Visit to Slovakia was productive and intensive

news-slovakiya-sent-2018-1aRector of Kalashnikov Izhevsk State Technical University Prof. Valery Grakhov and Director of the Institute of International Study Programs Dr. Alexey Ryabchikov returned from the trip to Slovakia.

This trip is not the first step in cooperation between Kalashnikov ISTU and Slovak universities. International cooperation of our university with such universities as Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava and Alexander Dubček University of Trenčín has been fruitfully developing for a long time already. Today, the strong relations are established with another higher educational institution of the Slovak Republic — University of Žilina. It should be pointed out that this visit took place, first of all, at the invitation of University of Žilina — to take part in the ceremony of the beginning of the new academic year and inauguration of the new rector Prof. Jozef Jandačka.

- The visit turned out to be fruitful and rich, — said Prof. Valery Grakhov, Rector of Kalashnikov ISTU. - A number of events took place in the period from 25 to 29 September, there were solemn moments and business negotiations.

The visit of Kalashnikov ISTU officials began with the meeting with the leadership of Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava. The guests were met by Vice-Rector for Strategic Development Prof. Oliver Moravčík, Doctor Honoris Causa honorary of Kalashnikov ISTU, Vice-Rector for Education and International Relations Prof. Štefan Stanko and Vice-Rector Prof. Pavel Čičák.

It should be said that today Slovak universities feel an acute shortage of staff. This is because young people go to Western Europe: Austria and Germany, where earnings are many times higher. Accordingly, in Bratislava, the heads of partner universities discussed the issue of academic mobility, where our undergraduate and postgraduate students, and young researchers would come to Slovak University of Technology to conduct their research and write master's theses. Over the past ten years, thanks to grants from the European Union, educational institutions have managed to seriously upgrade their research base with modern and expensive equipment. Currently, they have the best equipment and they have projects. But there are no researchers. Therefore, today, it is important and necessary to organize student mobility. First of all, for our students to go there. And, of course, Slovak young scientists would come to us.

The second university was University of Žilina. Kalashnikov Izhevsk State Technical University has had contacts with this university from the last academic year when our university participated in the international conference. After signing the agreement on cooperation, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Milan Saga and his Deputy Ivan Kuric visited us.

- Omitting the cultural program, the description of the ceremony, which took place “solemnly and majestically”, where there were about 200 guests and the whole event lasted for two hours, we focus on the business side of the trip, as it was more valuable for us, — said Alexey Ryabchikov. - First of all, there was a dialogue with the leadership of the Faculty of Engineering. Since we have very similar profiles of training and activities, we spoke specifically and in detail. In addition to exchange and research programs, our partners came to us with a very interesting proposal. It was about the possibility of participation in publications. That is, they have a scientific journal which is indexed in Scopus, and they are ready to publish about 50 articles of our researchers for free. At least, those who need it: members of dissertation councils, heads of master programs.

We also agreed to hold joint conferences every two years, first, in Slovakia, and two years later – in ISTU. The final decision on this issue will be made during the April EQ-conference.

And I must say that all these activities demonstrate the seriousness of the intentions of our Slovak colleagues. They want to cooperate with us! They openly say that Russian students are the best because they are the most hardworking and productive. They are ready to accept our students. By the way, they even have a subsidiary program for hot meals — compensation for food about 6 euros per day.

It is clear that free education is only for bachelor programs in the Slovak language. Therefore, one of the directions with this university, which we have discussed — to study the Slovak language by our students. We discussed this topic with all three universities and came to the conclusion that they will send their teacher to us for a month, who will be able to teach a one-month intensive course. This is all to ensure that our students come to Slovak universities knowing the language already. Master and PhD students can come also with English (they have a research work), but for bachelors the knowledge of the Slovak language is mandatory. Accordingly, today we need Slovak teachers.

We already have the Center of Czech Language and Culture. It is quite possible that the center of the Slovak language will soon appear.

And the third University, which was visited by our delegates — Alexander Dubček University of Trenčín. On that day, the acting rector was Vice-Rector for Strategy and Development Prof. Peter Liptak, who presented the university to the guests. The meeting was attended by all the deans who expressed their ideas and proposals.

During the meeting, we found many related areas, in which we can conduct the educational process. This university offered an interesting option of cooperation – to develop a double diploma program not only in the master degree, but also in the bachelor degree. The University of Trenčín is ready to host ten people for each program at the expense of the Slovak budget and, of course, in the Slovak language.

We see it this way: in the first year students study at ISTU, at this time they learn the Slovak language. Taking into account that the studies to the bachelor degree in Slovakia take three years, they are enrolled to the 1st year of studies at University of Trenčín and the next three years are trained according to the following scheme: one semester in Izhevsk – one semester in Slovakia. It is clear that for this purpose it is necessary to coordinate the curricula. And two diplomas as the output: of Kalashnikov Izhevsk State Technical University and Alexander Dubček University of Trenčín. We proposed such a scheme of cooperation to the Slovak side. We believe that it is very interesting, promising and attractive, for our students as well. And moreover, the study programs of this university are not only engineering, but also social and economic.

Now we will be engaged in the analysis of curricula — in order to continue to offer such cooperation to our faculties and departments. In addition, it is also an exchange of researchers!

- In general, the results of this trip are impressive, - said Prof. Valery Grakhov. - The use of the potential of European universities in the educational system of Kalashnikov ISTU will undoubtedly contribute to improving the quality of education of students. This is our main goal.