Polytechnic University Brings Together Russian and Foreign Partners at the International Polytechnic Week
The International Polytechnic Week – 2019 officially kicked off. Over its almost ten-year history, the forum has practically become a signature event at Polytechnic University, annually bringing together leading universities from around the world. This year, partner universities from Germany, Great Britain, Finland, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, China, Iran, India and Turkey came to IPW. Russian universities also showed great interest in the international forum: colleagues from TPU, PFUR, ITMO, MSTU STANKIN, KFU, RSHU, VolgGU, NSTU and NRU MGSU came to Polytechnic University. Altogether, more than 100 foreign and Russian experts will take part in the events of the Week.
The central event of the International Polytechnic Week - the plenary session - traditionally began with an official opening ceremony. Vice Rector for International Relations D.G. ARSENIEV welcomed the guests of the forum and outlined the key topic of this year’s discussion: can international student science marathons ensure a stable inter-university partnership?
“A new generation of today's students in 10-15 years will determine our future. Involving them in the orbit of partnership, joint activities and projects, we ensure the sustainable development of our universities. I am sure that all those present in the hall can bring examples of successful cases and practices. Every year the geography of the participants of the International Polytechnic Week becomes wider, which means that you and I have more opportunities for new promising projects. And I wish all of you to implement these projects so that next year we will present our results to new forum participants,” the vice rector stressed.
Yury SNISARENKO, representative of the Committee on Science and Higher Education (CSHE), Director of the Coordination Center for International Science and Technical and Educational Programs, also welcomed the guests of the IPW. On behalf of the Administration of St. Petersburg, he wished the participants productive negotiations, strengthening existing and establishing new working contacts, noting that Polytechnic University for many years remained a “generator” of new ideas and formats for the international academic space.
The plenary session began with the presentation of SPbPU: Alla MAZINA, Deputy Head of the Department of International Education, presented the report on “Sustainable partnership through joint student marathons.” The Student Project Marathon is a new interaction format that Polytechnic University is now ready to offer its partners, building on successful joint practices with the Leibnitz University of Hannover, the Technical University of Berlin, and Siemens. Its concept is that a joint international team under the leadership of a professor solves scientific and technical problems. This format allows all participants to achieve the desired indicators.
“Each group involved in the project has its own values. It is teamwork for students, opportunities for practicing and intercultural communication; for young scientists it means the development prospects, while professors get opportunities to create their own scientific teams,” the speaker pointed out. Universities, however, ensure the stable development of growth points, implementation of internationalization KPI, opportunities for strategic cooperation and a strong base for sustainable partnerships.
The next speaker of the International Polytechnic Week, rector of the University of Science and Technology of Guangxi (China), Mr. LI Simin also spoke about the development opportunities for strategic partnership, and emphasized the productive and effective cooperation between Russia and China. “Polytechnic University is a commendable example of the development and strengthening of relations with universities in the Asia-Pacific region. Your successes are quite impressive, and we very much appreciate that you share your best practices,” the leader of USTG stressed.
Uniting students, universities are sort of building bridges between countries. With this in mind, the director of the Summer School of the University of Utrecht (the Netherlands) Jeroen TORENBEEK addressed the audience. “The key thing we need to understand is that summer schools vary. What was relevant yesterday is obsolete today. Our task is to keep abreast with the current trends and always find opportunities for creativity,” stressed the director of one of the largest summer schools in the world.
Director of Nuffic Neso Russia Jerke VERSCHOOR presented to the participants another example of successful Netherlands practice: he spoke about the Dutch Science Talks project. The goal of the project is to acquaint Russian students with the research of the Netherlands through open lectures. At various times, Polytechnic University professors also took part in the project.
Benita PARASCHOUDIS, Program Manager of the Technical University of Munich (TUM, Germany), shared an impressive experience of student achievements. One of the unique projects of TUM students is the concept of a high-speed TUM Hyperloop train that travels in a vacuum tube, which allows it to reach speeds of more than 1000 km/h. Wioleta WEGOROWSKA, Study Mobility Coordinator of BBA INSEEC (France), spoke about the current academic mobility program “Atlantis Program,” while vice-rector of Lappeenranta University of Technology (Finland) Jari HÄMÄLÄINEN presented a wide range of student projects in the framework of postgraduate studies, which are actively developed thanks to strategic inter-university partnerships.
The Day of Cooperation, the Student Day and the Day of the Russian Language are scheduled for the participants of the International Polytechnic Week. The agenda includes thematic seminars, scientific and practical conferences, working meetings and round tables for teachers, researchers and specialists. And, of course, a rich cultural program was prepared for the guests of Polytechnic University. On one of the warm May evenings, a colorful excursion took place along the rivers and canals, after which all participants unanimously agreed that St. Petersburg was a city where you would want to come again.
Prepared by International Academic Cooperation Department. Text: Olga DOROFEEVA