Since 2019, the Department of Journalism and Philology of SumDU is a participant of the Erasmus-funded international project DESTIN - Journalism Education for Democracy in Ukraine: Developing Standards, Integrity, and Professionalism.

The project aims to align journalism training programs in Ukraine with the European ones (EQF), develop integrity and professionalism standards, and to improve student-media relations. This project is not necessarily about a new set of disciplines (their names may not change), but about reforming them so that each contributes to the development of the well-defined professional competencies of the contemporary journalist. At the same time, participants are working together to increase the media literacy of the alumni community.

It also envisages replenishment of the logistical base of DESTIN participating universities by computers, microphones and other equipment necessary for the training of journalists.

In addition to SumDU, nine more Ukrainian and five foreign universities (of Austria, Ireland, Poland, Sweden), as well as media and public organizations, the Ukrainian Student Association, Public Radio (Ukraine), Ethical Journalism Network (UK), European Journalism Training Association (Belgium), World University Services (Austria) are working on the project. British Bath Spa University coordinates the work.

Representatives of the Department of Journalism and Philology regularly participate in study visits abroad to exchange experience, discuss important project issues, as well as work on changing the structure and content of curricula, organizing the documentation, and "launching" updated bachelor and master courses starting September 2020.

In February, the head of the Department of Journalism and Philology, Doctor of Philology, Professor Olena Tkachenko, along with Kostiantyn Kyrychenko, the head of Sumy State University Department of International Relations, attended the first meetings of the Destin Project Working Group held in Bath, United Kingdom. Then the participants distributed work packages and defined a strategy.

On February 14, the representatives of the Department of Journalism and Philology met with Volodymyr Rizun, the director of the Institute of Journalism of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Project Coordinator in Ukraine, to discuss the work plan.

In May, the participants held meetings in Kyiv. Former project coordinator, Bath Spa University professor Paul Highland, spoke about the principles of student-centered learning, ways to reconcile students' expected learning outcomes with course programs, and evaluation of the results. Further work was devoted to presenting European experience in curriculum development. Teachers of the Institute of Arts, Design, and Technology (Dublin) David Quinn and Rónán Ó Muirthile have presented the curriculum to the participants. In particular, the mentors of the program talked about the content of the subjects, the credits the students receive, the workload, the principles of making plans, how these principles work in practice in their educational institution. European colleagues paid great attention to taking into account students’ and employers’ opinions regarding the curricula. 

In autumn, the project participants took over the practical experience of preparing students-journalists during the working trips to the Linnaeus University (Sweden) and Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland). Teachers of Ukrainian universities observed the implementation of European principles of the journalist teaching strategies, communicated with the administration, lecturers, students, visited local media outlets.

Also, David Quinn of the Dublin Institute of Arts, Design, and Technology in early December 2019 held “Training for trainers” for the representatives of Ukrainian universities in Kyiv, where he spoke about tools for curriculum development and work programs.

Now the professors of Sumy State University Department of Journalism and Philology are preparing to meet with colleagues from the EU in March, where they will evaluate the quality of the curriculum, discuss with the lecturers and students several important issues that will be relevant to the project implementation.

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