Accreditation of a foreign university in Ukraine

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In early April 2021, the Ukrainian government sanctioned the regulations, which define the features of the formation, reorganization, and liquidation of territorially separate structural units of higher education institutions. Thus, the opening of branches for foreign educational institutions within Ukraine was officially endorsed.

In our article, we will delve into the phases of establishing such universities and the specific constraints applicable to them. 

Currently, we are actively engaged in aiding the establishment of educational institutions in Ukraine. Our advantages encompass:

  • We possess precise knowledge of obtaining educational licenses in Ukraine. We have the necessary experience and the ability to guide your documentation to the licensing authority.
  • We are prepared for challenges – starting with devising an optimal algorithm for you and addressing complex issues.
  • We are ready to support you even after obtaining the license – offering legal, accounting, and personnel consulting at all stages of establishing and developing your educational institution.

Should your interest lie not in the procedural aspects but in finding a professional who can secure the educational license on your behalf, our experts are at your service.

You may also like: Educational License in Ukraine: Sole Proprietorship or Limited Liability Company

What is currently required to establish a branch of a foreign educational institution in Ukraine?

First and foremost, obtaining a permit from the Ministry of Education of Ukraine is essential. This procedure requires the following documents:

  • An application, the prescribed format of which has not been specified. Consequently, it can be inferred that it can be submitted in any appropriate form. However, there is a set of information that this application must include. Essentially, this involves comprehensive details about the foreign university.
  • Copies of the founding documents of the foreign institution.
  • Descriptions of the educational programs intended to be implemented, providing details about the education levels, fields of specialization, and the number of prospective students.

Limitations on obtaining approval to establish a foreign university in Ukraine

It's important to consider that this approval may not be granted to all institutions. What are the restrictions in place?

  1. Approval cannot be issued to institutions that are not ranked among the top 3000 in the world according to international rankings such as QS World University Rankings, The Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and Academic Ranking of World Universities - World Top 500 Universities.
  2. An educational institution is ineligible if it has any form of association with an aggressor nation: receiving investments from there, having an ultimate beneficiary from there, and certainly if the institution itself is registered in that country.

There are also restrictions based on location: branches of foreign institutions cannot be established in every city. According to Article 33, Clause 9 of the Ukrainian Law on Higher Education, it's prohibited to create branches in specific cities: Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lviv, Dnipro, and Odesa. Therefore, opening a branch of Oxford University in Kyiv is not possible. Why is this the case? This law stipulates that territorially distinct structural units of higher education are formed to meet the needs of the regional job market for specific professionals and to bring the place of education for higher education seekers closer to their place of residence. Consequently, in large cities where there is already an ample number of educational institutions, the government has chosen not to further concentrate them. This approach facilitates the possibility of smaller towns and cities having their own educational institutions.

What awaits after obtaining the educational license?

Securing the permission to establish a branch marks just the initial phase. What lies ahead? Subsequently, it's necessary to officially register this separate structural unit of the foreign university, which essentially operates as a foreign legal entity, with the relevant government bodies in Ukraine. In essence, this process mirrors the registration procedure for a foreign company's representation: the requisite set of documents is submitted to the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine (via the Center for Administrative Services), followed by enrollment with the tax authorities and the statistical administration. For a more comprehensive insight into this procedure, our publications offer further information: Registering a Foreign Company's Representative Office in Ukraine or How to Open a Branch of a Foreign Company in Ukraine?

What does University Accreditation entail?

Accreditation is a process through which an institution gains the authorization to engage in educational activities, offering higher education services in line with established higher education standards. It also involves ensuring adherence to requirements related to staffing, academic and methodological resources, and facilities. This process primarily encompasses accrediting educational programs. Each field and specialization is separately evaluated for accreditation. Consequently, an accredited university is acknowledged as being equipped to provide educational services aligned with state standards for various educational qualification levels, with at least two-thirds of the fields and specializations accredited.

Are you considering establishing a branch of your esteemed foreign university in Ukraine? Don't hesitate to reach out to us! As legal experts with years of experience in the education sector, we are fully equipped to offer comprehensive legal support and guidance in the process of launching a branch of your educational institution.

Our team of skilled professionals is well-versed in all the nuances, requirements, and procedures associated with founding educational establishments, and we are committed to streamlining this process for you, ensuring efficiency and security.

You can find the cost of obtaining an educational license here.

Publication date: 20/07/2023
Marina Losenko

About author

Name: Marina Losenko

Position: Associate

Education: National Aviation University

Knowledge of languages: Russian, Ukrainian

Email: [email protected]

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Marina Losenko
Kuzava Vlasta
Junior lawyer
Ivanna Stefanchyshena
Assistant of the Lawyer