On 26 April, an offsite meeting of the Praesidium of the Union "Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Voronezh Region" was held in the auditorium of Voronezh State University. Among the participants of the meeting were Alexandre Gusev – the Head of the Voronezh Administration, Yury Goncharov - the president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Voronezh Region, Philippe Verbert - the French Counsellor of International Economics and the president of the international commission MEDEF, Natalia Lanceraux – the manager of the Business Bridge project, and representatives of the regional business community. The programme for the event included a round table discussion under the title "The Economic Development of Companies and Business Education: the prospects of cooperation between Russia and France."
The first speaker of the event was Yury Agibalov, the vice governor of the Voronezh region:
'On behalf of the governor and the government of the Voronezh region I would like to welcome everybody. The issues of collaboration between universities and business communities are of great importance for the Voronezh region. Another important goal is the development of cooperation between Voronezh universities and international universities. VSU has a lot of experience in this area and plentiful resources for cooperative work on such issues as training specialists for businesses and the participation of Russian specialists in the running of international companies.'
'Education should be continuous and it can only be possible when you learn on your own. Students who received a degree must continue studying, they must improve their skills. The new international master's programme "Executive MBA" is an opportunity for corporate representatives and administrators to climb one step further up the career ladder and assist in arranging more efficient production and management processes. It is efficiency enhancement rather than equipment and technologies that provide for the further development of a company,' said Alexandre Gusev.
'Our task is to support medium and small business. It is very important to solve the problem of human resources. On the initiative of the governor, the Business Education Centre was created at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Voronezh Region. Its strategic partner is Voronezh State University,' said Yury Goncharov.
'Alexey Gromyko, the Director of the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences, invited VSU to take part in the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Association of European Studies that will take place next year. This master's programme shows that the university is interested in cooperation with Europe. We live in an open world and despite geopolitical turbulences, cooperation between countries will grow stronger. To ensure mutual understanding with our partners we need specialists with world-recognised competences and skills,' said the VSU rector Dmitry Endovitsky.
Then Philippe Verbert presented his welcoming speech:
'The relations between Russia and France are improving. It is true that professional education plays a great role in developing society and the economy. A company cannot grow economically if it does not pay attention to the professional development of its employees. The double degree programme "Executive MBA" will enable advancing the qualifications of both employees of large corporations and representatives of small and medium businesses.'
Svetlana Klinova, the programme coordinator and the director of the VSU Business School, presented the centre to the audience and Elena Alexeyeva, the head of the Department of French Philology of the Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology, talked in detail about the double degree programme. She said that it is in line with the university's approach to correlate VSU’s academic programmes with the requirement of companies and overall tendencies to internationalise higher education.
Elena Alexeyeva also explained that the MBA is an international postgraduate organizational management programme. It is aimed at a wide audience of people interested in receiving an international degree for business or career development. The programme aims at improving the professional competence of top managers, learning new skills, and encouraging further development. The programme will be implemented by the lecturers of the VSU Business School that was delegated with the right to implement the joint academic programme. The lecturers of the centre have been accredited by the Higher Institute of Commerce of Paris that has been implementing the "Executive MBA" programme for a number of years and is an accredited member of the international accreditation agency, AACSB. The programme is implemented in the Russian language by accredited lecturers of the VSU Business School. However, some disciplines are taught by lecturers of the Higher Institute of Commerce of Paris in the form of webinars or classroom studies with simultaneous translations. The programme includes world-recognised management disciplines that were adjusted according to the requirements of the companies. The enterprises for practical training are chosen depending on the students' individual preferences. Elena Alexeyeva emphasised that the "Executive MBA" programme is the only joint programme in Russian business education that has received international accreditation.