Between 18–19 December, Voronezh State University organised the international scientific conference “Developing Approaches to Internationalisation Strategy Harmonising in the Area of Higher Education, Science, and Innovation in the EU, Russia, Belarus, and Armenia (HARMONY)”. The event took place in Moscow State University of Geodesy and Cartography as a part of the international Erasmus+ project “Developing Approaches to Internationalisation Strategy Harmonising in the Area of Higher Education, Science, and Innovation in the EU, Russia, Belarus, and Armenia (HARMONY)” coordinated by Voronezh State University. The event was organised with the support of the national office Erasmus+ in the Russian Federation and Moscow State University of Geodesy and Cartography.
The conference concluded the project which finishes this year. Therefore, its goal was to present the results regarding the creation and implementation of strategies of universities’ internationalisation, introduction of international approaches into curricular, and the implementation of joint academic programmes, as well as to present the tools for the harmonized approach to the internationalisation of universities (based on the experience of the EU countries, Russia, Belarus, and Armenia).
Among the participants of the conference were over 130 specialists in international relations, experts in the area of higher education internationalisation, lecturers and researchers from 55 universities from all Russian federal districts: from Yakutia and Tumen to Saint Petersburg and Kaliningrad. European participants represented the leading universities of Spain, Italy, Germany, Portugal, and Greece.
Assistant to the Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, Alexander Sobolev, and the Deputy Director of the Department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Education and Science, Boris Zhelezov, the Head of the Department of Research and Technology of the Delegation of the European Commission to Russia, Richard Burger, the Director of the national office Erasmus+ in the Russian Federation, Olga Oleinikova, and the Rector of Moscow State University of Geodesy and Cartography, Nadezhda Kamynina, gave welcoming speeches.
Experts highly praised the significance of the project results, both for the system of higher education and for the reformation of the international activity management in some universities. Olga Oleinikova said that HARMONY project was recommended to be studied as a good practice of implementation of European projects.
The VSU delegation, which was in charge of the organisation of the international conference, was represented by staff members from the Department of International Projects and Programmes headed by the Head of the department, Alla Akulshina, the Dean of the Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology, Olga Boriskina, and a lecturer, Yulia Pustovalova. The European project HARMONY aimed at the development of mechanisms of harmonising internationalisation strategies with due consideration for national interests of partner countries was initiated by VSU and the University of Seville in 2015. Following the results of the coordination meeting the partners agreed to continue their cooperation in academic mobility projects and in preparing a new project for the following Erasmus+ contests.