On 2 November, a press-conference with representatives of Voronezh State University was held. The university was represented by Vice Rector for International Cooperation and Marketing, Oleg Belenov, the Head of the International Cooperation Department, Natalia Zhurbina, and the Head of the VSU Culture Centre and Chair of the Alumni Association, Tamara Diakova.
The discussion was dedicated to issues of international cooperation.
The vice rector for International Cooperation and Marketing, Oleg Belenov, reported on key goals in the area of international cooperation, including implementation of joint educational programmes, development of cooperation with leading international universities, and student and staff academic mobility.
‘Voronezh State University is the regional leader in the area of international cooperation. Last year the university had over a thousand international students. All in all, annually, about 100 VSU’s students and academic staff members take part in academic mobility programmes,’ said Oleg Belenov.
Natalia Zhurbina told the audience about the cooperation between VSU and German universities and companies – today our university cooperates with 18 educational institutions and organisations from Germany. Among the key forms of cooperation are exchange programmes for students and academic staff, joint research and publications, and the implementation of joint educational programmes.
Over two thousand German undergraduate and postgraduate students and interns have completed various courses at Voronezh State University since 1964. Some of them have careers connected with Russia: they work for the Russian branches of German companies, joint Russian-German enterprises, and Russian companies in Germany.
Voronezh State University is engaged in active cooperation with the Goethe German Culture Centre. It provides support to a unique project implemented by the Department of German Philology at the Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology – “Early Teaching of the German Language in Kindergarten” (“Frühkindlicher Fremdsprachenerwerb – Deutsch im Kindergarten”).
“The programme was tested in 2013 in kindergarten № 101, and later was introduced in two more kindergartens. During the preparatory stage, it is very important to get the parential agreement. It is an indispensable condition. The course is based on the gesture methodology developed by VSU’s professor from the Department of German Philology, Ludmila Velichkova. The classes are taught by the academic staff of the department and master’s students who completed courses at the Martin Luther Institute of Phonetics and Speech Studies,’ said Natalia Zhurbina.
She also told the audience about the corporate master’s programmes and training centres that were opened in cooperation with representatives of the business community from Germany. For instance, the programme "Management and IT Consulting" implemented jointly with J&M Management Consulting (Germany).
Another example of international activity at Voronezh State University is cooperation with VSU Alumni Associations. The Head of the VSU Culture Centre and Chair of the Alumni Association, Tamara Diakova, told the audience about the German Alumni's Forum “Dialogue between Russia and Germany: university traditions” which was held in the Russian Culture and Research Centre (Berlin). She said that the first part of the event concentrated on issues of international cooperation in the area of higher education and the strengthening of the VSU’s role on the market of educational services in Europe and in Germany in particular. The second day of the event was dedicated to a meeting of the German Alumni Association which included a discussion of activities carried out by the organisation and plans for the future.
“The forum showed that our international colleagues are highly interested in the Russian language and literature. German graduates emphasised the importance of their studies in Russia and VSU for their carriers. Participation of the university representatives in the Alumni's Forum opened up opportunities for the development of further cooperation.
Tamara Diakova said that the German Alumni Association was founded 10 years ago and has about 100 people among its members. Today, VSU has an Hungarian Alumni Association and British and Chinese Alumni Associations are expected to appear soon.