American University Kyiv opened in Ukraine with investments of $33 million

American University Kyiv opened in Ukraine with investments of $33 million

American University in Kyiv / American University Kyiv (TOV "VNZ" AMERICAN UNIVERSITY KYIV") with an investment of $ 33 million announced the start of work in Kyiv

"American education is the best in the world, it happened that way. It will be a top, perhaps the best university in Ukraine... The plans are to train 3,800 students in 5 years, and 7,200 in 10 years," said Roman Sheremeta, Rector of AUC, Dr. in Economics from Purdue University, who returned to Ukraine to lead the project.

According to him, the university, which will operate under a 25-year licensing agreement with Arizona State University (ASU), one of the largest universities in the United States with more than 135 thousand students, begins accepting documents in February in order to launch master's programs from March in Business Management and IT Global Management and Software Engineering, and from April - lifelong learning programs.

Roman Sheremeta also added that from September this year, it is planned to launch a master's program in Business Analytics, as well as four bachelor's programs: Business Administration, Global Management, Computer System Engineering and Software Engineering.

According to the announced plans, AUC will have 370 students this year. Undergraduate and graduate studies will be conducted in English. The rector noted that preliminary applications indicate the presence of high demand and allow one to expect high competition for study at the university.

The start of the 2023 admission campaign is scheduled for October 2022, the first graduation in June 2023, and the first intake for the Faculty of Engineering in September 2023.

According to the rector, the opening of six faculties is planned for the next 10 years: Business Administration, EPAM Faculty of Digital Technologies, Engineering, Medicine, Law, Architecture and Design.

The cost of education announced at the presentation is $8,000 per year for bachelor's programs and $9,000 per year for master's programs. Sheremeta pointed out that various types of scholarships are provided, the budget for which for spring master's programs is $150,000, and for autumn programs - $100,000.

According to AUC founding president Rick Shengrove, who is responsible for creating partnerships in Eastern Europe and Central Asia at the established ASU Cintana Education, in the United States the cost of such training is $ 25-35 thousand and more.

Sheremeta added that the university will offer a double degree - Ukrainian and American, for which it will be necessary to study at ASU in person or online for 3-4 years of undergraduate or master's degree at AUC.

Of the planned investments of $33 million, $6 million will be invested by ASC in the renovation of the building of the capital's River Port with an area of 7.75 thousand square meters. m, which the university leased for 10 years with the right to renew. According to the rector, the first flow of students in March will already be studying in a partially renovated building, and the full completion of work is scheduled for May. To renovate the Rechport building, the university hired architects from the Washington-based firm Perkins & Will.

According to Sheremeta, the educational building in the building of the river port can accommodate up to 2,000 students, so AUC is negotiating to expand it with another building in Kyiv, including is ready to buy it.

Among the AUC co-founders is Kurt Volker, who was the US Special Representative for Ukraine in 2017-2019. In an interview with Forbes Ukraine at the end of last year, he announced plans to attract U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).

The Ukrainian investor of the project is BGV Group Management of the co-owner of the ATB network Gennady Butkevich, and on Wednesday DTEK energy holding Rinat Akhmetov also announced his partnership with the new university.

According to the state register, American University Kyiv Higher Educational Institution LLC was registered in May 2020 with an authorized capital of UAH 1,000. Initially, its founders were the co-founder of the Ilaya clinic, the head of American Hospitality Group Kyiv LLC, which also applied for DFC funding, Oleksiy Shershnev with a share of 76% and City Estate Management LLC (Dnepropetrovsk) BGV Group with 24% Currently, Shershnev is listed as the owner of 100%, but with a voting right of 76%.

Interview with Kurt Volker, Former US State Department Special Representative for Ukraine

Forbes Ukraine interviewed Volker about his role in the development of American University Kyiv, university tuition fees and its importance to Ukrainian students.

Why did you decide to become one of the founders of American University Kyiv?

This is a great way to continue the work that I did as the Special Representative of the US State Department for Ukraine. This university can help Ukraine become stronger, modernize it and make it closer to the West.

Many Ukrainians go to study abroad. Now they will be able to get Western type and quality education in Ukraine.

Ukraine is now going through a generational change - from the Soviet mentality of older people to the modern mentality of young people. An educational system of this type can help accelerate this process.

Will American University be only in the capital or will it be launched in other cities of Ukraine?

We are focused on doing the right thing first - in Kyiv. This is a priority. It is necessary that many people study in it and that it become financially independent. When this happens, we will evaluate whether campuses are needed in other cities or even other countries in the region.

Our ambition is to accept the first students for master's programs in the spring, in just a few months, and for bachelor's programs in September 2022. These will be programs in the field of management and IT, and a little later - in the field of engineering, architecture, design and law.

We will launch in the fall of 2022 and hope to grow to 3,800 students over the next five years.

How much have you personally invested in the university - money and time?

I started working on this project almost immediately after I left my public position. Almost two years have passed. Wings and Freeman Capital then approached me with an offer to become part of this project. They were looking for partners for American University in Kyiv and I went to speak with Arizona State University. It turned out that they were just looking for offers like this. Then we agreed, developed a concept and looked for funding.

We have investment obligations, which will be enough for the first two years of the university's operation. For additional funding, we will go to the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation - the funds from them will cover another five years and will help us reach the stage when the income from training will be enough for sustainable work.

So it's about $50 million?

Yes, approximately.

Why does Ukraine need another university?

Diversity and choice in education is important. Western-style education is different from what is now in Ukraine. Exact sciences and technologies are areas in which your country is already strong. And we can work with this database further: bring famous professors, modern curricula and other content from one of the best US universities - Arizona State University. I think students in Ukraine will like it.

There is no other American University here. They are in Rome, Sofia, Beirut. In Ukraine - no. The size and capabilities of this country deserve a lot of attention and investment.

What do you say to those who say that American University will only be for children of rich parents?

The cost of education with us will be much lower than in the US or other countries where Ukrainian students go. We are trying to set a market price, it will not differ much from what Ukrainians already pay in private schools. We will also subsidize tuition for the first few years and provide a discount to make the university as accessible as possible.

The philosophy of Arizona State University is to make quality education affordable, keep costs so low that more people have a chance to be successful. The same philosophy is part of the DNA of American University Kyiv.

How would you describe a typical American University student?

Interested in quality education, willing and able to know English at a high level by the end of university studies, interested in exact sciences, Western education and culture.

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