News digest from the SPbPU Representative Office in Shanghai
The official Representative Office of St. Petersburg Polytechnic University in Shanghai happened to be almost at the epicenter of the world coronavirus pandemic. The past few months were quite difficult: all in-person meetings were canceled, communication could be implemented only through video and instant messengers, and nearly all plans have undergone major changes. But a difficult situation for the whole world also showed a unique thing: our Chinese colleagues more than once expressed their readiness to continue cooperation, they confirmed what was said by their deeds, and took all the changes that happened with a true Eastern wisdom. Please read about this and more in our traditional news digest covering the events of the past three months.
Video appeal of the rector of Xi'an University of Technology
Rector of Xi'an University of Technology (STU) appealed to Polytechnic University with words of support. In her video message, Ms. Lei Yaping wished SPbPU teachers and students health and well-being. “Your university is an essential international partner for us. We value our friendship very much, and in this difficult period, we want to especially emphasize our willingness to overcome difficulties and provide support, striving to ensure that uninterrupted transfer of knowledge¸ on-going research and our continuing cooperation,” the rector of STU said and expressed her hope that after the pandemic, the interaction of our universities will become even more tight and intense.
Xi'an University of Technology sent medical masks to Polytechnic University. On behalf of the university staff and students, Vice Rector for International Relations D.G. ARSENYEV sent a thank-you letter to the Chinese partner. “We are pleased that the cooperation between SPbPU and Xi'an University of Technology is actively moving forward. We are confident that our interaction will keep developing, despite the circumstances, and will have a positive impact on the implementation of innovative projects in our countries, strengthening of scientific cooperation and helping Russian and Chinese talented young people make their dreams come true,” emphasized the Vice Rector.
Development of cooperation in the sphere of education
The Shanghai office team held several negotiations with Chinese universities and organizations for educational cooperation development. Traditionally, such events take place every year and precede the start of the foreign student admission campaign to SPbPU. The negotiations are attended by Chinese institutions of secondary and higher education, recruiting companies and agencies. This year, all negotiations were held in the form of video conferencing. In the course of business meetings, the Shanghai office, together with partners, decided to develop a new scheme of recruiting and training students. To date, the plan is to organize together with partners a series of joint online presentations of SPbPU programs. Also, at this stage, all necessary precautions have been worked out to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection when working with students.
Negotiations on the establishment of a SPbPU preparatory center for SPPU in Shanghai continue. Let us remind you that last winter, representatives of St. Petersburg Polytechnic University and the Shanghai Commercial and Industrial School of Foreign Languages discussed and worked out a plan for the creation of the center and signed a memorandum of understanding. The idea of the center is to jointly prepare Chinese students for further education at SPbPU. The center will embrace 3 areas: technical, humanitarian and economic. Students will be offered programs at various levels, depending on their knowledge of the Russian language.
As for the previously outlined plans, as we have already said, serious changes have taken place. So, in March 2020, the next group of Master’s degree students from Xi'an University of Technology was supposed to begin their studies at SPbPU. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, student learning was postponed until next year. Representative office staff conduct regular online meetings with the STU team. In particular, at a recent meeting, the parties discussed cooperation in the framework of a competition for the best fundamental research projects jointly implemented by the Russian Federal Property Fund and the State Fund for Natural Sciences of China.
Development of cooperation with Chinese companies
A series of negotiations with companies and organizations in China took place in these months. The Shanghai Office team discussed the development of cooperation with Santech and Huawei, the shipbuilding industrial company Hiboway (Jiangsu) Technology Development Co., as well as with the NARI Group Corporation. An important topic of almost every business meeting was the interaction between SPbPU and PRC companies during and after the pandemic. All negotiators expressed their readiness for the development of cooperation, as well as an understanding of how important it was right now to prove solidarity and unity of mind.
Development of cooperation in the sphere of science
Given the impossibility of holding in-person meetings, the team of the Representation Office organized a series of remote online negotiations with partners on scientific and technical projects. Last April, a video conference was held with representatives of the Jiangsu Research Institute of Industrial Technologies, in which the parties discussed cooperation in the field of digital modeling and new composite materials. Independently, the meeting participants discussed the possibility of SPbPU participating in the International Conference on Technology Transfer in Jiangsu Province, which will be held in November 2020.
Shortly afterwards, the employees of the Representative Office discussed the development of cooperation in scientific and technical areas with Xi'an University of Technology. At present, employees of the international services and the Representative Office discuss with their Chinese colleagues the format of the joint accelerator for the creation of which a grant was received; they are developing a program and select projects. An important topic of the negotiations was the attraction of student innovation projects to the Acceleration Program. Other negotiations took place with Shandong University of Railways. This university is a new potential partner of SPbPU, and in the framework of the online meeting, the parties discussed the prospects of the cooperation. The meeting resulted was an accord to sign a cooperation agreement in the near future.
Prepared by SPbPU International Office