A meeting with representatives of the Embassy of the Republic of South Africa took place at South Ural State University. The delegation included the Minister Plenipotentiary of the South African Embassy in the Russian Federation, Henry William Short, and Secretary of the Embassy’s Political Division, Bender Gunter.
Key topic of the meeting was development of cooperation in the sphere of higher education. The Rector of SUSU, Aleksandr Shestakov, and the Minister Plenipotentiary of the South African Embassy in Russia discussed the upcoming SCO and BRICS summits which are to take place in Chelyabinsk in 2020, as well as the possibility to carry out an academic forum in the frameworks of these international events.
“The South African Republic aspires to establish serious relationships with the Chelyabinsk region, and this is very important for our relationships. We’ve got many spheres for mutual cooperation, and we have seen that representatives of the South African Embassy are willing to develop these relationships. In particular, we discussed the issue regarding a university forum within SCO and BRICS summits. This possibility excited big interest because we have the experience of holding the Forum of Rectors of Russia and Kazakhstan,” noted Aleksandr Shestakov.
Representatives of the delegation noted that their immediate primary goal is to establish connections between provinces of the South African Republic and regions of Russia. As admitted by Henry William Short, Chelyabinsk region is attractive for cooperation in such spheres as metallurgy, food industry and information technology.
“We’ve got good contacts with Russia but our economic relationships are stagnating. We aspire to establish connections between municipalities of our countries in order to encourage development of international cooperation,” noted the Minister Plenipotentiary of the South African Embassy in Russia. “We arrived to Chelyabinsk to learn about developed industries of this region and determine provinces of the South African Republic in which similar industries are developed as well. If we create a connection between these industries, we will be able to strengthen our relationships even more.”
Within this form of cooperation, it is planned to establish more efficient contacts between universities of the both countries. Presently, SUSU has an agreement on mutual understanding with the University of Pretoria.
“Representatives of the delegation discussed interactions between SUSU and the University of Pretoria. This higher education institution is the leading one around the whole South Africa; therefore we intend to focus on development of various forms of cooperation, from scientific collaborations to student exchange. It is possible that students from the Republic of South Africa will be coming to our university by grants for Master’s degree studies. Moreover, we are currently negotiating to increase the number of partner universities in South African Republic,” said Vice-Rector for International Relations, Olga Yaroshenko.
Another meeting was held between Head of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Programming at the Institute of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Alena Zamyshlayeva. Parties discussed cooperation in the sphere of joint fundamental mathematical research with the University of Pretoria and concluded an agreement that Professor of Sciences (Mathematics) Jacek Bonosiak will visit SUSU in May of 2019.
Let us note that SUSU is actively developing cooperation with the Republic of South Africa in scientific sphere. For example, a research fellow of the Laboratory of Genomics of the South African National Bioinformatics Institute, Mohd Shahbaaz, is the senior research fellow at SUSU’s Laboratory of Computer Simulation of Medications. Specialists of SUSU and the partner university are working on preparing applications for RFBR – BRICS grants.