Alliance of Russia and Spain: RANEPA initiative supported by seven universities in the two countries
On April 10, a roundtable, Academic Alliance of Russian and Spanish Universities: From Idea to Prospects, was held at the 6th Moscow International Education Fair (MIEF), where a new alliance of universities between the two countries was presented. RANEPA Rector Vladimir Mau took part in the event.
The day before, a memorandum on the Academic Alliance of Russian and Spanish Universities was signed. The participating schools included RANEPA, Tomsk State University,MISIS National University of Science and Technology and Russian Foreign Trade Academy, as well as four major universities in Spain from Madrid, Oviedo, Valencia and Tarragona.
Speaking at the MIEF roundtable, Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education Marina Borovskaya noted the importance of the new alliance and stressed the importance of understanding the underlying criteria for its work. “The idea certainly deserves support, but I really want the academic community to embrace the idea that we want to propose for implementation,” the deputy minister said.
Rector of the Presidential Academy Vladimir Mau thanked his Spanish colleagues for their work that facilitated a quick establishment of the alliance, and noted the importance of this association created during the cross year of Russia and Spain. “We expect that by the end of the month an intergovernmental agreement on the mutual recognition of degrees and diplomas will be signed... For us, the alliance is a very important project facilitating the implementation of the goals set by President Vladimir Putin’s May Executive Order, including the national project for the export of education,” he said.
Vladimir Mau emphasized that representatives of Russia and Spain have already negotiated the formats for further cooperation: they have discussed issues related to the training of civil servants, as well as environmental and food security, which is a relevant topic for the whole world. An agreement was also reached to launch a Spanish-French program at RANEPA Lyceum.
Foreign Trade Academy Rector Sergei Sinelnikov-Murylev noted that during the first working meeting with his Spanish colleagues, the parties outlined a program of further actions and committed themselves to discuss the specific programs to be developed before the meeting of the rectors of the eight universities next fall.
Maria Vicenta Mestre Escrivà, dean at the University of Valencia, said she expects to expand cooperation, develop short-term exchange opportunities for students and faculty, work on double-degree programs and create programs with integrated degrees. She noted that universities that are part of the alliance need to draw up interest datasheets to develop joint projects based on them.
RANEPA Director for Development of International Education and Cooperation Larisa Taradina stressed that the alliance is a new initiative that essentially emerged as a result of the long-term cooperation between RANEPA Institute of Public Administration and Civil Service (IPACS) and a group of Spanish universities. This is the second large international general academic network project in which all educational units of the Academy, including its regional branches, can take part.
“The international development department will pay great attention to the development of the alliance. To improve our international standing and advance the Academy’s prestige, we really need major international projects with multidisciplinary content that focus on interdisciplinary cooperation. In this sense, it is very important that the alliance includes diverse schools, not only socio-economic and humanities institutions like RANEPA and Foreign Trade Academy, but also classical schools like TSU and technology schools like MISIS,” she added.
RANEPA Vice Rector Maxim Nazarov said the main goal of the alliance is to bring together universities that can create joint educational, research and other types of interdisciplinary projects. It is only the first step “in the future development of cooperation, not just between the eight universities, but also in other formats with the prospect of creating common educational spaces, given that an agreement on the recognition of degrees is going to be signed between our countries. We think this is very important.”