On November 30, 2012, two Kyiv Mohyla Journalism School PhD Candidates, Daria Taraday and Anastasiya Hrynko, defended their PhD Theses (Dissertations) in Mass Communications at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.
National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona signed an Agreement on Cooperation in journalism in 2009. The universities agreed to conduct a joint academic program based on European requirements in both Kyiv and Barcelona, supervision of faculty from both universities, and sharing of digital and human resources from both Ukraine and Spain.
The Joint PhD program is unique in Ukraine, as it established conditions for structured doctoral programs, including publications in peer-reviewed journals, participation in international academic conferences, and training internships in Western universities. Diplomas are granted by both universities and graduates have the advantage of a double diploma. The PhD in Journalism Program in Mass Communications is funded by the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation for Development of Ukraine.
Daria Taraday defended her thesis titled, Domestication of International Conflicts in Ukrainian TV Coverage: Overlapping Between Political and Media Discourses, and Anastasiya Hrynko defended her thesis titled, Media Transparency through Journalists’ Interpretations: Research in Ukraine. The Thesis Committee included Virginia Luzon and Carles Llorens from the Universidad Autònoma de Barcelona, and Yevhen Fedchenko and Serhiy Kvit of Kyiv Mohyla Academy. Larysa Chovnyuk, Head of Kyiv Mohyla Academy’s International Office, who is currently visiting Universidad de Granada within Erasmus Mundus mobility program, was also present at the committee meetings.
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The Joint Thesis Committee consisted of six members from each university. Membership in such committees is formed on the basis of expertise and authority in the specific areas of each thesis. All committee members prepare their comments on each thesis in advance and submit them to the Committee Secretary, whose role in the European system is of greater authority compared to their counterparts in Ukraine. In Spain, in addition to having formal power and obligations, the Secretary of the Doctoral Thesis Committee, initiates the discussion and establishes its development by providing a deep analysis of both the thesis and the presentation. Dr. Serhiy Kvit, president of National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy, served as the Committee’s Head. The entire process, from the thesis proposal to its defense and publication, is conducted in the English language, which is the second working language in both Kyiv Mohyla Academy and the Universidad Autònoma de Barcelona.
Carlos Jaime, who participated in a Tempus program at Kyiv Mohyla Academy in the past, and Yevhen Fedchenko, Director of the Kyiv Mohyla School of Journalism were the driving forces of this collaborative program. The implementation and success of this program is yet more evidence that formalities and declarations are not enough for the success of projects, and that mutual trust, respect and personal dedication are essential.
The candidates defended their thesis at the highest level of requirements and expectations. They were granted approval without a single dissenting vote of the Committee. Daria Taraday and Anastasia Hrynko were both granted Cum Laude recognition. Dr. Daria Taraday and Dr. Anastasia Hrynko will remain at Kyiv Mohyla School of Journalism as faculty members.
Press Office of Kyiv Mohyla Foundation