In Conversation with Unibund Scholarship holders from Ukraine: Dr. Victoria Bozhenko, Economics
Dr. Victoria Bozhenko is Assistant Professor at the Economic Cybernetics Department at Sumy State University (Ukraine), where she has been since 2015. Dr. Bozhenko received her Ph.D. in Finance from the Ukrainian Academy of Banking of the National Bank of Ukraine in 2013. Dr. Bozhenko is the Deputy Head of the Centre for Doctoral and Postdoctoral Studies at Sumy State University (Ukraine). She is managing editor of the international scientific journal “SocioEconomic Challenges”. Dr. Bozhenko is an associate member of the of Young Scientists Council at the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.
What is the focus of your research?
My research interests centre around the systemic risk and its impact on macroeconomic stability. Besides these I have made numerous contributions to modeling of money laundering risk. I am currently exploring new directions for my research. I am working on better understanding the techniques of preventing and countering corruption and illegal financial transactions. I analyze large datasets to better understand malicious activity and its psychological underpinnings, generating insights to inform theory as well as real world decision makers in the areas of economic and financial security.
You had to leave your home country on very short notice. At which point did you decide to come to Germany/ Tübingen?
February 24, 2022 will go down in world history as the day when the Russian Federation attached the friendly, independent and sovereign state of Ukraine. I live in beautiful town Sumy which is only 50 km from Russia. Since the beginning of the war, artillery shelling and air bombs have been dropped on residential areas in my native city. I had to leave my home with my little daughter. The University of Tübingen was one of the first educational institutions that organized large-scale support for Ukrainian scientists. When I saw a call for research scholarships at the University of Tubingen, funded, amongst others, by the Universitätsbund, I had no doubt that I needed to apply. Tübingen University is one of the oldest universities in Europe with outstanding scientists and great infrastructure.
Which challenges did you face?
Firstly, at the beginning of March it was dangerous to travel on the roads of Ukraine because the northern and northeastern parts of Ukraine were occupied by Russian army. Secondly, I fled Ukraine alone with my child, while my husband and parents remained in the front-line zone.
How would you describe the situation in Ukraine at the moment?
The situation is very a horrible that scares with its uncertainty. Every day, Russian rockets kill innocent people, destroy their homes and lives. At the beginning of July, 344 children died in Ukraine as a result of the full-scale armed aggression of the Russian Federation. Many children in Ukraine have lost their parents and relatives. It is absolutely terrible that children become witnesses and victims of these terrible events.
What kind of support did you receive in Germany and from the University of Tübingen?
The University’s International Research and Welcome Centre helped to understand all organizational procedures for staying in Germany and the Universitätsbund provided essential financial support. I would like to express my gratitude to the members and supporters of the Universitätsbund.
In addition, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Professor Dr. Werner Neus and his team as well as Amrei Katharina Nensel.
Interview by Rebecca Hahn