On 13 September, the Rector of Voronezh State University, Dmitry Endovitsky, and Professor Elena Alexeeva (coordinator of the cooperation programme and head of the Department of French Philology at VSU’s Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology) met the Head of the Academic Mobility Department at the French Embassy in Russia, Pascal Cauchy, the Vice-President of University Lille, Francois-Olivier Seys, and the Head of International Relations Office, Veronik Lövel.
“First of all, I would like to welcome the representatives of the French Embassy in the Russian Federation and our dear partners from the University of Lille. I remember the beginning of our project with the Universities of Lille 1 and Lille 3 before the merger. It was a valuable cooperation experience in the framework of European projects and joint network programmes. And now we are happy to continue our cooperation with the united University of Lille,” said the rector of VSU. “I would like to mention our successful projects that we conduct jointly with our French partners. We run a double degree programme “Executive MBA” in cooperation with ISC Paris Business School. This programme is the crown jewel of business education. It is unique as it has a well-aligned curricula and training schedule. This year, we will have graduates of the programme for the third time. The programme has a good reputation in the business community. Now, we have among our partners French enterprises which are situated in Russia. One of those companies is the French-Belgian company Atos.
We have been involved in active cooperation with the University of Marne-la-Vallée and run a joint double degree programme in tourism management. Recently, its master’s students have defended their qualification works. Professor Elena Alexeeva, coordinator of the cooperation programme and head of the Department of French Philology at VSU’s Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology, is a real pioneer in linguistics who is fighting for the popularisation of the French language,” said Dmitry Endovitsky. “It is obvious that the English language is devouring other European languages. However, thanks to the scientific school of Professor Alexeeva and her love to the Francophonie and France we managed to preserve in Voronezh and the Central Russia a place where we can cherish our love to France and the French language and culture. Using a systematic approach, we closely cooperate with French enterprises and the gymnasium that specialises in French and teaches the language to children from their very first year at school. We select children from this school as well as from others, promote the French language, and organise the Francophonie festivals. As a result, unlike many other Russian universities, we still have a French Language department. We have met many times with diplomats from the French Embassy and French officials to discuss the possibility of creating an Alliance Française centre. We continue this work on the political level and try to provide the necessary facilities. We are sure that business is always attracted by professional specialists who understand the mentality of international partners, know their language, and love their country”.
“Russian universities and French universities are alike in experiencing the process of internationalisation. I am glad to know that we are on the same page in this issue. Similar enthusiasm and similar difficulties favour cooperation. I would like to notice such a priority area in the development of universities as collaboration between universities and enterprises. 2019 has been declared to be the French-Russian year of education and science. I am sure that the cooperation between universities in the area of research will successfully develop,” said the Head of the Academic Mobility Department at the French Embassy in Russia, Pascal Cauchy.
“Our university is very young. We can say it is just 8 months old. It was established as a result of a merger of three major universities, Lille 1, Lille 2, and Lille 3. This process created the largest university in France (about 70,000 students). One of the advantages of our university is its cooperation with educational organisations. We have strong ties with VSU. We have been conducting student exchanges for a very long time and we are involved in cooperation in the framework of Erasmus+ project (Jean Monnet Action). We are planning to enhance our cooperation both in the area of Erasmus+ projects and in the area of postgraduate programmes. I would like to say that geopolitical problems can not influence relations in the area of education,” said the Vice-President of University Lille, Francois-Olivier Seys.