Eastern Partnership Conference “Promoting Common Values through Education and Culture”

Free International University of Moldova was successfully represented by Dr. Valentina Ciumacenco, Vice-Rector for International Relations, at the Eastern Partnership Conference “Promoting Common Values through Education and Culture”, held in Tbilisi, Georgia, on 25 and 26 June 2019.

The Eastern Partnership brings the EU and its 28 Member States together with its six Eastern partner countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
In 2019 the Eastern Partnership is celebrating ten years of common activities that aim to strengthen the relationship between all these 34 countries and their people. One of the anniversary events was this important conference held in Tbilisi. 
Over 200 participants have gathered for the event to consider how cooperation in the fields of education, youth and culture can strengthen integrity in education and research, citizenship, media literacy, common values and inclusiveness, looking both at policies and practice.
Discussions started by focusing on fundamental values and the way these are echoed – or threatened – in education and research, democratic participation, civic engagement, critical thinking and media literacy. The second day looked at inclusive education, social cohesion and gender, as well as the role of teachers and culture in promoting and fostering common values.
Speakers comprised decision-makers, administrators, practitioners and academics from the six EaP countries, EU Member States and the EU administration. The conference’s opening session featured the EU’s Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, the Georgian Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport Mikheil Batiashvili, and the EU’s Ambassador to Georgia, Carl Hartzell.
ULIM’s representative was among those seven key speakers selected for the session “Role of culture in fostering common values”. Prof. Valentina Ciumacenco gave a presentation entitled “ Multicultural and multilingual higher education: ULIM’s experience”. 
The audience had the opportunity to find out about the ULIM’s experience in terms of the promotion of multiculturalism as an international university, what are the challenges of the multicultural and multilingual learning space today and how education, intercultural dialogue, and respect for diversity can help us build stronger and more resilient societies.
Prof. Ciumacenco argued that multiculturalism and multilingualism are essential themes in the ongoing debate about how best to meet the needs for enhanced internationalization of higher education and the creation of informed, competent, and empathetic global citizens.