South Ural State University is planning to start collaborating with one of the major universities in Shaanxi Province in the People’s Republic of China – Xi'an International University (XAIU). A delegation from this university has come to visit SUSU in order to discuss the prospects of collaboration in such fields as academic and cultural exchange.
This university is located in the very heart of Xi'an, a city in China with its history dating as far back as more than 3,000 years. The delegation comprised Executive President of XAIU, Professor Dai Qizhi, Deputy Director of the International Centre Hu Jianhua, and Deputy Director of the Russian Language Department He Xinxing. These representatives have shared that their university is training more than 20,000 students in the programmes of linguistics, journalism, economics, business, management, and pedagogy.
The members of the delegation of Xi'an International University offered suggestions on the academic staff and student exchange, on organizing of joint educational programmes in the 2+2 and 3+1 formats, as well as internships and courses on the Chinese language for Russian students. Vice-Rector for International Relations Olga Yaroshenko mentioned that South Ural State University and Xi'an already have established reliable friendly relations:
“Over the past year, we have visited the city of Xi'an in Shaanxi Province twice: we received an offer from Xi'an Jiaotong University to join the University Alliance of the Silk Road, and this event took place two weeks ago. It was a pleasure for us to learn more about so many universities and begin our collaboration, because we believe that China and Russia are two strategic partners, and we have great future together. At our university, students are our main value, and that’s why we’re happy to participate in student exchange programs. SUSU has vast experience in collaboration under the 2+2 and 3+1 programs, we are fulfilling joint education programmes with more than 30 universities in China.”
Within the frameworks of discussing the collaboration in the field of education, meetings were held with the representatives of the School of Economics and Management, Faculty of Journalism, Institute of Linguistics and International Communications, as well as of the Continuing Education Pedagogy Research and Education Centre. The meeting participants shared on their experience of collaborating with the universities of the People’s Republic of China, promising options of joint work, relevant educational programmes taught in Russian and English languages, and in the field of research. Also, the delegation members were taken on a short tour around the media floor, where SUSU-TV student television and radio broadcasting company is located.
The representatives of Xi'an International University were especially interested in the possibilities of teaching Russian to Chinese students and their immersion into the Russian culture. SUSU is developing Pushkin Institute partner network on the territory of the People’s Republic of China, the staff of which is popularizing the Russian language among students at Chinese partner-universities.
“Currently, we have already opened 9 SUSU Pushkin Institute centres in China, and are negotiating on opening the tenth one. These centres are interacting and developing in compliance with the university’s traditions. In particular, the projects touch upon digitalization and development of Industry 4.0. This way we demonstrate the importance of the Russian language not only in the sphere of humanities, but also in engineering, natural sciences and other fields. The main tasks of our centre’s development include holding of public events: Olympiad on Russian as a Foreign Language, contest of essays, and more. One of the big-scale projects are the advanced training courses for the academic staff: both for those who teach Russian and for those who teach certain disciplines (mathematics, physics, etc.) in Russian. The courses can be taken in an in-person format and as distance education,” shared with the delegation Director of the SUSU Pushkin Institute Research, Education and Coordination Centre Iadviga Berezovskaia.
The parties discussed the options of cultural exchange: XAIU has great groups on traditional Chinese music and dancing, which represent the Province of Shaanxi and have performed in different countries. The delegation members learned that international students at SUSU actively engage in the university’s creative life, that a special choir was created for students from China, and that students organize festivals dedicated to different cultures.
“We have a Faculty of the Russian Language and we would like our students to have an opportunity to come practice their Russian at South Ural State University. We also know that your university offers many programmes, which are being taught in English, and we are interested in the collaboration within these programmes. And of course, we also wish to develop the research collaboration. We like your university very much, and we hope to welcome your students in Xi'an soon, and that you will invite our students to your university,” shared Executive President of Xi'an International University Dai Qizhi.
As a result of the delegation’s visit to SUSU, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the two universities, which will become a starting point for further work on the collaboration strengthening. The representatives of the university from the People’s Republic of China invited the SUSU leadership and heads of subdivisions to visit Xi'an in order to determine new options for joint work and learn more about the rich and authentic culture of this ancient city in China.