New Agreement with Rossotrudnichestvo to Strengthen HSE's Presence in Europe
On November 7, the Higher School of Economics and Rossotrudnichestvo signed a new agreement on cooperation. The document provides a framework for the future development of partnerships between Russia, the CIS, the Baltics, and Central and Eastern Europe in the educational and academic spheres.
The Higher School of Economics was one of the first universities to sign an agreement in 2009 with the newly formed Rossotrudnichestvo, also known as Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation. This created favourable conditions for HSE to develop its ties with universities and schools of the former Soviet Union. Their students began joining HSE’s bachelor's, master's and post-graduate programmes through Olympiads and quotas set in intergovernmental agreements. In recent years, the number of such students at HSE has increased severalfold.
Rossotrudnichestvo Chief Konstantin Kosachev took note of the Higher School of Economics’ international activity. He commented that over a five-year period, the university had become a strategic partner of Rossotrudnichestvo in popularizing Russian education abroad and creating a new and positive image.
‘Our common strategic goal – getting foreign youth interested in Russian language, culture, and history, as well as in receiving a Russian education – has now become even more relevant,’ HSE Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov says.
The new agreement provides a framework for the launch of more than 10 new large-scale projects, as well as the continuation of existing ones. In particular, HSE will receive informational support when carrying out an Olympiad for students and alumni in CIS countries, as well as the interregional Olympiad for schoolchildren ‘Vyshaya Proba.’ With the support of Rossotrudnichestvo, this November the Higher School of Economics is carrying out its first international youth Olympiad in the CIS and Baltic countries, as well as in Bulgaria, Serbia, Slovakia and Poland. The Olympiad, which will cover 10 subjects of the humanities and applied mathematics, will bring together students and young people below the age of 30.
The most important part of the work being carried out by HSE and Rossotrudnichestvo is the implementation of the Federal Target Programme ‘Russian Language.’ Since 2012, HSE philologists have been holding seminars for teachers of Russian language and literature, and not only in the CIS, but also in Turkey, the U.S., and Germany. Under the new agreement, separate focus will be devoted to a project on improving the skills of schoolteachers who teach in Russian.
The agreement also calls for a large series of open lectures, academic and methodological seminars, and workshops based at foreign partner universities. A variety of academic mobility programmes will be developed for students and teachers. In addition, the geography of professional orientation camps for gifted students, called 'We Are Together,’ is expanding. These camps have been taking place for four years already, and in 2014 they were held in Armenia, Moldova, and Estonia.
To date, Rossotrudnichestvo has opened 93 branch offices in 80 countries. HSE’s Director for Cooperation with CIS and Baltic Countries Tatiana Chetvernina noted that the work HSE researchers and instructors are carrying out at these branches – work with gifted teens, seminars for philologists, training programs for schoolteachers – supports the Russian-speaking population in foreign countries. ‘This is one of the most important tasks of our cooperation since in many historically close countries, the Russian language is dying out and children are communicating less in it,’ Chetvernina comments.
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