“Slavic Horizon 2023”: Polytechnic University holds summit
The summit of Slavic universities «Slavic Horizon 2023» kicked off in St. Petersburg on April 26. The organizers were the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation and Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU). The event united Russian and Slavic universities in the CIS countries.
For the first time in a long time the leaders of Russian and Slavic universities, as well as representatives of the RF Ministry of Education and Science gathered together in a full-time format. The key tasks of the summit were not only to summarize the results of the past period of almost 10 years, but also to make key decisions, which will determine future development vectors of the participating universities.
Recall that in 2014 the Russian Ministry of Education and Science initiated the development programs for four Russian-national (Slavic) universities. In order to form a single scientific, educational and cultural space between Russian and Slavic universities, the leading Russian universities were involved as experts. SPbPU became the partner university of the Russian-Armenian University (RAU) and the Belarusian-Russian University (BRU) in 2014. Siberian Federal University (SFU) «took the patronage» of the Yeltsin Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University and the Tajik-Russian (Slavic) University in 2021, taking over the «baton» from Tomsk Polytechnic University. In addition, the Pushkin State Institute of the Russian Language and Patrice Lumumba Russian Peoples’ Friendship University were involved in providing expert support for the implementation of development programs in the development of teaching and promotion of the Russian language and culture. During this time, they have implemented dozens of joint scientific, educational and cultural projects, organized joint research in various fields, held joint conferences, developed joint educational programs, published joint scientific publications, monographs and textbooks.
Speaking with a welcoming speech, Rector of SPbPU, Academician of Russian Academy of Sciences Andrei Rudskoi proposed to hold the summit on a regular basis. «Slavic universities are a unique Community in their status and tasks. They are a platform for the development and promotion of international Russian-speaking scientific and educational environment in the region and in the world,» said Andrei Rudskoi. «The summit, which we are holding with the support of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Russia, is focused on the integration of experience and resources of Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to train well-qualified personnel, to conduct advanced research in all key areas and implementation of their results in the real economy sectors. And all these aspects are reflected in the development programs of the Russian-Armenian, Belarusian-Russian, Kyrgyz-Russian and Russian-Tajik universities for the next three years».
During the summit, the participants discussed the best practices of joint projects and activities of the development programs of the four Slavic universities in the years 2023-2025. Vitaly Grishkin, Director of the Department for Coordination of Educational Organizations of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Russia, separately emphasized the urgent tasks that these universities are currently facing. «The rebranding of the development program is being actively discussed, it is important to pay great attention to professional development, academic mobility, and the development of Russian language departments of Slavic universities. The project is really ambitious, and it has great prospects. It is important that the universities have specific areas for development and clear plans, which, I hope, will be successfully implemented in the timeframe indicated,» said Vitaly Grishkin.
The heads of SPbPU and SFU briefly presented the results achieved during the years of partnership with the Slavic universities. Rector of SPbPU Andrei Rudskoi said that in the course of cooperation with the RAU and BRU a significant number of joint projects in various fields of science and education were implemented. These are projects and research in nanoelectronics, optics, semiconductors and biomedical technologies with the RAU and in construction, environmental studies, management in technical systems and welding technology with the BRU. The universities have launched joint network programs and professional development courses, and have published scientific articles and textbooks. Specific plans for the future have already been made: the parties plan to modernize the areas and formats of educational programs, develop youth and infrastructure projects, and strengthen cooperation in a number of scientific areas such as artificial intelligence, digital technologies, biotechnologies, etc.
SFU Rector Maxim Rumyantsev also noted the serious prospects facing the participants of the Slavic University Development Project.
It is important to note the increased competitiveness of the universities due to the fact that their scientists and professors acquire new competencies. We pay serious attention to joint professional development programs. All of them are focused on best teaching practices, emphasized the rector of SFU,
We have a strong track record in the natural sciences. This year, we are launching summer schools on ecology of sustainable development and digital humanities for students. There are a lot of plans ahead, which have good chances for successful implementation.
Representatives of Patrice Lumumba Russian University of People’s Friendship and Pushkin State Institute of the Russian Language made speeches on the development of the Russian language departments followed by the ceremony of signing agreements on the coordination of activities of Polytechnic University with the Belarusian-Russian University and the Russian-Armenian University. Rector Andrei Rudskoi signed the agreements on behalf of SPbPU, while BRU Rector Mikhail Lustenkov and Vice Rector for Research Parkev Avetisyan signed them on behalf of the universities of Belarus and Armenia. The day before, foreign delegations visited laboratories and departments of several SPbPU institutes — Institute of Electronics and Telecommunications, Institute of Biomedical Systems and Biotechnologies and Institute of Industrial Management, Economics and Trade.
An important block of the Summit was the meeting of the Commission for the Development of Russian-National (Slavic) Universities, which was held in a hybrid format — in person at SPbPU and on videoconference at the site of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science. Dmitry Afanasyev, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, greeted the participants. He emphasized that both the Russian government and the Ministry of Education and Science, and all the colleagues on the commission, express confidence that Russian-Slavic (national) universities are advanced outposts for the promotion of Russian education, Russian language and culture, as well as for the establishment of close educational, secular, economic, social and humanitarian cooperation.
We are ready to ensure the development of universities, to allocate funds for this, but at the same time we should understand what steps of development, what results will be obtained as a result of providing these new opportunities, underlined the Deputy Minister.
The Slavic universities’ heads presented the key elements of their development programs, and talked about the goals, objectives and activities to be implemented during the next three years. At the end of all presentations, the committee representatives expressed a positive attitude to the materials presented and approved the programs.
The business program was rounded off with the project session «Mechanisms of Networking in the Implementation of Programs for the Development of Slavic Universities». On the second day of the Summit, visits to SPbPU institutes and laboratories and working meetings on specific areas of joint work and activities are planned.