SPbPU becomes a leader in academic cooperation between Russian and African universities
The central event of the first day of the Economic and Humanitarian Forum of the Russia-Africa Summit was the plenary session with the participation of the President of the Russian Federation and African leaders. One of the topics touched upon during the meeting was the development of cooperation with African states in the scientific and educational sphere, including higher education. In particular, Vladimir Putin noted in his speech the importance of cooperation between scientific and educational institutions of Russia and African countries in the consortium «Russian-African Network University» (RAFU).
The traditional area of Russian-African cooperation has been and remains the training of qualified personnel, the head of state emphasized.
Today, almost 35 thousand students from Africa study in Russian universities, and this number is growing annually. The quota for Africans to study at the expense of the federal budget has increased two and a half times in three years and for the next academic year will amount to more than 4,700 people. There are plans to open branches of leading Russian universities in Africa. Close cooperation with African educational institutions is also being established within the framework of the Russian-African Network University.
Immediately after the plenary session, a strategic panel of the Russian Ministry of Science and Higher Education «Cooperation in Higher Education in Modern Geopolitical Conditions» was held. The discussion was moderated by Andrey Fursenko, Aide to the President of the Russian Federation. The discussion focused on the formation of new sustainable ties between universities of Russia and African countries, the expansion of personnel training in the interests of priority sectors of their economies and humanitarian sphere, the formation of joint scientific and educational centers on the priorities of scientific and technological development of mutual interest, and other topics. The reports were made by Valery Falkov, Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, Amon Murwira, Minister of Education, Science, Innovation and Technology of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Justino Obama Nve Mbugu, Minister-Delegate of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Dmitry Kobylkin, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Ecology, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Vladislav Panchenko, Vice-President, Russian Academy of Sciences; Vice-President, National Research Centre «Kurchatov Institute».
Andrei Rudskoi, Rector of SPbPU, Academician of the RAS, was one of the panelists. In his speech, he presented new approaches in the activities of the consortium «Russian-African Network University», the coordinator of which Polytechnic University officially became during the forum and will remain it until 2025 and will remain it until 2025.
The first RAFU Summer Multidisciplinary University at Polytechnic University has been completed — twenty rectors and heads of universities in the Republic of Mali mastered the advanced training program «Digital Research Leadership», today at the stand of Polytechnic University we will present the graduates with certificates of training, said Andrei Rudskoi.
The project has been implemented since 2022 with the financial support of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation. Ten Russian universities became the venues for 15 educational programs, 116 participants from twenty African countries were trained. In 2023, the Summer University is being held in twelve Russian universities, more than 160 participants from 26 African countries are studying in 14 educational programs.
The Rector of Polytechnic University also noted that RAFU has changed its approach to the formation of the consortium — not only universities, but also enterprises, mainly those that work in Africa or have business relations with the countries of the continent, have been invited to participate in the program.
RAFU was enriched with new participants at the Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum. Five universities of the Republic of Mali, two universities of the Republic of Zimbabwe, two Russian universities and two Russian organizations joined the consortium. The solemn ceremony of signing memorandums on joining RAFU was held at the stand of Polytechnic University.
Bilateral agreements on cooperation in education and science were also concluded between Polytechnic University and universities in Mali and Zimbabwe. Joint research in areas of mutual interest; implementation of joint network programs of bachelor’s, master’s degree and advanced training; cooperation in postgraduate programs; development of professional education programs; exchange of students, scientists and teachers; organization of joint international events; invitation of university staff to the dissertation councils and many other activities are planned.
In addition, a Joint Russian Language Center (Joint Russian Language Center) will be opened in Bamako, the capital of Mali. The agreement was signed by Rector of Polytechnic University Andrei Rudskoi and Rector of the University of Arts and Humanities of Bamako Traore Idrissa. The center is being created to teach Malians the Russian language and prepare them for admission to universities of the Russian Federation. Another center — SPbPU Foundation Engineering Training Center in Mali — will be opened at the Ahmed Baba Private University — the agreement was signed by its president Ousmane Dramé and SPbPU Rector Andrei Rudskoi.
After the protocol events the presents were handed over. The most touching gift from Polytechnic was given to its 1992 graduate, Vice Chancellor of the Harare Institute of Technology (HIT), Professor, Quinton Kanhukamwe. He was presented with an «Honorary Alumnus» badge, copies of his diploma and personal file.