St Petersburg University has signed a cooperation agreement with Rama University (India). At the virtual signing ceremony, the document was signed by Sergey Andryushin, Vice-Rector for International Affairs at St Petersburg University, and Prabhat Ranjan, Registrar at Rama University.

The agreement includes provisions for the participation of Russian and Indian researchers in: joint research projects and publications; academic mobility; conferences; seminars and lectures; and the implementation of educational projects and new academic programmes.

In my view, St Petersburg University has a considerable potential to build a partnership with your young and dynamic university. We are interested in cooperation with Rama University in both the natural sciences — particularly in medicine — and the humanities.
Sergey Andryushin, Vice-Rector for International Affairs at St Petersburg University

‘St Petersburg University is open to collaboration with Rama University and India. Our countries share a long history of friendship, and I am certain that this will serve as a sound foundation for implementing our joint projects. We are pleased to begin this partnership and we are looking forward to a fruitful bilateral cooperation,’ said Sergey Andryushin, Vice-Rector for International Affairs at St Petersburg University.

During the meeting, Sergey Andryushin briefed the Indian colleagues on the main activities of St Petersburg University, including its international activities. He said that St Petersburg University currently offers over 490 academic programmes. As a classical university with the broadest possible range of academic disciplines from the arts to nuclear physics, St Petersburg University has the expertise and resources to provide a solid foundation for effective long-lasting relationships with international partners. Among the University’s partners are over 600 research and academic institutions in 80 countries across the globe. At present, the University offers 11 double-degree programmes established in cooperation with international partners. The number of international students accounts for about 20% of St Petersburg University’s student body. Representative offices of St Petersburg University operate in: China; Greece; Iran; Italy; the Republic of Korea; Spain; Türkiye; and Uzbekistan. In September 2022, a joint campus of St Petersburg University and Harbin Institute of Technology was opened in Harbin (China). Also, in 2022, a branch of St Petersburg University was established in Tashkent (Uzbekistan), with provisions for conducting biomedical research programmes. This year, another branch of the University will be set up in Cairo (Egypt), which will offer five academic programmes in the field of medicine.

Rama University, established in 2014, comprises 11 faculties offering programmes in: medicine; dentistry; pharmacy; nursing; law; management; agriculture; and other fields of study.

Currently, over 60 languages of Asia and Africa are taught at St Petersburg University. For the University, cooperation with academic and research institutions in these countries is of utmost importance, said Alexey Rodionov, Senior Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Asian and African Studies at St Petersburg University. He expressed hope that singing a cooperation agreement with Rama University will become an important step in the development of our relations with India. This will open the door to many collaboration opportunities in the field of science, research, and student mobility.

Anna Chelnokova, Associate Professor in the Department of Indian Philology, provided an outline of the Indian studies at St Petersburg University. ‘Our department teaches almost a dozen of languages spoken in India, including Telugu. In fact, St Petersburg University is one of the three centres for the study of South Indian languages in Europe. Currently, about 50 bachelor’s and master’s students specialise in studying political system, languages, literature and ethnography of India,’ said Anna Chelnokova. ‘The student community of our department is very active. Our students love India and our graduates are professionals who contribute to strengthening the relations between our two countries. I believe that our cooperation will grow in a special environment.’

Sergey Andryushin stressed that not only students of the Faculty of Asian and African Studies have a keen interest in Asian countries, but also students specialising in: physics, sociology, medicine, chemistry and other fields of study. ‘There are many St Petersburg University students who would like to study your language and culture, and enhance cooperation with India,’ noted Sergey Andryushin. ‘We encourage all academic departments to engage in international cooperation, especially the academic programmes that have a significant association with specific nations. Indeed, collaboration with other nations is impossible if you know nothing about them. The University therefore employs all its resources in the field of Asian, African, European and American studies to gain a better understanding of its partners and expand our cooperation. I am certain that the agreement between St Petersburg University and Rama University will foster the creation of new programmes and developments.’

As a result of the meeting, it was decided to organise a video conference with Russian and Indian researchers where they could present their research to colleagues and discuss the possibility of joint projects.