About the UNICOM

Universities - Communities: strengthening cooperation

Project timeline: 4 years (01.02.2023 – 31.01.2027)
EU funding program: Erasmus+: КА2 CBHE
Financing: 988,435.00 € 

General Objective:

To enhance universities’ social role through boosting university-community engagement leading to the elaboration of state policy on supporting the third mission of universities for ensuring social cohesion, resilience, sustainability and prosperity in Ukraine.

Specific objectives:

  • To develop and discuss national policy on enhancing the third mission of universities and community-university cooperation (indicators: a policy paper; a road map, national guidelines, a research published);
  • To develop the model strategies for relations between universities and communities based on their needs and aimed to enhance civic activism and citizen engagement based on principles of equality, solidarity, non-discrimination and inclusion and to pilot them in the HEI’s and communities involved (indicators: 7 on Ukrainian universities’ visions on the cooperation with the communities in terms of their social responsibility and university development strategies;
  • To foster the cooperation between the project target groups and stakeholders on university-community cooperation based on European experiences and practices in the field of inclusion and gender equality, cyber security and digitalization, ecology, and civic education, etc. (indicators: community empowerment program, 3 hackathons, 2 volunteering programs);
  • To increase the social responsibility and community engagement of universities through raising their capacities in the area of community development and local leadership (indicators: joint reports on the needs of the communities and their expectations from the cooperation with the HEIs);
  • To foster the cooperation between the project target groups and stakeholders on university-community cooperation based on European experiences and practices (indicators: research/experience exchange visits to European partners and internally for experience exchange and cooperation; the number of participants at the project events and mobilities performed; training programs and relevant teaching materials for the project teaching component, a future summit);
  • To ensure the qualitative project implementation is in line with best European practices as to the academic content and project management;
  • To ensure proper cooperation between PI, target groups, and stakeholders in order to implement the project dully and timely to report to European and national authorities;

 Button «Project website” (link to

Project Consortium 

From Program countries:

From Partner country (Ukraine):


Guido Amoretti

Diana Spulber 


Main contact person at the VNMU   

Olga Drachuk. 



Research coordinator at the VNMU   

Oleg Vlasenko



Financial manager at the VNMU   

Olga Biesieda



Communication & dissemination manager

Ruslana Kharkovenko 



VNMU joined the UNICOM project to implement its third mission


The role of a modern university is not only to provide training and education of future specialists. In order to develop a sense of social responsibility in a young specialist, especially in the medical field, universities should also realize their third mission. This mission is provided by them after educational and scientific work (the first and the second missions respectively) and provides for the production and practical application of knowledge outside the academic environment. It supposes the economic application of research, patents, technology transfer and expertise into the economy of the region; close cooperation with non-governmental organizations for the effective implementation of educational and social work.

With the aim of strengthening its third mission, the National Pirogov Memorial Medical University (VNMU) together with European partners took part and won the ERASMUS-EDU-2022-CBHE competition for the UNICOM Project "Universities - Communities: Strengthening Cooperation". This Project is supported by the European Union.

The implementation of the project is aimed at strengthening the third mission of Ukrainian universities. It is promoting the best practices of cooperation between higher education institutions and communities. It is based on the utility of the relevant experience of the EU countries such as Italy, Germany, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Latvia.

The participation of VNMU in the project, which will last 48 months, became possible due to the consistent work of the University’ Project group.

The UNICOM will let to create a complex of activities with a focus on increasing the social role of universities and intensifying the interaction between the University and the community. In particular, effective models of interaction between communities and Universities will be developed to ensure social cohesion, stability and sustainable development.

What is more, UNICOM involves the study of the European experience on interaction between universities and community stakeholders, the creation of guidelines for the development of the third mission of universities, the implementation of hackathons and various forms of mobility. The program will focus on such important aspects of community-university cooperation as inclusiveness, entrepreneurship, social cohesion, protection of the environment and public health.

Since the development of the field of public health is one of the priorities of the modern vision of VNMU, the university, given the requirements of the martial law, is obliged to fulfill the honorable mission of a unique educational, scientific and practical institution that ensures the life and health of the residents of the region. And thanks to the UNICOM project, students and teachers of VNMU have a unique opportunity to realize their responsibility to the community in order to improve the quality of life in it.

At the same time, one of the results of the UNICOM project will lead to increasing of the social role of universities through the activation of interaction between them and the community. In turn, it will lead to the development of a state policy supporting the third mission of universities to ensure social cohesion, stability and prosperity of Ukraine.

Thus, implementation of the third mission of the university is the contribution of the VNMU to the formation of Ukraine as a European state with modern practices of interaction between academic institutions and society.

Project group of the VNMU