Since 2015, Poltava University of Economics and Trade is a member of the Erasmus + project “Protecting the Interests of Students by bringing in the Ombudsman’s Position” (561640-EPP-1-2015-1-AZ-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP), funded by the European Union. The goal of the project is to create, implement and develop the ombudsman institution in universities of Ukraine, Georgia and Azerbaijan in order to protect students’ rights and remove obstacles to the educational process.

The University students have the right guaranteed by the state to protect their rights, freedoms and legitimate interests during the educational process.

The results of the survey among students of PUET show that they do not feel a significant violation of their rights, but in everyday student life, they face some difficulties, among which the most significant are: adaptation to the student environment, language problems for foreign students, as well as addressing issues of residence in the hostels. Students believe that the introduction of the position of ombudsman will help to overcome the above mentioned difficulties.

Within the framework of the project, the members of the working group studied the European experience of the ombudsmen activities in universities of Poland, Italy and Portugal. Based on the best European practices of the ombudsman institution, the project team developed a model for interaction of the ombudsman with all participants in the educational environment of Poltava University of Economics and Trade and the Regulations for Student Ombudsman.

According to the approved Regulations, the future ombudsman must: represent the interests of students before the university’s administration, in local and state authorities; analyze the state of implementation and ensure the rights, freedoms and interests of students; to take precautionary measures to prevent violations of the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of students; to organize measures to explain to students the legal status, scope of their rights and responsibilities; to take necessary measures in case of violation of students’ rights, freedoms and lawful interests; Provide recommendations for preventing conflict situations for students and other participants in the educational process.

The active phase of project implementation is starting now – the election campaign for candidates for the student ombudsman.

On February 7, in Poltava University of Economics and Trade, there was a debate between the candidates for the post of student ombudsman: Karmanenko Vasyl, Pivovarskaya Kseniya and Chyzhevsky Vladislav. During the debate students were able to get acquainted with the candidates and ask questions.

The debate began with the opening remarks of Tkachenko Alina Sergeevna, who presented candidates for the post of student ombudsman and reminded the audience about the project, its goals and objectives.

Karmanenko Vasil – the first speaker – emphasized in his speech 10 years of experience in PUET, of which 2 years as deputy director of the Institute of Economics, Management and Information Technologies. Therefore, as a PUET employee and graduate, he understands student problems and is able to effectively solve them.

Pivovarskaya Kseniya – built her speech in the stage-by-stage creation and development of an ombudsman’s office; she revealed her vision of promoting the office at other universities, at the local and state levels.

Chizhevsky, Vladislav, who spoke on the fact that he graduated from PUET only a year ago, and, therefore, he still remembers the problems connected with the hostel, mentioned the financial encouragement for the best students. In addition, as an assistant-counselor of a deputy of the City Council, Vladislav has experience of social and public work.

After the speeches, the candidates clarified their programs. Ukrainian and international students were actively involved in the issues. All candidates demonstrated their professionalism and successfully responded even to the most demanding questions of the audience.

Representatives of the university administration also took an active part in discussion.

We remind that the student ombudsman elections will be held on February 13 from 9.00 to 16.00 in the hall on the 2nd floor in PUET. Each PUET student has the right to vote and should have the appropriate document certifying his identity (passport, student or reader’s ticket).

After the student ombudsman is elected, he will be trained by the project team, after that he will be able to start his activities.