Bridges that will never be burned
International educational cooperation in the context of economic and political constraints was discussed on the sidelines of the Gaidar forum. Representatives of the diplomatic corps and the academic community talked about international educational cooperation in the context of economic and political constraints. The discussion was moderated by Igor Bartsits, Director of the Institute of Public Administration and Civil Service, RANEPA. The list of speakers and experts of the discussion included representatives of international and cultural cooperation of Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.
“There are areas that are developing between Russia and the world, regardless of the political agenda. The sphere of education, science and culture should develop without regard to the political situation,” Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoy said. He particularly stressed the thesis of Russia’s readiness and openness to any cooperation in the framework of education and culture. According to him, the cooperation is carried out as a grassroots initiative, but there is a great need for it at the highest political levels.
This is facilitated by the implementation of programs of two projects - the National project “Science” and the Federal project of export of education. The goals outlined in them include the need to ensure the attractiveness of working in the Russian Federation for Russian and foreign scientists and young promising researchers; to create an advanced infrastructure for research and development; and to implement innovations, including the creation and development of a network of unique megascience facilities; the increase in the number of foreign citizens studying at higher education institutions and scientific organizations by at least two times, the implementation of a set of measures to ensure the employment opportunities in the Russian Federation for the best of them.
“I believe that there are no and there should be no restrictions in the field of science and education... In my opinion, in our dynamic world, there are not so many bridges between countries that are never burned by wise politicians. They include education, science and culture,” First Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation Grigory Trubnikov said, noting the effectiveness of instruments of international cooperation.
To date, about 25 international organizations and initiatives, 15 intergovernmental commissions and 10 bilateral working groups on science, education and humanitarian cooperation are operating with the participation of the Russian Federation. According to the First Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education, it is planned to increase the number of foreign citizens studying in Russian universities up to 425 thousand people by 2024. At the moment, 309 thousand foreign students study at Russian universities. Among the leading countries whose citizens study in Russia are Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, the BRICS countries.
As explained by the First Deputy Minister, foreign students will be attracted through the development of networks of universities, as well as through new forms of education, in particular through online courses and training programs. “We can be proud of the network universities and branches of the largest Russian universities abroad. They include network universities of the BRICS, SCO and others”, Grigory Trubnikov said.
Among other important aspects of education and science, to which the Ministry pays great attention, is the recognition of foreign diplomas and scientific degrees, along with the presence of national universities in international rankings. “This is changing the culture and way of working in Russian universities. Universities should strategically focus on attracting foreign students and researchers, develop cooperation with scientists of various countries,” Grigory Trubnikov explained.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Italian Republic to the Russian Federation Pasquale Terraciano noted that the sphere of culture, science and education becomes the basis for the normalization of international relations. “Terrorist attacks and the presence of ISIS (banned in Russia) in Syria did not stop Russia from liberating Palmyra and other monuments of international heritage... And the performance of a symphony orchestra was a message to the world that global values will never be destroyed. And this message was made with the help of culture,” Pasquale Terraciano said.
Speaking about cultural diplomacy, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Italy noted that the world community should be tolerant and open, but at the same time, in a good sense, able to protect its traditions, religious, cultural, historical and national features.
The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Russian Federation Renee Jones-Bos confirmed the importance of academic mobility in the modern world. “Academic mobility is a key element of international cooperation... Today, more than 12,000 foreign students from Russia study in the Netherlands, and this is the largest number of students from Russia who have ever studied in the Netherlands. These people are returning to Russia and serve as a real bridge for building and strengthening relations between the countries,” Renee Jones-Bos said.
At the end of the panel discussion, the First Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation Grigory Trubnikov formulated a paradigm of the need for open international cooperation “with good pragmatism for the country, so as not to lose its historical, religious, cultural and linguistic traditions and features”, but at the same time capable of enriching through educational, cultural and scientific exchange.
10th Gaidar Forum Organizers:
The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA);
The Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy (Gaidar Institute);
The Association of Innovative Regions of Russia (AIRR).
The general partners of the Gaidar Forum are Gazprom and Gazprombank; strategic partners include Prosveshcheniye publishing house, Coca-Cola, Pharmstandard group, ACIG Group of Companies, the Russian Textbook Corporation, SANOFI, Novartis, Johnson & Johnson, Russian Railways, MSD, and Mastercard; EY, Cisco and Russian Direct Investment Fund are partners. This discussion’s partners are Philips, Cherkizovo and RVC.
The general information partners of the Gaidar Forum include the Rossiya 24 TV channel, Forbes global media company, RBC and TASS news agencies. The official information agency is Rossiya Segodnya. The general radio partner is Business FM. The strategic information partners are Kommersant Publishers, the RT TV channel, Interfax and Gazeta.RU. The main information partners are Profil weekly, FederalPress news agency, and Invest Foresight online magazine. The international information partners are Sputnik and Cision. Other media partners include PRIME news agency, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, RNS news agency, Radio Ekho Moskvy, News.Ru, Polit.ru, Parlamentskaya Gazeta, the PRO BUSINESS TV channel, Strategia magazine, AK&M, BRICS, Ekonomika i Zhizn weekly, National Banking Journal, Expert Tatarstan magazine, the Smart Country information platform, Financial One, Naans Media, and the Public Administration scientific political journal.