The Governor of the Region of Epirus in Greece Mr. Alexandros Kachrimanis, who also met with Kostyantyn Balabanov promised to provide a multilateral assistance to Mariupol State University as the leading center for the study of Greek language and culture in Ukraine.
Meetings with the administration of Democritus University of Thrace and the University of Western Macedonia took place in Komotini. In the framework of signed agreements the issues of development of cooperation were discussed, in particular, the prospects of organizing the exchange of students and teachers under the program "Erasmus +", conducting joint scientific research, exchange of experience in training specialists in legal and pedagogical fields.
They also reached an agreement on the participation of teachers at Democritus University of Thrace and the University of Western Macedonia in teaching at advanced studies courses of MSU. Also, rector suggested to establish libraries with Ukrainian literature at Democritus University of Thrace the University of Ioannina.
In addition to fruitful negotiations, the University of Ioannina and Democritus University of Thrace held a ceremony of awarding the title of Doctor Honoris Causa to rector of Mariupol State University. Thus, the Greek partners noted the significant personal contribution of Konstyantyn Balabanov to the strengthening of friendship and cooperation between Greece and Ukraine, the development of the humanities, the promotion of Greek language and culture.