On 17 May, Voronezh State University held an international conference “Higher Education in Europe from the Viewpoint of Russian Students” within the framework of the Europe Week in Central Russia. The event was part of the Erasmus+ project within Jean Monnet Actions “EHE PRS – Higher Education in Europe from Viewpoint of Russian Students. Investigation of Barriers for Successful Studies Caused by Differences in Educational Processes in Russia and the EU”.
The rector of VSU, Professor Dmitry Endovitsky, opened the conference.
“This week VSU is hosting a big international forum. Tomorrow we are going to discuss “European destiny” with representatives of the German Embassy and the European Commission to the Russian Federation. This conference concerns issues of higher education in Europe, which is also very important. Having professional skills is not enough today, as employers also search for people with so-called soft skills, i.e. people who are able to communicate, work in teams, and think critically. The only way to develop such skills is to get into a different environment and take part in various projects. Russian universities, and specifically VSU, now have a unique opportunity to use various tools such as short-term internships, exchange study semesters, double degree programmes, etc. These tools help us to get to know other cultures, and obtain new knowledge. Taking part in such programmes enhances your compatibility on the labour market, makes you more open-minded, and helps to improve your language skills. EU education programmes are a unique tool that helps us build up human capital.”
After the rector’s speech, the coordinator of the EHE PRS project, head of the UNIQUE Centre (a centre that provides Russian students with information about education programmes in Europe) and head of the International Student Exchange Office, Natalia Ushkova, gave a presentation about Jean Monnet Actions project “EHE PRS – Higher Education in Europe from Viewpoint of Russian Students. Investigation of Barriers for Successful Studies Caused by Differences in Educational Processes in Russia and the EU”, and presented the results of the research on the problem. The programme of the conference included several reports by our colleagues from other universities:
– “Russian students studying at the University of Seville - problems and opportunities” by Rafael Wagner, head of the International Students Office of the Department of International Relations of the University of Seville (Spain).
– “Internationalisation and integration of international students at the host university” by Camille Dulour, head of the Department of International Relations of the University Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée (France).
– “Teaching international students at the Polytechnic Institute of Tomar” by Maria Catroga, head of the Department of International Relations of the Polytechnic Institute of Tomar (Portugal).
– “Advantages of teaching Russian students at the Institute of Slavic Studies” by József Goretity, director of the Institute of Slavic Studies at the University of Debrecen (Hungary).
The panel “International students at EU universities – problems and prospects. Russian viewpoint” included reports by Russian experts from Tomsk State University, the European Union Centre in Siberia (Tomsk), N.P. Ogarev Mordovia State University (Saransk), and Penza State University. VSU was represented by our leading researchers.