Alliance of Russian and Spanish Universities: A success story
A Russian delegation has visited Spanish universities, members of the Academic Alliance of Russian and Spanish Universities. Representatives of the Presidential Academy and the Russian Foreign Trade Academy have had working meetings with their colleagues from the University of Oviedo, the University of Valencia, Universidad Carlos III of Madrid (UC3M), and Rovira i Virgili University in Tarragona.
The Spanish side created the most favorable atmosphere for the meeting attended by representatives of the schools and programs the Russian visitors were particularly interested in.
Earlier, on October 16-18, Seville hosted the 4th Forum of Rectors and Presidents of Russian, Spanish and Ibero-American Universities. One of its main goals was to discuss important issues related to the development of education and science at the international level, the internationalization of higher education and the role of universities in harmonizing the global humanitarian space. The event was attended by representatives of 24 Russian and 43 Spanish and South American universities. Head of the Secretariat of the Alliance of Russian and Spanish Universities, Olga Pirozhenko, spoke at a roundtable on global university alliances. Rector of the Technical University of Madrid Guillermo Cisneros delivered a report on educational consortiums in engineering; Rector of the University of Seville Miguel Angel Castro emphasized the importance of creating an Ibero-American association of master's programs, and Rector of the University of Valladolid Antonio Largo Cabrerizo noted the particular relevance of a university union within the Tordesillas Group.
The Alliance Secretariat presented the new and unique structure of the Alliance of Russian and Spanish Universities, outlining the strategic areas of its activities. The participants emphasized that combining the creative approaches from various educational systems and advancing together makes it possible to build a society of the future based on dialogue, mutual respect, constructivism, and the ability to hear and understand each other. A number of Russian, Spanish and South American universities have shown interest in joining the Alliance, which is open to cooperation and aims to create a single educational space.
The Alliance of Russian and Spanish Universities is a project that includes four Russian universities – RANEPA, RFTA, MISiS, TSU, and four Spanish universities – the University of Valencia, the University of Oviedo, Carlos III University of Madrid (UC3M), and Rovira i Virgili University in Tarragona. The idea of creating the Alliance is the first project in this format in Russian-Spanish educational relations. A memorandum was signed at the Spanish Embassy in Moscow on April 9, 2019, following years of fruitful work by the Russian-Spanish Center at RANEPA Institute of Public Administration and Civil Service (IPACS) and support by the Spanish Embassy. All members of the Alliance are united by the ambition to expand and deepen international academic cooperation. Each of them has their original achievements and unique experience in internationalization of education. The Presidential Academy and the University of Valencia have been strategic partners for over a decade implementing unique double degree programs in Economics, Law and Public Administration as part of Russian-Spanish educational cooperation. All these programs successfully operate between the departments of economics and law at the University of Valencia on the Spanish side and the department of international regional studies and regional management at IPACS in Russia. Ms. Angeles Heras Caballero, the Spanish government’s Secretary of State for Universities, Research, Development and Innovation, who participated in the signing of the Memorandum creating the Alliance, noted that Russia and Spain can learn a lot from each other if they work together more closely for the sake of the future, which will be based on extensive academic cooperation leading to the prosperity of humanity as a whole.”
The mission of the Secretariat of the Alliance of Russian and Spanish Universities is to help and support the development of contacts with the Spanish side. Its employees are always ready to help in developing cooperation with universities in Spain such as faculty and student mobility and double degree programs. They are always ready to offer practicums and summer programs, invite students to Spanish events in Moscow, and help them find friends and associates in Spain, a country where people are deeply interested in Russia, its culture and people.