International Alliance of Guangzhou Sister Cities Universities (GISU Alliance)


In December 2020, Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute became a member of the Guangzhou International Sister City Universities Alliance (GISU Alliance) and joined the activities proposed by the founding partners.

Today, the GISU Alliance consists of several working groups:

  • Joint Research Task Force – responsible for formulating and recommending specific areas of research based on areas of greatest mutual interest;
  • Entrepreneurship Task Force – responsible for the selection and recommendation of specific youth entrepreneurship programmes of greatest mutual interest to the partners;
  • Collaborative Agreements Task Force – responsible for establishing relations and preparing various agreements on cooperation, exchange of teachers and students in areas of mutual interest;
  • Public Relations and Communication Task Force – responsible for identifying and recommending how each of our members and the Alliance as a whole can best communicate the results of our work locally and internationally.

The benefits of being a member of the GISU Alliance are as follows:

  • support for think tanks for the development of twin cities;
  • building a multilateral platform for partnership exchanges and cooperation between researchers from the twin universities;
  • providing university students with more opportunities for international understanding, learning and exchange;
  • creating opportunities for our twin universities to facilitate credit recognition and exchange, strengthening interdisciplinary relationships;
  • exchange of educational programmes and promotion of joint efforts in education.

The GISU Alliance was founded in December 2018 by an agreement between universities from Guangzhou’s sister cities around the world; the founding members from Australia, Canada, Finland, Italy, Portugal, Sweden, and Sweden are:

  • University of Western Sydney;
  • University of Linköping;
  • University of Coimbra;
  • University of Padua;
  • University of Quebec in Montreal;
  • University of Tampere;
  • University of Guangzhou.

Subsequently, they were joined by representatives of other universities, and today the GISU Alliance includes 20 universities from 16 countries on all continents in 19 twin cities, covering 38 million inhabitants and more than half a million students with almost 47 thousand faculty and staff (the composition of the Alliance is available at

Achievements of the GISU Alliance over the five-year period: 28 joint research and publication projects, four urban innovation and entrepreneurship competitions, 33 programmes of the Digital and Entrepreneurship Academy, 3 micro-credit educational programmes with certification, and 2 international symposia.

Since joining the Academy, Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute has been actively involved in several areas of cooperation for three years.

The first was the online programme of the Digital and Entrepreneurship Academy. In order to develop international educational cooperation and international research activities of the university, on behalf of the rector, representatives of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute participated in webinars within the framework of events held by the Digital and Entrepreneurship Academy and, in particular, organised lectures and webinars of their own authorship, which were approved by all partners, among the first authors were:

  • “Entrepreneurship and Business 4.0”, Serhii Voitko, Anna Kukharuk, Nataliia Skorobohatova, Olena Korohodova (Faculty of Management and Marketing);
  • “Entrepreneurship and Leadership 4.0, Maryna Pichugina, Lina Artemenko, Olga Artemenko (Faculty of Management and Marketing);
  • “Intelligent technologies Road Accident Analysis”, Iryna Huseva (Faculty of Heat and Power Engineering) together with partners from Portugal.

Subsequently, the number of research and teaching staff from the FMM, NIATE, and FSP who annually participated and won competitions for micro-educational programmes for the Academy of Digital Technologies and Entrepreneurship increased. It is worth noting that in 2022 and 2023, the micro-educational programmes proposed by our teachers accounted for half of the Academy’s volume, which indicates a high level of relevance of the proposed topics (

At the same time, partner universities offered free access to 3 micro-credit educational programmes with certification. Today, this is becoming a separate promising area for the development of cooperation between HEIs within the GISU Alliance Digital and Entrepreneurship Academy as a response to labour market demands.

The second area of cooperation was international conferences and symposia for scientists and experts to discuss the hottest topics and research results of the partners. The first such platform for our employees was the International Symposium of Smart City and Tourism Projects, held on 28.10.2021, which was organised at the University of Quebec in Montreal (Canada), with the participation of professors and associate professors from the Faculty of Management and Marketing, the Faculty of Sociology and Law, and the Faculty of Heat and Power Engineering (currently NIATE). For the second time, scientists and experts gathered in 2022 at the International Conference on Creative Tourism, Revitalization and Development and Resilience of Tourism Destinations on the research and practice of reviving cities and tourism after the epidemic at the University of Coimbra, Portugal. In 2023, the International Symposium “Business Rejuvenation, Resilience,and Creativity in a Changing World and Post-Pandemic Future” was organised by the University of Western Sydney, Australia ( The results of our research were also presented at this forum. In the same year, a roundtable of the heads of partner universities ( was held, at which the GISU Alliance Board signed a joint declaration (, and an annual meeting of coordinators from the GISU Alliance partner universities.

The third area of activity of the GISU Alliance was the contest of individual grants for research and publication projects that allow establishing cooperation and publishing scientific articles with colleagues from foreign universities. In particular, in the competitions for funding in 2022 and 2023, Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute representatives received individual grants for three projects (FMM) and were invited (FMM, FSP) to co-execute two projects initiated by universities from Australia, Africa, Canada, Portugal, and others.

A promising area of cooperation, which has not yet been joined by either Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute staff or students, is the Urban Innovation and Entrepreneurship Project Competition for students and young scientists. In 2023, the organiser was the University of Padua, Italy. The list of winners is available at

The new proposals for 2024 include ideas to create an International Language and Cultural Committee, a Multicultural Hub, a Sustainable Development and Social Responsibility Programme, and a City in the Spotlight programme.

It is worth noting that the University of Western Sydney, the co-initiator of these proposals, has been ranked first in the international university ranking for sustainable development twice in recent years, and KPI has received a proposal from this university to sign a Memorandum of Understanding.

Among the promising areas for further development of research and educational activities of the GISU Alliance are:

  • implementation of AI in various systems. The co-chairs are the University of Stellenbosch and the GISU Alliance Secretariat;
  • development of sustainable development programmes to achieve the UN SDGs. Co-chaired by the University of Western Sydney and the GISU Alliance Secretariat;
  • development of projects aimed at solving global problems, including global warming. The co-chairs are the University of Stellenbosch and the GISU Alliance Secretariat;
  • exchange of staff, faculty and students, in particular for doctoral students. The co-chairs are the University of Coimbra, the Middle East Technical University and the GISU Alliance Secretariat.

At the Annual Meeting, President Wei noted that as the Alliance’s reputation grows, it is increasingly looked upon by colleagues as a successful model of international collaboration between universities serving their communities. All of these achievements are a direct result of the activity and contribution of member institutions to the success of the Alliance.

Therefore, during 2024, partner universities are invited to

  • submit proposals for educational activities of the International Alliance of Guangzhou Sister Cities Universities (GISU Alliance)
  • prepare researchers’ applications for participation in the competition for individual research and publication grants and submit them to the GISU Alliance Secretariat by 15.02.2024 on topics in the fields of artificial intelligence, entrepreneurship, tourism/smart cities, intelligent technologies, life sciences, alternative energy, advanced financial technologies, materials science and interdisciplinarity;
  • a meeting of the coordinators of the GISU Alliance’s research and education development areas, scheduled for 18 January 2024, to develop further measures to implement the plans.
  • hold internal university competitions for teams to participate in the Urban Innovation and Entrepreneurship Project Competition for students and young scientists starting in March and submit teams of applicants for participation in the final by 14 June to the Secretariat, this year’s theme is promoting sustainable urban development, the final will be held in November 2024 at the University of Guangzhou, China;

Other events will be announced later.