'Germany Has No Alternative to Good Relations with Russia Based on Mutual Understanding'
On 1st December students and teachers at HSE met the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Germany in the Russian Federation, Rudiger von Fritsch.
HSE Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov opened the discussion by pointing out the timeliness of this meeting to help understand current relations between the two countries and how they will develop, taking into account they could disagree on a number of issues.
Rudiger von Fritsch said that Russo-German relations are difficult at the moment. However, ‘many bridges have been built’ over the last quarter of a century with all kinds of economic, trade and cultural links between the two countries and we should do all we can to maintain them.
‘Germany has no alternative to good relations with Russia based on mutual understanding’, said the ambassador. He pointed to the importance of cultural and student exchange programmes and to the cross-over in study of Russian and German literature in both countries.
Rudiger von Fritsch talked a great deal about Russia and Germany’s economic ties, their investments and prospects. About 6,000 companies with German capital are working in Russia today. Russia has major investment potential as a country which German businessmen follow closely. The German economy is still committed to a long-term strategic partnership with Russia.
Each of us must do his bit for peaceful coexistence in Europe
He emphasised for the future of positive relations between the two countries, it is absolutely essential to maintain dialogue and clarify German policy on certain issues.
In answer to a question from the hall on Germany and Syrian refugees - ‘Aren’t you worried about demographic and economic changes when Germany is taking in a million immigrants in just one year?’ the ambassador said, ‘Germany didn’t have a choice in the matter - How could we refuse to take the refugees? Build a wall? We have humanitarian obligations towards the victims of civil wars. Each of us must do his bit for peaceful coexistence in Europe.’
Second-year student at the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, Patimat Omarova, who is studying the way the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) impacts on investment processes inside the EU asked the ambassador what he thinks this partnership means for Russia. In reply the ambassador said regional and interregional mutually beneficial cooperation is the answer to globalisation, and that TTIP, like the EU, is an example of this.
Students from HSE St Petersburg joined in the meeting with the German ambassador via videolink. One of them, Anastasia Zubareva, asked him about the prospects for developing student exchange programmes between Russia and Germany. Ambassador von Fritsch said international politics determine the relations between countries but it is only students, academics, and young people getting to know one another that makes enduring friendship and for this reason, we need to increase the numbers of student exchange programmes.
In conclusion, Rudiger von Fritsch said he was pleased with the one and a half hour conversation with HSE students, which German students and professors working at HSE also attended and promised to find time to come and talk to them again in the future.
HSE has signed an agreement for a double degree programme with the Free University of Berlin in Germany. The agreement encompasses the Master's programme in Comparative Social Research and its German counterpart will be the ‘East European Studies’ programme.
Since 2013, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has cooperated with HSE. This year, a record number of scholarship places will be available for German students to study in HSE short-term programmes through the Go East initiative.
From September 28 to October 2, 2015, an induction module of the Doing Business in Russia internship programme took place in Moscow. Twenty-seven new German students came for the autumn semester, and those who are completing their internships presented their final company-based projects. The programme is supported by HSE, the German Embassy in Russia, the German-Russian Foreign Trade Chamber, and DAAD.
On June 3, HSE Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov met in Berlin with university alumni living in Germany, as well as with students and postgraduate students who are currently continuing their studies at Humboldt University. During the meeting, they discussed the development of the Higher School of Economics, differences in approaches to the educational process at universities in Russia and Germany, and the prospect for transferring certain Western practices to the realities of Russia.
From 30th March to 3rd April, 50 German students attended a session of the Business in Russia programme, run jointly by HSE and DAAD and the German Chamber of Foreign Trade since 2012. Students on the programme do six-month internships in German company offices in Russia and prepare group projects on various themes, under the guidance of HSE professor Natalya Guseva.
Annual Symposium of the Association of German and Russian Economists ‘Innovation: the Way towards Continued Growth? German-Russian Experience Exchange’
The annual symposium of the Association of German and Russian Economists (dialog e.V.), which is open to all who are interested, will take place in Moscow on May 23-25. The dialog e.V. Association has held the symposium for 15 years in a row and is in its own way a platform for creating and developing the Russian-German contact network in the fields of economics, politics, management and education.
An international workshop, ‘Germany’s Transformation after its Unification: Current Situation and Lessons for Other Countries’ was held on September 12th and 13th, 2013 at the HSE. The workshop was organized by the HSE in collaboration with the Liberal Mission Foundation and with the support of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation.
Maria Ashaeva and Anna Buzueva, students in the HSE-Nizhny Novgorod’s Faculty of Business Informatics and Applied Mathematics, together with other Russian students, have taken part in the EDUPASS Project (Education-Process-Analysis, Support and Service) seminar. This project, involving the SAP Academic Department, is led by an international academic network, the European Research Centre for Information Systems (ERCIS), on behalf of T-Systems, a leading provider of IT solutions. The seminar was held in Germany.
On April 22 2013, the Higher School of Economics hosted an international workshop conference entitled 'The Development Outlook for Russia and Germany as Members of the WTO'. Alexander Khodachek, the president of Saint-Petersburg HSE campus commented on the conference.
On December 1st an inauguration ceremony for Alexander Rahr, a prominent expert in Russian-German relations, as Honorary Professor of the HSE took place at the HSE Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs. After the event he gave a lecture on the history, problems and dynamics of the bilateral politics of Germany and Russia.