The Promise of Education in a Time of War

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Wednesday, April 12, 2023

One year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a Kyiv business school president reflects on the war—and on the hope that education brings for the future.

Featuring Iryna Tykhomyrova, MIM-Kyiv International Management Institute
  • For MIM-Kyiv, fighting for Ukraine meant resuming work and providing ongoing education in the face of war.
  • Continuing to educate tomorrow’s leaders, despite an uncertain future, encourages hope for the postwar rebuilding of Ukraine.
  • Support from international colleagues has inspired an innovative leadership program amid a crisis.

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Iryna Tykhomyrova: [0:15] 24th of February last year, it changed our life totally, not only my personal life, not only life of my school, but those of the life of the whole county, and, I think, the whole world.

[0:32] For school, it's really important that we continue to work. Because when we think about the war, the war is a very cruel thing. When we think about the war, the war steals present time. When you're in the war, the time is limited. The time of your life is limited, and that's why the war steals your time, the time of your life.

[1:08] You would like to spend your life with your relatives, with your friends. You would like to do what you want, to work, to invent something, but you have to live in absolutely another way. You cannot think about the future because you cannot predict it. You don't understand what will be in the next few months.

[1:37] In this case, education, it's very important. Education is always about the future because you study now, and you will use these skills, this knowledge in the future.

[1:52] We launched all our programs in April 2022, and from that time we continue work. It was really important to show not only our employees but to also our partners, our community that we are sure that we will continue our work.

Education is always about the future because you study now, and you will use these skills, this knowledge in the future.

[2:18] In January 2023, we open our new MBA group, and I think that this is very important because this is group of people who would like to receive the MBA diploma in two years so they will be prepared for the new Ukraine, for the new economy, and they will participate in rebuilding our country.

[2:47] For us, it's very important to feel that we are not alone, for us as people of Ukraine, for us as a school, for us as a country and who, we are not alone, and we receive the support all over the world.

[3:06] I received a lot of letters, a lot of messages from all over the world, from our friends, and they express their support and they told us that they're ready to teach in our school free of charge. During that time, it was impossible. They were ready to teach, but our students would not be able to study in that time.

[3:35] After that, when the situation became, for us, for Kyiv is better, we decided that if we have so many partners who are ready to teach or to participate in our program, we will create this special project. We call this project Reinforce UA, international project.

For us, it's very important to feel that we are not alone, for us as people of Ukraine, for us as a school, for us as a country.

[4:01] It was every week at six o'clock. We invite someone who tell not about Ukraine, not about the war. This is a lecture about the important things in our life, about contemporary agenda, what people think, thoughts now, the contemporary agenda of the world now.

[4:32] I think that this is very important, and this project couldn't be possible without international partners. This project is free of charge, but if someone would like to donate, it's possible. We collect money for this special program in entrepreneurship for temporarily displaced women.

[4:54] We think that this program would be very useful. We think that in June we finish this project because we will have some of what we would like to collect, and then we will publish the book.

[5:15] We hope that in October 2023, we will organize the special forum Reinforce UA, and we will invite our speakers to our forum. We plan that we will conduct this forum in Kyiv. We even find that one of our hotel have their lecture halls underground, so it will be safe, too.

[5:50] We have plans, a lot of plans, a long list to do because we're sure that we have to work before and after the victory.

The views expressed by contributors to AACSB Insights do not represent an official position of AACSB, unless clearly stated.
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