St Petersburg University has hosted a meeting with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Thailand to the Russian Federation Sasiwat Wongsinsawat. Students and professors of the University were able to communicate with the diplomat.

The event was opened by Sergey Andryushin, Vice-Rector for International Affairs of St Petersburg University. He noted that cooperation with Thailand is an important area of development in the University’s international activities.

For many years, we have been developing our academic ties with Thai universities. St Petersburg University has been visited several times by members of the Royal Family who have been awarded titles of Doctors Honoris Causa from St Petersburg University. And, of course, the jewel of our cooperation is the Thai Cabinet.

Sergey Andryushin, Vice-Rector for International Affairs of St Petersburg University

Sergey Andryshin also reminded that the University currently has more than 5,000 international students, including representatives of the Kingdom of Thailand.

Sasiwat Wongsinsawat, in turn, thanked representatives of the University for their hospitality. ‘Thailand and Russia have been on friendly terms for 125 years. This long relationship began in St Petersburg,’ reminded the Ambassador. He said that it is his 6th visit to St Petersburg, the Northern Capital of Russia. However, this is the first time he has visited the Thai Cabinet. He also expressed hope that he can contribute to the development of this space by providing some textbooks and materials for learning the Thai language.

In 2017, a Thai delegation led by Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand visited the Research Park of St Petersburg University.

‘The Embassy is ready to support Thai language studies as well as to host Thai studies students for internships at the Embassy. Additionally, St Petersburg University has agreements with respected higher education institutions in Thailand, such as Tammasat University, Walailak University, and Chulalongkorn University,’ added Sasiwat Wongsinsawat, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Thailand to the Russian Federation.

A significant part of the meeting was devoted to the interaction between the University guest and the students in Thai studies from various courses. The students were able to demonstrate their level of Thai language skills and briefly talk about themselves. The event was also attended by professors in Asian and African Studies and students from Thailand who study in different bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programmes at St Petersburg University.

In 2023, St Petersburg University will enrol students in the History of Thailand and Burma academic programme.

Alexey Rodionov, Senior Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Asian and African Studies and Associate Professor in the Department of Chinese Philology at St Petersburg University, noted that the meeting was held on the birthday of the Faculty of Asian and African Studies, which celebrated its 168th anniversary. ‘We hope that the direction related to the study of Thailand will develop more and more, and in this regard we do hope to strengthen and establish direct ties with universities in Thailand. It is very important for our students to have an opportunity to study in the target language country,’ said Alexey Rodionov. He also asked the Ambassador to deliver a lecture at the University during his next visit to St Petersburg. Sasiwat Wongsinsawat, for his part, was positive about the idea and added that such a lecture could focus on present-day Thailand and its development strategy.

At the end of the meeting, the representatives from the Kingdom of Thailand presented gifts to the University. It is planned that books and textbooks on the Thai language will become part of the Thai Cabinet and will be used by students for a more in-depth study of the foreign language.