Exchange event with students from Ukrainian Catholic University at Yotsuya campus

The event was held in a classroom in Bldg. No.15.

On June 24, 2024, an exchange event with Sophia faculty and students was held for the Vice-Rector and five students from Ukrainian Catholic University (hereinafter UCU), one of Sophia’s partner universities.

The event was composed of two parts. In the first part, Prof. Taro Komatsu, Department of Education, Faculty of Human Sciences, facilitated a discussion on the current situation in Ukraine, how people feel about the war, and what can be done for the realization of peace.

During the discussion, a student from UCU said ”I am grateful to be able to continue my studies, but my heart aches when I think of those who are still fighting on the front lines of the war. I would like to keep thinking about what I can do for Ukraine.” Students from Sophia and UCU exchanged their opinions openly about the role of education for postwar reconstruction and the importance of taking actions to realize peace.

In the second part, Prof. Daisaku Higashi, Center for Global Education and Discovery, who specializes in mediation and peacebuilding, facilitated the discussion on the future outlook of the war.

In particular, as the participants exchanged views on the challenges to ending the war, candid opinions were expressed on various aspects, including territorial integrity, respect for sovereignty, Crimea region issues, sanctions by the international community, how to deal with war crimes, and the role that Japan can play. Furthermore, Prof. Higashi, who has conducted field research on Ukrainian refugees in Moldova, also gave a presentation about the effects of war on people’s lives and mental conditions.

It was a very fruitful time for Ukrainian and Japanese students to think about peacebuilding together. Students from Sophia University’s extracurricular club, “Research Group for Peacebuilding and International Cooperation” which Professor Higashi advises, also participated in the event and deepened exchanges with UCU students. The students decided to continue these kinds of discussions online in the future.

At Kioi-tei

Through the exchange event, the participants were able to listen to the feelings and voices of Ukrainian students directly. It was a very meaningful opportunity for Sophia students to deeply think about what can be done for a better future of the world.

Sophia University

For Others, With Others