On 6 October, the 6th Forum of University Rectors from Russia and Japan “Universities and Society: Science and Education in the Contemporary World” opened at Lomonosov Moscow State University.
During the opening ceremony, the audience was welcomed by the minister-counsellor and the head of the information technologies department of the Japanese embassy in the Russian Federation, Kotaro Otsuki, the president of Tohoku University, Susumu Satomi, and the rector of Lomonosov Moscow State University, Viktor Sadovnichy.
Among the speakers of the Forum was the rector of Voronezh State University, Dmitry Endovitsky. He told the audience about cooperation between VSU and Japanese universities and organisations:
‘Universities that are actively developing in the age of globalization and international competitiveness should pay close attention to Asian countries who are the drivers of today's economy. And Japan as a world leader in technologies, holds a unique position. VSU tries to move with the times.’
Dmitry Endovitsky gave a number of examples. VSU is involved in active cooperation with OTSL Inc. – a Japanese company that specialises in embedded-systems for the automotive industry. The Embedded-Systems Software Technologies Training Centre at the Faculty of Computer Sciences of VSU functions as a part of this cooperation. The university actively collaborates in the educational sphere with Nagoya University of Japan. VSU's Botanical Garden has a lot of contacts with botanical gardens in Japan, including the Reserve Centre for Medicinal Plants’ Seed Bank. In 2015, a Japanese delegation from the Japanese Embassy in the Russian Federation, headed by the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Russian Federation, Harada Tikahito, and the Minister Plenipotentiary of the Japanese Embassy in the Russian Federation, Tokura Furuya, visited Voronezh State University.
The rector of VSU also outlined possibilities for future cooperation in the area of education between Russia and Japan. For example, he suggested creating Centres of Russian Language at Japanese universities, double-degree programmes between Russian and Japanese universities and continuing academic exchange programmes.
During the forum, the presidents of the Russian Rectors' Union, rector of Moscow State University, Viktor Sadovnichy, gave a presentation of the Russian university ranking system “Three university missions” that covers science, education, and society. The ranking has 35 criteria that include not only scientific achievements and quality of education, but also the influence of a university on culture, and its value for the nation and the state as a whole. Viktor Sadovnichy noted that the ranking is expected to examine the role of universities in the country rather than just university successes. The ranking will be developed by the Russian Rectors' Union, the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the Russian Academy of Education. The rating agency "Expert RA” will be the managing company. Viktor Sadovnichy invited Japanese universities to take part in the new ranking.