Volgograd State University
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27.04.2021

Consortium united three universities

An agreement on the establishment of the Consortium named "Competence Center of the South of Russia for Training Foreign Specialists and Social and Cultural Adaptation of Foreign Citizens in a Multicultural Region", united three universities including Volgograd State University (VolSU), Southern Federal University (SFedU) and Kalmyk State University named after B. B. Gorodovikov.Within the framework of the consortium, it is planned to implement the following areas of the Center's activities: programs for the development of soft skills and intercultural communication for all subjects of the internationalization process; study of the Russian language and culture; expert and methodological support of foreign citizens; employment of foreign students, young scientists and teachers. The initiative to create a Consortium of universities in March this year was made by Prof. Dr. Alla Kalinina, rector of Volgograd State University.

Prof. Dr. Alla Kalinina underscored that the creation of a consortium will allow the universities to summarize their competencies to obtain the maximum result. This project will solve not only the tasks of the Science and Universities, Export of Education national projects and the promotion of the Russian language abroad, but also gain new knowledge on how to effectively organize the training of foreign citizens.

During the online signing of the agreement, SFedU Rector Dr. Inna Shevchenko noted that focus on training of foreign specialists is one of the primary goals now. “It’s not only about adaptation to a multicultural ethnic environment, but also about the opportunities for professional implementation of our graduates. The combination of the practices and developments of the universities will make a significant contribution both to the education export system in particular, and to the higher education system as a whole”.

The tasks of the Center include the creation and functioning of the Center as one of the largest centers for foreign students in Russia within the framework of the general educational, scientific and cultural space in the interests of innovative development of the South of Russia; the formation of conditions for increasing competitiveness by intensifying and deepening the integration ties of the participants in the field of science, education, culture, as well as systemic internationalization and integration into the world educational and scientific space.

Prof. Dr. Marina Borovskaya, President of SFedU, Chairman of the Council of Rectors of Universities in the South of Russia stressed the importance of the agreement as the element for determining the priorities of the Strategy 2030, as “it defines universities as the drivers of the region's development, which we are striving to be”.

The universities will have to ensure the implementation of the activities of the consortium in terms of organizing the direction for the development of soft skills and intercultural communication among the subjects of the internationalization process. This implies the organization of socio-cultural events for foreign students, as well as courses and educational programs aimed at developing soft skills among educational organizations staff involved in training of foreign students, as well as enterprises and organizations in the South of Russia with international staff.

The Republic of Kalmykia is a region where representatives of more than 90 nationalities live. Respect for other cultures through the preservation and promotion of one's own culture is a very important factor in the education of young people. The rector of KalmSU Prof. Dr. Badma Salaev highlights that the event is very relevant in the light of the state tasks in terms of attracting the most talented foreign citizens to study in Russian educational organizations. KalmSU has “the relevant experience and our own developments in this direction, we have the opportunity to broadcast our practices of interaction with foreign partner universities”.

The decision to sign the agreement was made by the rectors, guided by a common interest in the further development of cooperation and mutually beneficial strategic partnership of universities in the South of Russia, taking into account the importance of consolidating efforts in the implementation of the strategy of internationalization of educational, scientific, innovative and cultural work aimed at effective integration into the world educational and scientific space.       

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