A Discussion about Russian-French Cooperation in the Sphere of Education Was Held at Gaidar Forum

On January 17, Day 2 of Gaidar Forum “Russia and the World: Aims and Values”, the expert discussion the “Trianon Dialogue: Russian-French Cooperation in the Sphere of Education” was held. The strategy of strengthening positions of Russian and French higher educational establishments in the world educational space was analyzed. The experts discussed Russian-French cooperation in the sphere of education, dwelt on acute issues of educational systems and suggested developing interaction formats.

The discussion moderators were Sergey Sinelnikov-Murylev, Vice-President of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, President of the Russian Foreign Trade Academy, and Emmanuel Tric, University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.

The “Trianon Dialogue” is the initiative of Presidents of Russia and France announced in 2017. According to the suggestion of the leaders of the countries, the civil society should promote interaction between the states, and the educational sphere will mark the beginning of it. Russia and France have many years’ experience of cooperation in education. The Russian-French university, the result of the network-format consortium of higher educational establishments, has been working since 2016.

Valentina Pereverzeva, First Deputy Minister for Education and Science of the Russian Federation, is sure that “nowadays one cannot imagine a modern university without international cooperation”. According to her, more than five thousand Russian students study in France and over a thousand of French students get education in our country. Russia has drawn about 400 inter-university agreements with France, which significantly exceeds the number of agreements with other foreign universities. Besides, diplomas granted in Russian and France are equivalent.

MGIMO University and the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration are basic Russian grounds for cooperation of joint educational programs between the countries. The speaker emphasized that international educational experience of interaction contributes to strengthening of relations between the states. “We perceive promotion of education export and development of joint educational programs, student and academic exchange programs as the guarantee of further successful development of political, economic and humanitarian cooperation between Russia and France”, the expert summarized.

Pascal Cauchy, Attache for University Cooperation of the Embassy of France in Russia, was receptive to the idea that partnership between universities is becoming a state policy. “University is the place where the society faces various challenges that are not only educational, but political and social as well”, the expert said. Russia and France undergo a similar period of modernization of educational systems – internationalization of the higher education.

“France annually welcomes over 350 thousand foreign students”, said Olivier Guillaume, the Counsellor for Culture and Cooperation to the French Embassy in Russia. The educational system of the country comes across language barriers of foreign students, selection of specialties, the problem of two-state diplomas, so, according to the expert, it is necessary to create conditions for attracting students by supporting regions the universities are situated in. These suggestions concern Russia as well.

Yves Pozzo di Borgo, Inspector General at the Administration of the French Ministry of Education, recommends paying attention to linguistic peculiarities of university cooperation. The expert underlines that the interest of French pupils in the Russian language fades. However, the French business is interested in studying the Russian language. Igor Ganshin, Director of the International Department of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation; Andrey Baykov, Vice-President of MGIMO University; Vladislav Grib, Chairman of the Russian Association of Professors; Oleg Kurbatov, Lecturer of University of Paris 13, Deputy Chairman of the International Association of University Professors and Lecturers (IAUPL) of UNESCO; Larisa Efremova, Vice-President of RUDN University; Pauline Turk, Deputy Dean of the faculty of law and political science of University of Nice Sophia Antipolis; Oleg Zaitsev, Head of the School of Law, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration; Celine Davesne, Deputy Director General of NEOMA Business School; Patrice Houdayer, Vice-Dean of SKEMA Business School; Aleksander Bedny, Vice-President of Lobachevsky University; Irina Dezhina, Head of Skoltech Scientific and Industrial Policy Group; Sylvie Bermann, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of France to Russia, participated in the session.

The organizers include the Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), the Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy (Gaidar Institute) and the Association of Innovative Regions of Russia (AIRR).

The program outline is available at the forum website.

Participation is free; preliminary registration is required.

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