Exploring multiculturalism in education

As a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, many scholars and scientists have left the country. More than 30 Ukrainian researchers displaced by the war have temporarily joined the University of Luxembourg mainly as research fellows and in some cases under temporary contracts funded by the FNR. In this series of interviews, we briefly present the researchers and their work.

Oksana Chaika is an Associate Professor at the at the Faculty of Education and Social Sciences at the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences in Kyiv, Ukraine. She is now a Visiting Researcher at the Luxembourg Centre for Educational Testing (LUCET) of the Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences at the University of Luxembourg.

What is your research field and which specific topic are you working on?

My research field has several streamlines: coaching and comparative studies in linguistics, and multiculturalism in education - especially as an educational component for foreign language teaching.

What would you like to achieve in your research work here?

I am looking to complete my project on multiculturalism, publish a few research papers, and connect to the scholars with similar scientific interest in the fields. I am lucky because the University of Luxembourg has a similar structure with Departments as my university in Ukraine. Luxembourg is also one of those rare places where multiculturalism is not only discussed but also exercised to the full, and LUCET is expressly involved and responsible for fieldwork with primary and secondary schools which gives me direct access to statistical data, quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis.

Moreover, the crucial element of my postdoc thesis deals with coaching and the influence of coaching on quality in education. This semester I’ve started with a coaching course for Social Work students, which will help me harvest more results for analysis as well as feedback. Liaising with the University of Luxembourg colleagues is also helpful and encouraging for the more profound and lasting collaboration.

Will your research have a potential impact on people’s everyday life?

I strongly believe that dramatic changes of high value will follow. The research ideas are cutting-edge from a methodological perspective. They can be used by and for students as well as by and for teaching staff and management.

What do you think is the biggest contribution your work can bring?

Quality, enhanced reputation and increased staff performance and student recruitment at any leading university or corporation and by the authorities for public service given their maximised capacity and ability to be on the fast track to respond to unexpected changes. We can compare it with risk management in education. It means that in future, with things like pandemics, wars and other unprecedented developments, the university or corporations or even public sector can keep on moving ahead; and the University may take the lead to other institutions in the EU and in the world.