Powered by ASU, American University Kyiv provides world-class education to Ukrainian students

Through determination and resilience, the institution who is a member of the ASU-Cintana Alliance, announced a successful start of fall classes

October 27, 2022

The American University Kyiv (AUK) has brought to fruition its commitment to provide a world-class education to Ukraine as students enrolled in five inaugural degree programs, including a Bachelor of Science in business administration, a Bachelor and a Master of Science in global management, and a Bachelor and a Master of Science in software engineering.

AUK, a member of the ASU-Cintana Alliance network, is the first university in Ukraine designed as a world-class institution with its foundation fully based on U.S. higher education standards and student expectations. It is also the first university in Ukraine to partner with Arizona State University, providing students with access to ASU curriculum, unique opportunities to participate in exchange programs and dual degrees from both AUK and ASU. Student from American University Kyiv (AUK) engages at networking event. An American University Kyiv student participates in networking event. Download Full Image

Students encountered these higher educational standards as early on as the admissions process. Along with meeting Ukrainian state guidelines and admission requirements, students were required to demonstrate high leadership potential through virtual presentations, interviews and essays showing their interest and commitment to the program.

“We are proud to be the first university in Ukraine to bring these features to the admissions process,” said Roman Sheremeta, founding AUK rector. “Throughout the admission process, we were highly impressed with the caliber of AUK’s applicants, as well as their commitment to learn, innovate and make a positive impact in Ukraine.”

Students currently enrolled at AUK are impressed with the faculty and staff’s commitment to their success and the benefits of attending classes that are uniquely designed to give them hands-on experience in preparation for a successful career.

“Studying at AUK is an entirely new experience for me. I admire the openness of the university's leaders, teachers and administrators,” said Vasyl B., a student enrolled in the global management master's degree program. “They are ready to help anytime and want to pass on all possible knowledge and experience to the students.”

Vasyl was also pleasantly surprised with the flexibility of his class schedule, which is allowing him to combine work and study effectively. He appreciates that his classes are giving him the practical skills needed for a successful career in the future.

“In other universities, it's standard practice for students to spend the majority of their time learning theory and doing little or no practical work,” said Daria V., a student in the software engineering bachelor's degree program. “The contrary is true in AUK. Here, you get a lot of experience that helps you gain confidence and an understanding of how to apply all of the knowledge you learned at the university to real-world situations.”

Currently, classes are being administered online. As soon as it is safe for faculty, staff and students to be present on campus, AUK plans to initiate in-person classes on its flagship Kyiv RiverPort campus, which was designed and renovated to provide a true American higher educational experience to its students.

“We are excited about the role that AUK will play in developing the skills that future Ukrainian leaders will need in order to rebuild and shape the future of their country,” said Rick Shangraw, founding president of AUK and Cintana Education. “It’s been inspiring to watch the commitment and resilience shown by AUK faculty and staff, and we look forward to the future success of our students and community.”

By offering students the best academic experience in the region through its close collaboration with ASU, AUK is believed to play an important role in the rebuild of their country. 

“I had the privilege of meeting members of the AUK leadership team and faculty in Kyiv in June 2021 and was impressed by the vision they had for their academic community,” said Nancy Gonzales, executive vice president and university provost at ASU. “I applaud their spirit and unyielding support of their students as they successfully launched classes this fall in the face of enormous challenges. ASU stands with our colleagues in Kyiv and is a proud partner to the AUK community in its goal of providing a world-class education to the future leaders of Ukraine.”

Samantha Talavera

Asst. Director, Global Marketing and Communications, Global Academic Initiatives

Can courts save democracy?

ASU Center for Constitutional Design co-sponsoring event on Nov. 1 in Phoenix

October 27, 2022

American political sociologist Larry Diamond has observed that the world is "suffering a democratic contraction."

From Vladimir Putin's sharp restriction of freedom in Russia, the rise of authoritarian regimes and the intensification of populism, to the fragility of many existing democracies across Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, Diamond, former director of the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford University, suggests that making fledgling democracies work has often proven more difficult than it was to tear down authoritarian rule early in the 21st century. The disruption of democratic norms in the United States after the 2020 election is also unnerving, given that American institutions have served as a beacon of democratic principles and practice worldwide. A shot of the front exterior of the U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., with a cherry blossom tree in the foreground. Download Full Image

If liberal democracy is losing ground in countries around the globe, to which institutions can we look to defend democratic principles and practices? In particular, can we expect independent judiciaries to serve as bulwarks for democracy? This is the question Jeffrey Staton, professor and director of the Center for the Study of Law and Politics at Emory University, raises in his book "Can Courts be Bulwarks of Democracy?"

On Nov. 1, the Center for Constitutional Design at the Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law will partner with the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations to host a meaningful discussion about the role of the courts in upholding democratic institutions and the rule of law. Staton will discuss the findings in his book and engage with Diamond (Stanford University), Tom Daley (University of Melbourne and director of the global online platform Democratic Delay and Renewal) and Center for Constitutional Design Executive Director and ASU Foundation Professor Stefanie Lindquist on the question of what the role of the courts is and should be in preserving democracy.

"Liberal democracy relies on the impartial rule of law to ensure justice's stable and fair administration. We have looked to the courts in the United States to provide a check on democratic or majoritarian excesses but also to check tyrannical or concentrated authority in the executive and legislative branches," Lindquist said. "But it is also important to discuss how the courts should restrain themselves from interfering in political life to maintain their legitimacy and efficacy."

The conversation will explore how the courts at home in the United States and across the world might hold the line in sustaining democratic practice by checking leadership violations of legal norms and encouraging them to explain their actions to the public under the rule of law.

Registration for the event is open for in-person-only attendance at the Beus Center for Law and Society in downtown Phoenix.

The Center for Constitutional Design is part of the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at ASU.

Written by Carol McNamara, senior director, Center for Constitutional Design
carol.mcnamara@asu.edu, 435-512-6168