4th Forum of the Volga-Yangtze Association of Universities
Konstantin Kemaev, Head of the International Cooperation Office of Lobachevsky University, took part in the 4th Forum of the Volga-Yangtze Association of Universities, which was held on December 2-3 in the online format. This year it was dedicated to topical issues of academic, scientific and technical cooperation between Russian and Chinese universities, as well as the development of interregional humanitarian and economic cooperation.
On the opening day of the Forum, its participants were welcomed by Oleg Mashkovtsev, Deputy Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the Volga Federal District, and Zhang Weili, Counsellor of the Department of Europe and Central Asia of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC. The Co-chairmen of the Association - Sergey Dmitriev, Rector of the Alexeyev State Technical University of Nizhny Novgorod (from the Russian side), and Li Yanzhong, Rector of the Sichuan University (from the Chinese side), also addressed the participants noting that the Association plays an important role in developing cooperation covering a variety of new areas: artificial intelligence, big data, internet of things, information technologies. This cooperation continues to develop in the "Volga-Yangtze" format and includes summer and winter online schools, joint educational programmes and joint research. The Chinese language is being taught on a large scale at a number of Russian universities.
During the two days of the Forum, 28 presentations were made by representatives of Russian and Chinese universities on various aspects of cooperation.
On behalf of Lobachevsky University, Konstantin Kemaev made a presentation giving some practical proposals for the development of Russian-Chinese inter-university cooperation in the context of restrictions due to the pandemic. He emphasised such formats of cooperation as Lobachevsky/RU International Online Olympiad, virtual teaching staff exchanges, a series of open lectures of partner universities in a video conference mode, joint grant projects and UNN’s open educational resources. Chinese partners were particularly interested in the PREUNI ONLINE distance learning programme and the EduVolga Forum, an international conference-seminar to be held in spring 2022.
The 4th Forum was a follow-up to the annual Volga-Yangtze Higher Education Association Youth Forum held in November 2021.
The Association of Higher Education Institutions was established in 2017 following an agreement signed in the framework of the 2nd meeting of the Council for Interregional Cooperation in the Volga-Yangtze format. At present, the Association brings together more than 80 Russian and Chinese universities. The Association aims to develop international and interregional contacts, consolidate efforts to train highly qualified young professionals, expand student and faculty exchanges, and conduct joint scientific research.