The Win-Win Internationalization Strategy Was Discussed in Berlin
On February 6-7, Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University held a large-scale international event abroad, the first of its kind among Russian universities. The international services of Polytechnic University took an active part in organizing the Polytech Days in Berlin; they also were the organizers of the “Internationalization strategy is a WIN-WIN Strategy” track, attended by some 100 participants from more than 15 countries. As part of the track, the advantages of an internationalization strategy and the best cases of interaction between SPbPU and world education leaders were presented.
The moderators of the track were Prof. Dmitry ARSENIEV, SPbPU Vice Rector for International Relations, and Prof. Angela ITTEL, Vice President for Strategic Development and Education of TU Berlin. Opening the event, Prof. Arsenyev made a point on the wide range of friends and partners who took part in the discussion: representatives of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Leibniz University of Hannover, Reutlingen University, Technical University of Applied Sciences Wildau, Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus–Senftenberg, University of Stuttgart, Graz University of Technology, Fraunhofer Institute, City, University of London, and many other. “In the modern world, internationalization has become a trend in the development of leading world universities. Polytechnic University is an active participant in the internationalization process, and we have what to show and what to offer to our foreign colleagues,” said the Vice-Rector for International Affairs of St. Petersburg Polytechnic University.
The first topic to be discussed by the participants was the strategic partnership between SPbPU and TU Berlin. The speakers were Dmitry ARSENIEV and Angela ITTEL.
“We are connected with the Technical University of Berlin by many years of cooperation in various scientific and educational areas. This is a great example of international inter-university cooperation, which we will further strengthen by signing a new Agreement on Strategic Partnership, vice rector ARSENIEV commented.
Professor ITTEL also noted on the many years of cooperation between the two universities: “Presently, TU Berlin in the field of education focuses on strengthening academic mobility programs. An agreement on the joint implementation of the double degree program has been in effect between our universities for more than 5 years; we participate in ERAZMUS + international projects, and this year, just a few days ago, we again submitted 2 applications for financing a joint project and for supporting academic mobility between our universities. Within the framework of the forum, we will sign a new strategic partnership agreement between our universities, and we are ready to continue our cooperation for many more years.”
The next participants presented the case on the “Strategic partnership between SPbPU and LUH: best practices of double and triple diploma programs”. The speakers were Director of the International Office of Leibniz University Hannover Dr. Birgit BARDEN-LÄUFER, Strategic partnership coordinator Nataliya BUTYCH, Deputy Head of SPbPU International Education Office Dr. Alla MAZINA.
Leibniz University of Hannover is one of the most long-term partners of Polytechnic University. Last summer, the schools celebrated 35 years of strategic partnership, and last winter, they summed up the results of the largest project, which was repeatedly recognized as one of the best in European practice and for 6 years had received DAAD support, i.e., the “Strategic Partnership”. 14 international groups today continue to conduct joint scientific work in the framework of this project.
“Our universities have been cooperating for more than 35 years, but the DAAD Strategic Partnership project allowed us not only to expand the range of cooperation, but also to create a partnership structure. Any cooperation rests on active individuals, but in recent years, we have managed to create real international teams of like-minded people, colleagues and often friends,” pointed out Dr. Birgit BARDEN-LÄUFER.
In addition to productive research activities, universities are actively collaborating in the educational field. Dr. Alla MAZINA described this: “The long-term strategic partnership of our universities allowed us to develop not only 3 successful double degree programs, but also a unique triple degree program together with Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology. The latter program, despite the complexity of its coordination, is a clear example of mutual trust in the quality of education of partner universities.”
Speakers who presented the case of “Experience of BTU-SPbPU partnership, from the creation of joint laboratories to the development of joint graduate and postgraduate programs” spoke about the partnership between SPbPU and Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus – Senftenberg. Prof. Ralf OSSENBRINK, Coordinator of the Double Degree program in Materials Processing Technologies, Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus – Senftenberg and Prof. Magdalena MIßLER-BEHR, Chair of Business Administration, especially planning, innovation and foundation, spoke on behalf of the German university. SPbPU was represented by Dr. Anton NAUMOV, Deputy Director for International Relations of the SPbPU Institute of Metallurgy, Materials and Transport, and Dr. Irina RUDSKAYA, Deputy Director for International Relations of the SPbPU Higher School of Economics and Management.
“The stability and long-term nature of our cooperation is primarily associated with the complexity of this work, the continuity of generations and areas of research. Around the joint research laboratory are concentrated talented students, graduate students and young scientists who initiate new projects and research work,” Prof. Ralf OSSENBRINK noted in his speech.
The partnership between Polytechnic University and BTU is a bright example of complex interaction, starting with scientific cooperation and ending with academic mobility and double degree programs. The two universities have a large joint scientific laboratory of Light Materials and Constructions, created as part of the mega-grant program. The universities have also developed joint master’s degree and postgraduate programs in a number of areas, e.g., new materials, economics, and others.
“I am glad that cooperation with BTU is also developing in the field of economics. We began work on the development of joint research, joint training of postgraduate students and hope to open a joint master’s degree program in the field of digital economy next year. For our Higher School, this will be the first joint international program, and we hope that it’ll be a success,” commented Irina RUDSKAYA.
The next case of the track on internationalization was the International Student Project Marathon, an innovative product of SPbPU and Graz University of Technology. The speakers were Professor Detlef HECK, TU Graz, and Associate Professor Marina ROMANOVICH, Higher School of Hydrotechnical and Power Engineering.
Student projects led by professors from both universities have become one of the best examples of interaction between SPbPU and TU Graz. Earlier, the case was reported to the Russian-Austrian Public Forum “Sochi Dialogue” and received a high expert rating there.
“You should look at any cooperation from various perspectives: from the administration of the university and from the professor’s. I was lucky to start this cooperation as a vice-rector and now I am implementing an international project marathon as a professor. And I can say with confidence that the unique format of the student project marathon is a vivid example of teamwork that is beneficial for all participants,” said Professor Detlef HECK.
The “Joint International Double Degree Program SPbPU - Technical University of Applied Sciences Wildau” case presented Prof. Dr. Eckart WOLF, Director of the Industrial Engineering Degree, Technical University of Applied Sciences Wildau, and Dr. Nikita LUKASHEVICH, Deputy Director for International Relations of the Institute of Industrial Management, Economics and Trade.
Over the years, SPbPU and TU Wildau have had fruitful and strong ties. In particular, the universities have successfully developed an international double degree program at the undergraduate level, which is a more complex process than the creation and implementation of joint master’s degree programs. As the speaker emphasized, the SPbPU and TU Wildau program is very popular among students. “Despite the well-known difficulty of launching joint undergraduate programs, we were not afraid of these difficulties 5 years ago, and this year, we extended the contract for the next 5 years with the hope of further success of the program,” noted Dr. Eckart wolf.
The internationalization track was concluded with the case on “Joint Master’s degree programs and European projects: best practices of networking programs, Erasmus + projects, summer schools for the sustainable development of the university”. It was presented by Research Assistant Elena EYNGORN, TU Berlin Institute of Space Technology; Olga EMELYANOVA, coordinator of the SPbPU International Summer School; Prof. Sanowar KHAN, Deputy Dean at City, University London; Elena SELIVANOVA, representative of the SPbPU Higher School of Cyber Physical Systems and Control.
Academic mobility is one of the most important parts of internationalization. Without it, it welding not have been possible to develop joint programs, summer and winter schools and network projects. The Erasmus + program, which makes possible the development of all these programs and projects, provides great support to the progress of academic mobility. Polytechnic University has extensive experience in this: for example, SPbPU is developing a joint master’s degree program in engineering sciences with City, University of London. The founder and initiator of this program was Prof. Sanowar KHAN, a graduate of Polytechnic University. The International Polytechnic Summer School is another unique example of joint activity of SPbPU and other leading universities of the world: annually, over 1000 foreign students take part in it.
“Joint programs of international summer schools are a kind of a ‘sandbox’ where we can probe various methods and approaches, predict their efficiency and potential. If successful, these seasonal programs have a chance to become full-fledged international educational programs. Thus, joint summer schools are an important component of sustainable and mutually beneficial cooperation between universities,” stressed Elena EYNGORN.
The business track of Polytechnic University Days in Berlin, namely, “Internationalization Strategy is a Win-Win Strategy,” has fully justified its name: in addition to the fact that all the speakers presented the results of successful and mutually beneficial cooperation, many got the opportunity to strengthen existing and establish new contacts, hold meetings and negotiations with foreign colleagues, and outline their further interaction.
Prepared by Center for International Recruitment and Communication. Text: Olga Dorofeeva