Visit of ISTU administration to China: results and future plans

 china-2023-10-01On October 22-30 the delegation of Kalashnikov Izhevsk State Technical University represented by Acting Rector Aleksandr Gubert and Director of Institute of International Study Programs Alexey Ryabchikov visited People’s Republic of China. The visit of our university administration to PRC was another event in the frameworks of the major strategic program of developing partner relations of Kalashnikov ISTU with Chinese research and educational institutions.

It should be indicated that our university has been one of the full members of Association of Sino-Russian Technical Universities (ASRTU) since 2011, a member of University Association of Privolzhsky Federal District of Russian Federation and Provinces of Upper and Middle Yangtze River of PRC. Within the last two years 12 new cooperation agreements with Chinese educational institutions were signed, 4 applications for joint study programs were submitted, Centers of Chinese and Russian languages were opened at Kalashnikov ISTU and Qilu Normal University, this summer-autumn our university hosted delegations of Jinan Zhishang Education Group, Education Groups «Minyang» and «Booya» (Beijing), and for the first time 11 Chinese students started their studies at Kalashnikov ISTU.

The key event of the visit to China was the participation of our delegates in Forum of Rectors of Chinese and Russian Universities – 2023 and III Sino-Russian Scientific-Technical Forum at Harbin Institute of Technology. The Forum in Harbin was the first major international scientific and educational summit of two countries after the pandemic, which gathered delegations headed by rectors and vice-rectors of 39 Chinese universities and 16 leading Russian universities — representatives of ASRTU. The forum summed up the work of ASRTU, it also comprised roundtable discussions and work meetings of ASRTU coordinators, the title of Honored President of ASRTU was instituted, the participating delegations were received by President of Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), visited the construction site of Sino-Russian campus and aerospace museum of HIT.

The second big event was the participation of our delegation in «China Education Expo/CEE Beijing 2023», one of the major educational exhibitions in China hosting mostly Russian universities, as well as universities of Great Britain, New Zealand, Canada and other countries – leaders in education export.  

Apart from the presentation of study programs, our delegates had a number of work meetings with representatives of Chinese educational institutions, in particular, Education Group «Booya». Our university has been working on the joint degree program in landscape engineering and discussing the perspectives of part-time master studies with this Group and   Hebei University of Environmental Engineering.

During the visit, our delegation had a number of meetings and negotiations with representatives of educational institutions and companies from different Chinese cities — both as the continuation of established contacts and agreements, and as the initial ones.

Thus, they had a meeting with Wang Qingli, Deputy Director of Harbin high school No 6 (one of the leading Harbin schools, in which the Russian language has been taught for over 60 years) and pupils of 10-12 grades. Our delegates got acquainted with the school laboratories and workshops and saw their high training level — graduates of this school in large numbers enter prestigious Chinese universities.

Wang Qingli is Secretary General of Association of Sino-Russian Pre-University Educational Institutions interested in increasing the number of its Russian members, and Kalashnikov ISTU is planning to join the association.

Our delegation had a number of meetings in Beijing as well. For instance, they had negotiations with the representatives of Education Group «Minyang», which our university has been cooperating with over 1.5 years: in particular, 2 applications for joint study programs have been submitted to Chinese Ministry of Education. One of the applications — with Jiangsu Professional Technical Institute — has been already supported by the province administration

Besides, Kalashnikov ISTU acquired three new partners: Liaoning Technical University, Shandong University and Shangqiu Technical Institute, and even signed the Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation with the latter.

«We think that the meetings with our colleagues from LiShi Professional Technical Institute and Linyi Professional Technical Institute (Shandong province) organized by Education Group «Minyang» were also perspective», comments Alexey Ryabchikov. — These institutes are similar to us in their profiles: they also have 3-year and 4-year bachelor and master programs. These institutes are interested in joint study programs, foundation of joint institutes and cooperation in research, — it should be pointed out that research cooperation is our new topic in negotiations with foreign partners. Besides, we discussed the perspective of part-time master studies for Chinese bachelors at our university (for instance, LiShi has 46 bachelor programs and only three master ones).

Our partner — Education Group «Minyang» has just finished the promotion campaign in 9 Chinese provinces and we see that our colleagues succeeded in it: Kalashnikov ISTU is now much more recognized at the educational market. «Minyang» has been actively cooperating with Russian universities, for instance, they are now implementing a new interesting project — organization of representation of universities of Novosibirsk region in Beijing. And during their visit to Izhevsk in October we discussed the idea of establishing the same representation of Udmurt universities, and we have already made the first step in this direction — we invited universities of our republic to take part in this project and got the consent from four of them. At the moment, together with Education Group «Minyang», we are planning the first organizational meeting of this future representation with the participation of international experts in research and education in Linyi (Shandong province). The Vice-Rector for Studies of our university Olga Varfolomeeva will take part in this event in November.

I want to add that during the meetings we offered Chinese colleagues academic mobility programs in the format of summer and winter schools, for example, our successful and popular project — Winter school «Izhevsk – city of armorers», invited students and teachers to participate in International Open Research Festival in Robotics «KALASHNIKOV-TECHNOFEST» and birthday of Kalashnikov ISTU on February 22, 2024 – just during the Chinese New Year.

We are also planning to resurrect our traditional EQ Forums: «Technical Universities: Integration with European and World Education Systems» — we have great and successful experience in holding them and see the interest from our CIS, oriental and Chinese partners.

We also hope for the positive decision of Educational Committee of International Federation for the Promotion of Mechanism and Machine Science — IFToMM on holding the International Students’ Olympiad at our university and are planning to invite our Chinese partners to participate. As you know, Kalashnikov ISTU hosted I Students’ International Olympiad on Mechanism and Machine Science in 2011».