A delegation from Heilongjiang University visited St Petersburg University. During the meeting with their colleagues from China, Sergey Andryushin, Deputy Rector for Foreign Affairs, and Aleksandr Streltsov, Head of the SPbU Office for Research Projects, discussed the implementation of the existing joint initiatives, as well as the prospects for the development of new projects.

Opening the negotiations, Sergey Andryushin noted that today SPbU is boosting cooperation with Heilongjiang Province. A meeting of SPbU Rector Nikolay Kropachev and Heilongjiang Governor Lu Hao has been held recently. The parties discussed an opportunity of opening a representative office of St Petersburg University in Harbin, the administrative centre of the province. "SPbU's cooperation with its partners, Harbin Institute of Technology and Heilongjiang University, is a key condition for the implementation of this project," Sergey Andryushin emphasised.

Yan Ming, Heilongjiang University's Vice Rector for Foreign Affairs, spoke about the successful work of the Russian language state certification testing centre established at Heilongjiang University with SPbU's support. Passing this test will allow the students of Heilongjiang University to receive a TORFL certificate (Test of Russian as a Foreign Language) right in China and then to apply for SPbU and other educational institutions in Russia. The first procedure for testing the knowledge of Russian among the Chinese students under the new rules was held in November 2016, the second testing was held in May 2017, and 41 people took part in it.

During the meeting, Yan Ming told the SPbU representatives that within the framework of the University reform starting from September 2017, students will be able to learn not only English, which was previously uncontested, but also Russian as a second language. "We are very interested in our graduates' further education in Russia, and in particular at SPbU," Yan Ming emphasised

The colleagues from China also reported that the University has completed its work on translating the almanac of modern Russian prose, designed to inform the Chinese audience on the recent Russian literary works. The publication of this collection of works was initiated by St Petersburg University and supported by Heilongjiang University. A presentation of the almanac is planned for the next visit of SPbU Rector Nikolay Kropachev to Harbin.

The new areas of cooperation include creation of a centre for translators' training, opening of new master's programmes and joint research supervision of doctoral students. In particular, the students of Heilongjiang University who come to St Petersburg University on exchange have an opportunity to learn about the University's schools of thought and academics who can later become their research supervisors. Aleksandr Streltsov, Head of the SPbU Office for Research Projects, also added that SPbU is ready to take Slavonic scholars of Heilongjiang University for internships, thus making it possible for them to establish working contacts with the SPbU staff. Such measures form a straight path to joint research projects.

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The Russian language is taught at Heilongjiang University, which is one of the leading centres of Russian philology in the PRC, by two divisions: the Russian Language Institute training specialists in Russian philology and the Chinese-Russian Institute aimed at teaching Russian to students of non-linguistic specialties.