New degree programs, greater student mobility and a virtual campus: The 9th Council of Rectors of the Russian-French University outlines plans for 2021-2022
The 9th Council of Rectors/General Directors/Presidents of the Russian-French University (RFU) met on July 20, 2021. The Russian participants included RANEPA Rector Vladimir Mau, Rector of the Russian Foreign Trade Academy Sergei Sinelnikov-Murylev, First Vice-Rector of MEPhI nuclear research university Oleg Nagornov, First Vice-Rector of ITMO University Darya Kozlova, and Advisor for Research at the Rector's Office of Peoples' Friendship University (RUDN) Nur Kirabayev. From the French side, attending were First Vice President of University Côte d'Azur (UCA) Emmanuel Tric, Vice-President for Outreach and International Relations at University Grenoble Alpes Karine Samuel, Vice President of SKEMA Business School Patrice Houdayer, Director of International Development & Relations at NEOMA Business School Sarah Cooper, and Vice-President in charge of International Relations, Aix-Marseille University Giovanna Chimini.
The meeting took place online. One of the main items on the agenda was a virtual mobility project for RFU students. The pilot project now being implemented by RANEPA, VAVT and the University of Cote d'Azur has been appreciated by the Russian and French students who participated in it last spring. The Council unanimously decided to continue this project and expand it involving all partners in the consortium.
The Council members heard a report on RFU performance in the first half of 2021. As many as 569 Russian and French students are currently enrolled in 27 joint programs. The consortium has held regular online meetings including lectures and roundtables. RFU interdisciplinary working groups has organized events that brought together more than 250 Russian and French professors and students. The Council members noted that despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic, the Russian-French University has been working steadily and even showing growth.
The First RFU Youth Forum, The Environment, Climate and Global Change, will be the main RFU student event in the 2021-2022 academic year. The forum, which will be held in Moscow next spring, is aimed at promoting Russian-French youth intercultural and academic cooperation. Before that, in November 2021, future participants will meet online to get to know each other and start working on project assignments in international teams. RANEPA Rector Vladimir Mau emphasized that the Presidential Academy has the technological capabilities required to hold major online events at a high level.
The nature and trajectory of the discussion have indicated a new level of vision of the problems and tasks facing the Russian-French University. They concern education as well as student mobility. The main areas for the consortium's activities in the next academic year will include expansion of academic mobility, development of new joint degree programs and the RFU virtual campus.