On 6 July, the Rector of Voronezh State University Professor Dmitry Endovitsky, the Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics Professor Aleksandr Bayev, the Head of the Department of Optics and Spectroscopy Associate Professor Oleg Ovchinnikov had a meeting with the Executive Director of Global Engagement of the University of Texas at Brownsville Alla Paroiatnikova. The goal of the meeting was to sign the agreement on a double degree MSc programme in Mathematics that is to be opened at the Faculty of Mathematics in September 2015.
'Cooperation between VSU and the University of Texas has been strengthening. We have already launched the joint MSc programme in Optics and Nanophotonics. Today we are signing the agreement on a double degree programme in Mathematics and it is going to provide competitive advantage to Voronezh school of Mathematics. The Master's programme as a part of cooperation between Russia and the USA is of great importance. Preparing the joint MSc programme between VSU and the partner university is a challenging task in the geopolitical aspect. Education and science are the solid bridges that bring together two superpowers – Russia and the USA – and we have to maintain these relations,' said Dmitry Endovitsky.
'Preparing international double degree programmes requires a lot of engagement from the partner universities. We examined the scope of academic programmes of our universities. It took a year to prepare the double degree MSc programme in Mathematics. Nevertheless, it is very elaborated and thoroughly examined,' said Alla Paroiatnikova.
The double degree programme requires a high level of the English language. Students can join the MSc programme in September 2015. The duration of the programme is a year or a term. To get the double degree the students have to earn a specified number of credits. The partner university offers the MSc students in Mathematics a 1,000$ scholarship and an opportunity to get on campus job in their professional field.
Alla Paroiatnikova also announced that the University of Texas at Brownsville has joined the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley that was founded as result of merging two leading universities of the USA. VSU was chosen as a result of vigorous selection and examination and then immediately became a partner university.
'Russia has entered the second stage of reforms of the system of higher education. We will be happy to study your experience of merging universities as we will have to follow your way – unification enables creating fundamental multidisciplinary universities.' 'In September VSU is undergoing accreditation and it is very important that our university was selected by our partners in the USA as it shows that our university is internationally recognised,' said Dmitry Endovitsky.
Alla Paroiatnikova shared ideas about other joint projects between VSU and the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley: lecturers and researchers exchange, summer student exchange programmes, and summer business school student programmes in Texas. During the visit of Alla Paroiatnikova working groups of both universities will try to develop a roadmap timeline and strategy for boosting VSU international competitiveness and enhancing the university's academic reputation particularly with regard to the USA. It is a real challenge/ To deal with it the experience of Russian and American educational institutions and the project «5-100» was analysed. The work that has been completed will have to spot out VSU competitive focus areas that can be brought to the international level.
The meeting was concluded by signing the agreement on a double degree Master's programme in Mathematics.